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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Saddam's Capture: Whose Fiction?

A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein claims that the public version of Saddam's capture is false. Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army. He also claims the details put forth by the U.S. army were innacurate.

"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.

"We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed," he said.

He said Saddam himself fired at them with a gun from the window of a room on the second floor. Then they shouted at him in Arabic: "You have to surrender. ... There is no point in resisting."

"Later on, a military production team fabricated the film of Saddam's capture in a hole, which was in fact a deserted well," Abou Rabeh said.

Is Sgt. Rabeh lying? I don't know, but something doesn't add up here. It's difficult enough to keep regular stories secret in a large organization, nevermind one that would garner as much attention and publicity as this one. Further, Rabeh is an Arab of Lebanese decent who is currently living in Lebanon. And rather than speak to any number of international papers who would surely love this story, he chose to speak with a relatively unknown Saudi daily newspaper. He most likely still has Arab sympathies and figured that his story would be well received by an Arab paper.

Additionally, Rabeh claims that a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed. I assume that he means a U.S. marine, or else he would refer to him as an "insurgent," "terrorist," or "enemy fighter." Yet, the Coalition Casualty list shows that there were only two Coalition soldiers killed on December 12: Pvt. First Class Jeffrey Braun, in Baghdad, in a "non-hostile" event and Sergeant Jarrod W. Black in Ramadi from an IED attack.

Something smells funny with Rabeh's report - I wonder if he knows Giuliana Sgrena...Little Green Footballs also reminds us of this story told by an Iraqi man when Saddam was captured.

More people seem to be reporting the story - Michelle Malkin and Outside the Beltway basically come to the same conclusion. As does the Neoconservative.