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US got it wrong on Saddam Hussein, says CIA interrogator

20 Dec 2016 | By Vijaya
CIA interrogator's revelations on Saddam Hussein

John Nixon, the CIA analyst who interrogated former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein said that the US "got it wrong" about Saddam.

In his new book 'Debriefing the President : The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein', Nixon documented the details of his encounter with Saddam and varied discussions that followed.

He wrote that the US was critically mistaken about their intervention in Iraq in many ways.

In context: CIA interrogator's revelations on Saddam Hussein

20 Dec 2016US got it wrong on Saddam Hussein, says CIA interrogator

Capture and executionSaddam Hussein's Presidency and death

Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq from 1979 to 2003.

George W Bush administration launched the 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' in March 2003, aimed at toppling Saddam, the US adversary, from power. This led to his capture by the US-led coalition forces in Dec 2003.

Saddam was found guilty of crimes against humanity and was executed on 30 Dec 2006, in Baghdad.

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Iraq after 2003 US invasion

20 Dec 2016Iraq after 2003 US invasion

Years after US invaded Iraq, the country is now widely considered a failed state.

It still suffers from widespread violence, including from the Islamic State (ISIS), who are currently defending the city of Mosul.

13 years after invasion, there are at least 5,000 American troops stationed in the country.

Nixon said Bush blamed the CIA for Iraq's failures.

DetailsInteresting revelations from Nixon's book

Nixon in his book said that Saddam Hussein should have been left to run Iraq.

He wrote that it would have been almost impossible for a group like ISIS to enjoy the success like they have now, if Saddam had remained in power.

The CIA analyst thinks that a ruthless strong man like Saddam was necessary to maintain "Iraq's multi-ethnic state".

Nixon on having Saddam in power

"In hindsight, the thought of having an ageing and disengaged Saddam in power seems almost comforting in comparison with the wasted effort of brave men and women in uniform and rise of ISIS, not to mention the £2.5 trillion spent in building Iraq", Nixon wrote.

20 Dec 2016Saddam Hussein warned that the US would fail in Iraq

When Nixon interrogated Saddam, he warned that occupation of Iraq wouldn't be easy.

He said, "You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq." When Nixon asked why, he replied: "You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind."