Cablegate Chronicles: Saddam's Execution

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A description of the death of the Iraqi leader.

FROM: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: JANUARY 15, 2007
CLASSIFICATION: SECRET
SEE FULL CABLE

--------------------------------------------- ---------- ...AND THEN THE TAUNTING, THE YELLING, THE PHOTOS BEGIN --------------------------------------------- ----------

¶8. (S) The guards then began to tie Saddam's feet at which point he asked who would help him climb the stairs. It was at this moment, al-Faroun said, that a guard told Saddam to "go to hell." Al-Faroun raised his voice immediately and warned people that "he would not allow the guards or witnesses to speak" to Saddam. He turned around, he said, to further admonish the witnesses and saw two government officials openly taking photos with their mobile phones.

¶9. (S) Two guards escorted Saddam upstairs and offered to cover his head with a hood. Saddam refused. The executioner explained that the noose could cut his neck and offered him a cloth to prevent any pain. The prison guards, standing below the platform watched Saddam as he prayed. Before Saddam finished, al-Faroun said, one person shouted "Moqtada, Moqtada, Moqtada." The prosecutor claimed that he again raised his voice to silence the witnesses. This disruption, he said, occurred only once and did not delay the execution. Saddam Hussein died instantaneously. He was removed from the platform and placed in a bag. A religious leader later ensured that Saddam's body had been washed according to Islamic custom.

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