View Full Version : Saddam... dead or alive? (After the strike on the bunker)
03-20-2003, 11:42 PM
(First, I figured this would belong here in GD... please forgive me, and bump it to the correct forum if not.)
So, what does everyone think about Saddam after the US strike on the bunker, Wednesday night (Thursday morning)?
After watching the video of Saddam speaking, following the attack, I am very torn over what I think. I am really not sure if it was him giving that speech, or not. Here are some things I noticed, and am wondering if anyone else noticed the same, or can debunk these things:
1) I thought it was kind of "out of the ordinary" for Saddam to be reading his speech from a paper, or card. I don't really remember him doing something like that before. This is just something that seemed weird to me.
2) As far as looks go, it looks (almost) exactly like Saddam. Something seemed kind of odd about his appearance, but I can't really pinpoint what it is. Something I noticed, though, was with the Saddam who was giving the post-strike speech: It looked like the right side of his mouth kind of "drooped" a little bit (that is, hung a little bit lower than the left side) whenever he opened his mouth to speak. I can't tell if Saddam's mouth does this in the video where we claim it is the "real" Saddam.
Anyway, those are just some things I noticed.. can't think of anything else offhand. How about anyone else?
03-20-2003, 11:46 PM
I thought he looked quite a bit older than usual and "not quite right", too. But maybe that's what he looks like when deprived of sleep. Time will tell.
03-20-2003, 11:56 PM
First I want to know where "Saddam" got those big a$$ glasses!! Those were cool in a retro sort of way. As far as the face hiding behind those giant glasses - right. He looked "Saddamish" ---- or "Saddam like," but not quite like Saddam.
03-21-2003, 12:05 AM
But maybe that's what he looks like when deprived of sleep.
I agree.. I was wondering how much that would play into it.
I want to know where "Saddam" got those big a$$ glasses!!
I am glad I wasn't the only one thinking this! :) Maybe they're just reading glasses, he was using for reading off of the paper..... really Really thick reading glasses.
03-21-2003, 12:08 AM
Here's what the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A682-2003Mar20.html) is saying.
03-21-2003, 12:18 AM
AFAICR and from several sources:
The footage showed an impromptu speech, no prompter, I think it was mentioned before that Saddam usually uses contacts, appearing with glasses would fit a picture of a guy on the run that had barely escaped a strike. If he is still alive, I think he is scared shitless and running around without communications, which is one of the reasons why there is no apparent leadership now.
If he did pre-record, it begs the question of why everything was so sloppy and disheveled, with the crazy glasses and notebook.
But then, he didn't seem like he has just escaped a bomb attack either.
03-21-2003, 12:29 AM
Good call, GIGObuster. All of that would make sense to me.
How about the "lower hanging" right side of Saddam's mouth, when he was making the most recent speech...? Has anyone else noticed this, or have I completely lost it now?
03-21-2003, 12:44 AM
According to his ex-mistress Saddam suffered a stroke a few years ago and was very good at hiding the impairments that resulted. Perhaps stress, fatigue, and other factors...perhaps another stroke has aggravated these symptoms.
I haven't seen a good picture of the tape yet. Look at his ears in comparison with a real picture of Saddam. That is a pretty good way of identifying a person that most peole don't usually notice.
03-21-2003, 12:48 AM
Thanks for the info, t-keela. Next time I watch the video, I will try to compare the ears of the two men. :)
Something to consider. At this point, with the U.S. saying that it isn't sure if Saddam is dead or not, and thus holding off on the major assault, doesn't Saddam have an incentive to stay quiet? Or even to have some of his lead guys pretend to surrender? I mean, the longer they can hold out, in their minds, the better. They'd much rather have U.S. ground troops reach their positions so they can fight conventionally rather than simply being laid waste from above.
03-21-2003, 12:54 AM
Sure. I'll bet this is a tough call. The administration has to weigh all the intelligence it's getting, and decide if the possibility of ending the war without a major bombardment is worth the added risk to the troops.
That's why Bush and Rumsfeld and Tenet earn the big bucks.
03-21-2003, 01:03 AM
MSNBC is now saying that the administration knew BEFORE the attack on Saddam that he had been recording statements to be used after the deadline.
Boy, if that's true, then I'd put pretty high odds on Saddam being dead or injured.
03-21-2003, 01:04 AM
...And if they knew that, they must have some incredibly good intelligence.
03-21-2003, 01:10 AM
It makes sense that he would have a large number of pre-recorded statements as a man on the run or in hiding might find it impossible to stop for a camera.
If he is dead, these pre-recorded statements could temporarily prop up the regime and confuse the enemies of the regime long enough for his sons to secure power for themselves. Sadam inherited his position from his father and it would seem that his sons are the heirs to his empire.
03-21-2003, 04:51 AM
Originally posted by Feynn
Sadam inherited his position from his father
Uh, no, he didn't. He helped lead a revolt in 1968 that brought the Baath Party to power under General Ahmed Hassan Bakr, with Saddam as "Vice-Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council". Then in 1979 he deposed Ahmed and assumed the Presidency.
03-21-2003, 07:35 AM
One of the more interesting things I read (which I can't find now, but I think it was in the WSJ. If someone can find the link, I would be most appreciative) is that the US smoked out Sadaam's location with the whole Traiq Aziz is defecting story. That brought Tariq into the public eye at his press conference. Then, follow Tariq to whereever he is going and you most likely have found Sadaam.
03-21-2003, 07:36 AM
Ah, found it. It is an artice from the Scottish Daily Record, referenced in the Wall Street Journal.
The article can be found here. (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/page.cfm?objectid=12756678&method=full&siteid=89488)
Crown Prince of Irony
03-21-2003, 10:06 AM
One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that the notebook SH was reading from wasn't brand new. A few minutes and a few pages into his speech, he switches to a different notebook.
The type of notebook he was using (top-bound, 8 1/2x11) usually has 50 pages. Anyone remember how many pages he flipped through before switching notebooks? 5? 10? I know it wasn't 50. One can presume that the first 40-odd pages of the first notebook were already used, most likely for other speeches.
This, along with the lack of SH's typical apocalyptic rhetoric, and the relatively calm delivery of the speech, would seem to support the idea that Saddam taped multiple messages in advance - which one to be aired depending on the contingency.
Just my $.02.
03-21-2003, 10:15 AM
I just had an idea-those of you who have done psy-ops please comment!
We get an actor who looks like Saddam, and put him on TV-broadcast to the Iraqi people. The stand-in will give a speech accepting surrender, and will urge his army to stop hostilities!
This would be a cheap way to end the conflict!
03-21-2003, 10:25 AM
According to CBS News, "Man on tape is Saddam." (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/20/iraq/main544812.shtml)
From that article:A German forensic pathologist studied hundreds of Hussein photos and videotapes,concentrating on his mustache and eyebrow measurements.
Then he used computer software to locate specific points such as the tip of his nose and the cheekbone creating a face print which was compared to the Hussein photographs.
His conclusion: that there are three Hussein impersonators, all with small, distinct differences.
Or there are four impersonators, and the expert can't distinguish from two.
Or there are two impersonators, and one of them had a bad day.
Or there are no impersonators, and Saddam changes his makeup and doesn't get enough sleep inbetween takes.
I wonder if a Hollywood makeup artist ever prepared one or more people and included a professionally-produced, unlabeled tape of one of these in the batch examined by the expert? If not, we have no controls on this experiment.
Voice analysis was probably done, too. If you pick up a copy of April Harper's magazine, on page 70 you will find an interesting article by Brendan I. Koerner of the Osama voice tape analysis. (Sorry, Harper's has a web site, but the article is not and probably will not be posted there.) Koerner says:Forensic speaker identification, which is admissible as legal evidence in thirty-five states, assumes that no two human voices are alike, determined as they are by the dimensions of vocal cords, lips, teeth, and jaw muscles; the odds of two non-twins possessiong identical physiological equipment are remote. This theory, although seemingly logical, has never been subjected to peer-reviewed scrutiny. What is known for sure is that the human voice varies significantly from day to day, even from minute to minute, due to stress, sickness, or even diet. Voice analysts insist that such variation can be accounted for, and that mimics cannot fool an experienced practitioner. But the error rate of forensic audio analysis remains uncertain, ranging in varioius studies from less than 1 percent to as high as 44 percent.
Regarding the audio equipment/software used by the experts:Automated systems such as those used by both the NSA and [Swiss speach-research institute] IDIAP are not built to sift through such sonic detritus [as background noise, reverberation, or other audio mishaps]. They are geared instead toward "biometric" tasks: e.g., voice-activated access...Such systems are not designed to analyze sounds from an uncontrolled, real-world situation...
(Although I would imagine Saddam's tape is of better quality than the Osama phone call one.)
In short, I don't trust any pronouncement that Saddam is alive or dead without more proof than just an "expert" watching TV.
according to the drudge report (take it for what it is worth), eye witnesses saw saddam being carried out of the bunker on a gurney with an oxygen mask on.....
03-21-2003, 10:41 AM
According to the Washington Post, the man on the tape is NOT Saddam.
from the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A682-2003Mar20.html)
But the government also consulted Parisoula Lampsos, who the Defense Department believes has passed a polygraph examination in support of her claim that she was Hussein's mistress in Iraq for many years. Lampsos has previously distinguished Hussein from his doubles in more than a dozen cases, one official said, and this time she said he was not the man in the broadcast.
Another "expert" heard from. Lessee, this one has been certified by polygraph, which in itself is suspect, and she says...
I doubt if her "previously distinguished" tests have been verified, either, so just how valid is all this crap other than newspaper filler?
03-21-2003, 11:09 AM
In any case, right now we don't know. I doubt that we will really even be able to know until troops get into Baghdad. Even after that, it might take a while.
03-21-2003, 01:58 PM
I recall (but can't remember just where) recently hearing that the only sure way to verify Saddam's body was really him would be to do a DNA test, and that seems reasonable.
But a DNA test is no good if you don't have a sample to compare it to. An exact sample from the original party is best, but a sample from a close relative would be pretty good.
So does the U.S. really have an absolutely unquestionable Saddam Hussein DNA sample? Where would they have gotten it? Is there a DNA black market? Did he ever get medical attention from the U.S. or reliable allies? Hunh?
Inquiring minds want to know. :)
03-21-2003, 02:19 PM
I've heard that the U.S. does NOT have a DNA sample from Hussein or his close relatives.
However, he has two sons and three daughters, so after the war I imagine that some DNA can be acquired. One of the sons is already reportedly either dead or severely injured.
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