Published December 17, 2003
And now the most engaging two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Substance in Saddam?
The daughter of Saddam Hussein, Raghad, in asylum in Jordan, insists U.S. forces drugged her father before capturing him, saying, "I'm sure that they couldn't have captured him otherwise." She's calling for an international court to try him, saying that a trial in Iraq would be the product of "occupiers" and unfair. Meanwhile in Iran, the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (search) says he's pleased Saddam was captured, but "the world would be an even better place without Bush and Sharon," referring to the American and Israeli leaders.
In Vatican City, a top official at the Vatican is condemning the U.S. military for showing the video footage of Saddam, saying the former dictator was being treated "like a cow." Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican's Justice and Peace Department, says he "felt pity to see this man destroyed." Similarly, an Arab expert at Macalaster College in Minnesota says the images were "offensive ... [and] disgusting" and amounted to "gloating."
Capture Could Have Come Earlier?
Meanwhile, here at home, Washington Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott (search) insists that President Bush and his administration could have captured Saddam a long time ago if they wanted, but "politically, it probably [didn't] make much sense to find him just yet." McDermott also says, "When they're having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something." Fellow Washington State Democrat Norm Dicks calls McDermott's remarks "fantasy."
Are They Toying With Us Again?
A columnist at the Des Moines Register, Rob Borsellino, says his first reaction to the news of Saddam's capture was, "Are they toying with us again, lying like they did about the weapons of mass destruction. Can we believe them when they say it's Saddam Hussein, or did they dress up one of his look-alikes?"
The Israeli military had a plan ready to assassinate Saddam Hussein in 1992 -- in retaliation for firing 39 scud missiles at Israel during the first Gulf War -- but the plan was called off. Then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (search) ordered the operation, which was going to land commandos in Iraq and then fire two specially designed missiles at Saddam while he attended a funeral. However, during one of the final run-throughs of the operation, five Israeli soldiers were killed and six others wounded when a live missile was accidentally used. The assassination attempt was consequently canceled. It would have taken place in Al Adwar -- the same city where Saddam was captured over the weekend.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report