FOX Fan Question: You've spoken with quite a few commanding officers both in the Gulf War and now in the War on Terror. How did you find Col. Hickey? Did he stand out in any way? I heard you asking him about how he actually goes on raids with his units. — Greg (Alexandria, VA)
Linda: I found Col. Hickey to be a little reticent. He's reputed to be a "bare knuckles" kind of guy when it comes to confronting the guerrillas, which I tried to draw out of him. You may have noticed, though, that he's modest. I would have liked to have talked with him in person — it's always easier to build a rapport that way.
FOX Fan Question: You mentioned something about a flow chart that led to Saddam. I have not heard that reported elsewhere. Can you expand on that? — Dave (Tucson, AZ)
Linda: The chart was nicknamed "The Mongo Link" (Lord only knows where that nickname came from.) The intel specialists who work for Col. Hickey basically took a few names on a piece of paper and worked doggedly for months to figure out who among the Iraqi tribes were protecting Saddam. It was such a tall order — but they did it. And it's truly their work that led to his capture.
FOX Fan Question: Was Col. Hickey optimistic about how the capture of Saddam will affect the situation in Iraq? — Rosemary (Eaton’s Neck, Long Island)
Linda: Yes, Col. Hickey is optimistic. Much of what he feels you have to read between the lines, but my take is that he's getting increased cooperation from Iraqis in his region since Saddam was captured — specifically more people ratting out the remaining bad guys. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri (Saddam's top deputy) is the next big prize.
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Linda Vester is the host of DaySide with Linda Vester, FNC's daytime talk show. A graduate of Boston University (magna cum laude) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, Vester also earned an honors diploma from the Sorbonne in France and was a Fulbright Scholar of Middle East affairs based in Egypt. She speaks Arabic and French.