Saddam's Final Moments

On Monday, Iraqi officials began an inquiry on the final insulting words Saddam Hussein's hangman said to the former dictator.

Government-released footage showed the hangman speaking to Saddam, but a web video showed guards shouting, "Muqtada," referring to a Shiite cleric who runs one of Iraq's most violent religious militias. • Read more

Should more have been done to protect Saddam in his final moments?

E-mail and tell us what you think!

•Click here to watch the video (Warning: The content is very graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.)

"Protect him from what? Getting his feelings hurt? The man was hung and rightly so. The question should be, 'Was there enough done while Saddam was leader of Iraq, to protect the Iraqi people?' — John (Lancaster Ohio)

"While Saddam deserved what he got for killing all those innocent people, I don’t think we need to see videos of his hanging. Life is precious and it bothered me knowing one was going to be taken. I know he deserved it but it just got to me." — Rich (Nashville, TN)

"We almost had a book out there about how O.J. 'would’ve done it,' and now some people are all worried about "dignity" for the Butcher of Baghdad. I agree 100 percent this terrible person should’ve been hanged, stoned, stuffed or whatever. However, I think some of you folks are missing the point. The was suppose to be a 'state run execution.' It should’ve been handled professionally and matter of fact, by the official authorities. Even in our country we give a man a last meal and a priest to talk to. The new Iraqi government has lost face before it really gets a chance to start. It lost face on the selection process they used for the people in that room, the lack taking security measures so that only the official video was to be released to the public of the execution. On the inside I may scream and yell that he got what he deserved, but as a society on the outside, we are suppose to be beyond that. I guess not." — Clayton (Ellsworth, MI)

"I cannot understand why any one would want to watch a hanging. I am glad he was found guilty and sentenced to death, but I did not need to see it, nor should people make these type of films just for the sake of money." — Lynn

"Why are we spending any time worrying about what was said to a diabolical and evil dictator who had no respect for human life. I personally don't care what was said to him prior to his death." — Robert

"He died more bravely than he ever lived. He disgraced the memory of his sons and grandson who fought to the death when he surrendered meekly like the coward he was. At least in the end, he found some dignity. May God have mercy on his miserable soul." — Patrick (Phoenix, AZ)

"As the old adage says, 'If you want something done right, do it yourself.' Unlike Nuremburg where [the US army] carried out the executions of war criminals in a humane way, Saddam's execution was turned over to an unstable government infiltrated with elements loyal to Sadr. Because we don't have the emotional and political resolve to finish the job we started in Iraq, Saddam's execution more resembled a lynching. The U.S. is too worried to offend a world opinion that has no regard to offend us." — Michael

"Let’s face it Saddam was a deplorable example of a human. Let it go people. I don’t really care how he felt during his last moments; after all he was being hung by those who once feared him because of his tyrannical rule. It appears to me that all the bleeding hearts would love to just send these guys to prison for about 20 or 30 years then let them out after they have been rehabbed. Yeah, right! People like Saddam only understand one thing — violence. I bet he now understands how wrong his actions were and I guarantee he will not do it again." — Ellis (North Carolina)

"Someday, we all have to answer for the things we did or did not do in our lives. May I point out to those who have responded before me, that WE did not execute Saddam. The judge was not an American one, the jury was not American, the attorney's were not American, those directly involved with his execution were not American. Once we captured him, HIS OWN people tried him and carried out his sentence. All this shows is that the war is working!! We didn't hang him … THEY did! Congratulations to the Iraqi people to stepping up and taking over their OWN future!" — Rachel (Pennsylvania)

"When we kill an innocent man we hide it. When we kill a guilty man we question it? Ridiculous!" — R

"I think the execution was done accordingly. There was no possible evidence that could have exonerated him, so there was no reason to keep him on 'death row' for 15 years like we do here in America. I bet the tax payers of Iraq are happy." — Leon

"I am generally against capital punishment in most cases. There are exceptions, and Saddam for obvious reasons was one of these. However, when it must be done, it should be performed in a professional manner and not by a gloating, taunting, gleeful mob. If his executioners are examples of the inheritors of Iraq, God help us all because we may be next." — Erich (Phoenix, AZ)

"Even if they were taunting him and being 'rough' with him, he was given more dignity and mercy throughout his whole trail and hanging than the hundreds of thousands of people he tortured and murdered. Since when does someone who is known as the Butcher of Baghdad deserve to be treated as royalty for his crimes against humanity?" — Kacey (Ogallala, NE)

"How did we get here? A nation that values life, supporting a lynching. Even a supporter of capital punishment should be appalled at the lack of respect for life and the utter vileness of the nature of the executioners. Whatever the atrocities that Sadaam committed, are we to be lead by the lowest among us? To do as they do? To kill as a matter of vengeance and hate rather than justice? What have our young men's lives been spent for? Who have we liberated? For what end? What have we unleashed?" — Cindy

"So many are saying, 'So what, look at what he did to his victims.' I don't see it that way. I think it was torture enough standing there in a noose, knowing your neck and spinal cord are about to be broken, and your life taken. I was in tears over the taunting." — John

"He was the Iraqi’s man, not our responsibility. They tried Saddam, we guarded him for them, released him to them and they executed him. We should not bear any responsibility for how it was carried out." — Hensley

"I believe it was the right of the Iraqi people to decide Saddam's fate, but I have to be honest and say that I think the execution was disgraceful. Looking at the video and the atmosphere in which he was hung, they might have as well hung him from a tree. Although the man was a brutal dictator, he was the head of that country and it could have been handled better. You can't help but feel some compassion for him as a human being regardless of his lack of compassion for his victims. And what's with videos of it on the internet? Is there no decency in this day and age?" — Robert

"I think he got a far better death than those men, women and children he tortured and gassed. If I had been there and one of my family members, friends or acquaintances had suffered under his rule I would have heckled him also. Heckling is insignificant relative to what this man has done." — Jim (Pearland, TX)

"I think it was horrendous that they executed this man. There are a lot of other dictators that has done worse to their own people than Saddam Hussein did, and he was tried for killing a hundred and something people. I don't care, he was once the ruler of his country if anything they should have sentenced him with life in prison." — Debbie (Dallas, TX)

"It was, as it should've been, the Iraqi government who tried, convicted and executed Saddam. It is not our responsibility to protect this murderer. As far as I am concerned, he was treated better than the tens of thousands that he had a hand in killing. Justice was served." — Tim

"During the French Revolution, the nobility and all proponents of the monarchy were paraded around Paris in animal carts and decapitated at the guillotine. In reality, societies have long provided an avenging populace a sense of reprisal against their dictators and despots for the horrific genocidal murders of their citizenry. The only surprising element with regard to the execution of the fallen Iraqi leader is the fact that Saddam Hussein was not assassinated long ago. Over three decades, Hussein successfully plummeted the nation of Iraq back into the Stone Age, from a modernized Western society!" — D.G (Lafayette, LA)

"More dignity should be shown to his victims by telling their stories. He was given far more dignity than he gave the people he slaughtered with nerve gas or the women he allowed his sons to rape. Or the Iraqi soccer team, who were beaten unmercifully when they lost. A couple of years ago, I read a story by an Iraqi women who had managed to get out, and ended up emmigrating to Denver. She said now, thousands of miles away from her tormentors, she still relived her rape by Saddam's men over and over. I believe her husband was taken to a prison and tortured as well. This women lives in the land of the free but is still a prisoner of her mind. I am certain today the last thing on her mind is whether Saddam received enough dignity in his final moments. And lest we forget in our overly 'politically correct' culture, that the word dignity is reserved for those people who lose their lives by running into a burning building when the rest of the world is trying to get out." — Kristyn

"Saddam was executed on my birthday. I considered it a gift. There is no room on this earth for this kind of human venom. The people that have all this sympathy for Saddam, should channel this sympathy towards Saddam's victims and their families. The world is a better place without him. A great big thank you to our brave American soldiers that hunted him down and brought him to justice." — LouAnn

"While I do not think the problems with the execution can in any way be blamed on the U.S., I do think the Iraqi's should have been able to make Saddam's last five minutes a little more subdued and non-confrontational. They could have at least made sure there were no recording devices except the official one." — Corrine

"Maybe if more criminals were dealt with swiftly and firmly, we would all see a rapid decrease in the heinous crimes around the world. The longer we pamper dangerous individuals such as Saddam, the greater the chance there is of more people thinking they can do the same violent acts and get away with it. Although justice is not always pretty or nice, it must be done." — Jared (Pennsylvania)

"What we have witnessed in Saddam’s execution is a culture 'shock' much different than ours, or what we understand. I suspect even now in 'other' Mideast countries we would see executions of the same magnitude or worse, but not videotaped because of the lack of popularity. We certainly would have seen worse during the reign of Saddam. Have we not learned from the videotapes of al-Qaeda, how little dignity is given for executions? We have not sought to create an Iraq based on Western values, but spent time and resources to allow the people to live their culture, and develop their country (like it or not). In this country we execute those who are proven to be evil, and while we try to be more dignified, that is not always the case. Certainly if you examine our history of the Revolutionary and Civil war and others there were atrocities of great magnitude. (They just lacked the technology to view it.) While I’m not justifying or agreeing on what was done, I have to accept that there are limits to what we can/want to allow." — Gilbert

"Whereas I am completely in support of the death penalty for Saddam Hussein, I was rather taken aback by the quickness of the end and the manner in which it was apparently done. He may have been a brutal dictator, but as a human being, he deserved more consideration in his final hours. He also should have been shown more respect and dignity in his final moments rather than facing street thugs looking to exact a moment of revenge on him. It doesn't seem to have been a wise decision on the part of a struggling government looking to stem violence and build trust among its citizens. It looked like revenge." — Julie Anne

"Dignity? Saddam was allowed to wear a warm overcoat instead of a prisoner's uniform. Respect? Saddam was not pushed, shoved, or otherwise manhandled. Courtesy? He was granted his final request of dying without a black hood and was even allowed a cloth wrap to protect his neck from rope burns. I DO NOT think more could — or should — have been done to protect Saddam Hussein in his final moments of life in Earth. " — Dave (Virginia)

"The execution of Saddam should bring pleasure to no one. Death is neither a joke or a happy occasion for which to celebrate. The manner in which Saddam died is neither fitting or unjust, it simply is something that occurred." — Thomas

"I have mixed feelings. Saddam Hussein was an evil man who deserved to die. The manner of his execution was tame in comparison to the ways in which he killed thousands of innocent people. The only thing that disturbs me is the conduct of the witnesses at the execution. No matter how much hatred the witnesses have for the condemned person, they need to respect the decorum of the execution process." — Linda

"I believe Saddam was given much more dignity than he earned during his lifetime." — Pat

"The manner in which the execution was conducted indicated how barbaric the situation in Iraq is. This conduct was no better than what Saddam dished out to people. I fail to see how the situation in Iraq has been improved at all with his removal." — Virginia (Liberty, MO)

"The Vatican is right; you don't solve a crime with another crime." — Paula

"Saddam was ruthless, cruel, and murdered hundreds if not thousands of innocent people. Why is he owed any type of dignity." — Kelli

"Personally, Saddam deserved to die, he killed thousands of innocent people. I think to heckle Saddam during this time, only allowed Saddam a chance to show his defiance, lack of remorse and a chance to get in a last word. I think by not saying anything to him at all would have said more than words ever could. It would have shown Saddam that even though he was an unfair ruthless evil dictator and showed no mercy whatsoever to thousands of people, at least when it came to his punishment they allowed him a fair trial." — Jannette (Concord, CA)

"I was surprised and appalled to read that the witnesses where harassing Saddam not to mention the use of cell phones that supposedly were not allowed. I don't agree with how Saddam treated life, but we should not have stooped to his level. Hussein should have been allow to die with out harassment." — Mary

"As conducted, Saddam's execution was little more than a mob lynching. We have spent 3,000 lives, untold billions, and four years trying to bring democracy to a brutal nation. And, as far as I'm concerned, that all evaporated on December 30, 2006. The manner of the execution is an embarrassment to America, and reflects discredit on the Bush Administration. It should have been accomplished in a state-like manner and with appropriate decorum and dignity. It was a very sad and sorry way to end the year." — Kurt

"He deserved a lot worse! I'm sure the souls of the hundreds of thousands of people he murdered will greet him equally as well." — Steve

"Saddam killed thousands with no regard to their last moments. As far as an execution, it was as comfortable as could be for him based on the type of execution. Do we need to remind people that he was a brutal killer and there is sympathy for him." — Mary

"Saddam apparently found peace with his God, in stark contrast to his earlier years. But his death will probably haunt us for years to come, as it represents life to a Shiite mega power in the region, with a man twice the threat Saddam ever was, a true nuclear threat, threat to oil supplies and strongly aligned with those Bush put in power in Iraq! I hope America's ready, because 3000 are dead for nothing, for what's to come." — Stan (Philadelphia, PA)

"What Saddam did was much worse than what was done to him. I don't believe in the death penalty, yet I have no pity for him. What does this make ME?" — Teresa

"I think it was wrong to execute Saddam Hussein, and most especially wrong to do it in the manner shown in this video. If the video is to be believed, this wasn't an 'execution' for crimes committed, but a murder committed for revenge. He was handed over to his enemies, to do with as they wished. Saddam killed for revenge. Now, his enemies had the opportunity to do the same. Does it solve the problems of the Middle East? I don't think so. I think the manner of his death will result in more violence, as his followers will be incensed to the point of wanting to avenge his death." — Anonymous

"Whatever was to be gained by executing the man, I fail to see any gains. Perhaps we have caused some other dictator to quake in his boots just a bit, that we might come into his country and kill him, too. But I doubt it. To be a successful leader has always required an enormous ego and an unshakeable belief one is always right in all actions. So I would suspect dictators around the globe will not suddenly 'get religion' because Saddam Hussein was put to death. This whole thing has brought nothing but shame to our country. The Iraqi guards at his execution attempted to shame Saddam Hussein in his last moments. I think our actions in Iraq have brought our country nothing but shame and will continue to do so." — Charlotte

"I think the execution of Saddam happened years too late. And how he was executed, there are those that would condemn it. I wonder what verbiage was used when thousands of Muslims were being exterminated by Saddam and his regime. It appears that anything we do is always wrong to the Muslim Community and everything they do is right according to them. I think it is time to let them know that we are tired of their double standard. And if we are dumb enough to let Iran get atomic weapons, then maybe we shouldn't say anything when they use them on us." — Earl

"Who cares! Did he care about any of the people he was responsible for killing? He got exactly what he deserved, only it should have been done a long time ago." — Sandra

"I am against capital punishment, and 'hanging' is very gross! I am an American, protestant, Anglo, republican. I felt sick all day long about the hanging. I understand Saddam was a murderer. Yes, more should have been done to protect him in his final moments. I preferred keeping him in prison for life." — T

"I think it's surprising that so much is being made concerning the timing of Saddam's execution. Apparently, some have forgotten that he was found guilty of murdering 148 men and boys in Dujail! I'm sure timing was not considered in their execution either." — Tim (Knoxville, TN)

"Only the world would have had the opportunity to witness the demise of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot as closely. The destruction of evil should not be treated with any sentimentality!" — R

"I believe this visual event was necessary for the resolve and peace of mind for the Iraqi people in general. I would think he was afforded much more protection in his final hours than the countless tens of thousands he eliminated from their pursuit of life." — Joseph

"No, I don't think more should have been done. Personally, I think it SHOULD have been made public ... all over the world! Why? Think back to all the execution killings that have been done to American military and civilians as well as those from other countries. They were made public and shown all around the world! Some of the bodies were dragged through the streets on national TV! So why should Saddam be treated any differently! He got what he deserved and it angers me that some think it was so wrong that someone his hanging out there on the internet! It's only right considering all the murderous executions that have been shown." — Robin (Fredericksburg, VA)

"What protection did Saddam Hussein give all the hundreds of thousands of people he murdered? None. What integrity did he give to all the hundreds of thousands of people he murdered? None. I would have liked to see the Iraqi people face him in court and tell him the pain they suffered, but that trial would have been years in the making. The Iraqi people can start to put their pain behind them now, and I only hope the Iraqi people appreciate the sacrifices that the people of the United States have made on their behalf. The best gift would be for the Iraqi people to step up to the plate and defend their own country. We'll see." — Carol

"I feel that the execution was fair, but the reason why we have executioners is carry out the execution, not to taunt a man at the moment of death, God will take care of Saddam. They should have not shown the execution and the executioners should be punished, also the man who took the pictures should be accountable for the damages it brought." — Cheri

"The man murdered nearly everyone who did not agree with him. The man was responsible for countless rapes. His sons and his cronies were responsible for untold horrors perpetrated upon the people of Iraq. A few insults at his hanging? So what? Who cares? Will it end the war anytime soon? No." — Pat

"Seems we let ourselves get down to the level of the very people we set out to destroy." — J.

"I feel that you reap what you sow … he had no feeling for any whose lives he ruined and the people that he tortured, or their families , so whatever his countrymen did or said was no less than he deserved. I don't understand those that felt he should have been able to go to his death in peace, he certainly had no such thought for those that he sent to their graves … how much of the same concern did those same people have for the crimes he and his sons had committed daily and again … what goes around comes around" — Jaye

"Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser was all over the news saying that the execution was done correctly and in accordance with the Koran. Now I feel like one of the new faces of the Iraqi government is a liar because from what I've seen the execution was done unprofessionally. Yes, Saddam was a brutal dictator but I would hope that the new government of Iraq would learn from his mistakes and let him die without being verbally assaulted by the witnesses." — Steve (Yuma, AZ)

"I don't think the hanging was carried out in the manner in which it should have been done. Although I am quite happy that Saddam is finally dead, I don't think it was done in a manner befitting a modern nation. The guards were followers of a different butcher, Muqtada Al-Sadr. The derision of Saddam before his death will only deepen sectarian rifts and make this war drag out longer. It will undoubtedly tick off the Sunnis, who will then attack the Shiites in retaliation, who will then butcher the Sunnis, and on and on it goes. It never ends with these people, they've been fighting for over a thousand years and it's not going to stop any time soon. Honestly? I'd love to see Al-Sadr's head in a noose, then we'd be making some progress." — Joe (Providence, RI)

"I think he got exactly what he deserved, but probably not as bad as he deserved. He did much worse to thousands of innocent people. His execution was very quick. He tortured people and the torture was much worse than what he got." — Sarah

"Yes, I think more could have and should have been done to make Saddam's execution a more dignified and serious event. The Iraqi government is seeking legitimacy yet they really looked like a bunch of vigilantes at his execution. The whole thing was just plain sloppy and ridiculous and has caused riots. This makes me further question the Iraqi government and their capability to govern equally and fairly. We need to seriously question just what kind of government we have installed over there and take a closer look at Maliki himself." — Laurel (California)

"Being totally against everything Saddam stood for, I was sickened by the video. I felt as if I were watching my own father being executed, although my Dad was a saintly man. I felt sorry for his daughters and grandchildren, to see such a horrific act carried. We, as Americans, hated him. We saw him in a very different way — a cold blooded killer. My heart goes out to his victims and their families. But, it just isn't sitting right with me. The entire execution and the swift way it was carried out. He deserved it, definitely, but ..." — Camille (Connecticut)

"Saddam had more of a fair trial and treatment then he afforded the thousands of Iraqi and Iranian citizens he murdered while ruling Iraq. He was given the right to appeal the sentence handed down by the court. His victims were not given that luxury. He is dead. Let the Iraqis and the world move on." — Andrew (Charleston, IL)

"At first I didn't really care for a televised execution, but then I realized that there may be many, many people, that need closure and this would give it to them. There are also many people who may have doubted that he was actually executed if they hadn't witnessed it for themselves." — Kathy

"Protect Saddam in his final moments? From what — he was about to be killed! So, what if people, who were glad he was dying, taunted him. I would of cheered and spit on him if I was there. I wasn't, so I only got to cheer! Good riddance." — Dave (Niskayuna NY.)

"Americans fail to understand the intense emotions Iraqi's have for this man: hate, relief. I'm glad it was filmed." — Chuck

"An execution should be about justice, not mockery. The human race will always have a need for revenge and retribution but to allow this need to infringe upon a such a delicate and potentially volatile incident is reprehensible. If Iraqis cannot control their own judicial system and the associated respect due that system, how can anyone expect them to run their entire country?" — Shawn (Sarasota, FL.)

"I have a hard time believing that someone was able to sneak a cell phone in and film this without being noticed. Reports have said that only a few people were allowed in the gallows chamber. How difficult would it be to either search 10 people as they entered or spot one of them filming with his cell phone? I was in the military and I know that there is absolutely no way this would happen in a "secure" environment. There is something fishy about this whole thing." — M

"I believe you get what is coming to you! He didn't quietly murder all those innocent people, so why should he have gotten anything different? It went the way it should have ... that is what I believe." — Monica (Davenport, Iowa)

"Saddam deserved no mercy nor respect, since truly was a very evil man! He received the same mercy and respect that he had granted to the people he killed and the lives that he had destroyed throughout his reign of power." — Terry

"I think they should have strung him up by his feet in a more public scene, like Mussolini." — Bob

"I think gassing him would have been more fair, like he did to those poor women and children." — Meg

"I would have liked him to have some small privacy, but I understand, under the circumstances, the Iraqi people needed proof of his death. I do not approve of the insults thrown at him just before hanging. Those officials and others who belittled him so venomously should lose their positions, whatever they be. I am in accord with his death." — Carol (Granby, MA)

"How do you have ANY pity on a man (person) who is that evil? He got off easy in this world. His next life may not be so nice!" — Mac

"I would rather have seen him go through some of the torture, like that which he imposed on others." — Earl

"They should have sold tickets!" — Fred

"While I agreed with the sentence, I was appalled at its execution. As a human being, he deserved to die with as much dignity as possible, given the situation. It seems it was not enough to have him gone from the world. Hatred seems to have dissolved all humanity, as we see too often with Islam and its adherents." — Pat (Philadelphia, PA)

"Give us all a break. The butcher of Baghdad was treated much better than he deserved. He should have died a slow and painful death. Why are we even debating this? How do you think the families of the victims feel? To think that we should have treated him more kindly at the time of his execution ...would you have said that if we were hanging Hitler or Usama bin Laden?" — Nathan

"I think it was way overdue." — Norman (Pittsburgh, PA)

"He was allowed a more tolerant death than he ever allowed his thousands upon thousands of victims. He was not done away with quickly enough for my taste. He deserved only as much as he allowed his victims — which was nothing. " — E

"I wonder what was said to those executed by Saddam's henchmen, before bullets ripped through their heads. No sympathy!" — John (Corona Del Mar, CA)

"They should have had this on Pay Per View for $19.95 and gave all the proceeds to his victims. Then, they should have televised it for the entire world to watch for free at a later date. I do not see what all the fuss is about in this country about this execution being taped. People need to wake up and realize that brutality does exist and needs to be condemned, punished, and shown what is done to murderers and criminals." — John (North Carolina)

"Saddam got exactly what he deserved. Who are we to say how another country executes someone. It would probably have done more good if he was executed in a public square." — JD

"It is too bad the execution was not made public for all to see . How many of his victims were allowed the dignity of a private death? Or, how many got to choose the day they were murdered by him? Most of the murders by him were beheadings, slow torture or manual strangulations . Good riddance to him." — Tom (East Moline , IL)

"Saddam got better than he gave. I have no sympathy for the manner in which he was executed. If anything, it was too gentle." — J

"I was afraid this was going to happen. People present at Saddam's execution should have been searched for video equipment such as cell phones and other such video equipment. This is an outrage. Yes, hanging was Saddam's due, but there should have been strict management of the situation, knowing that this could have ignited the opposition and caused further agitation." — Joan (Lunenburg, MA)

"I think it's disgusting that the media offers video of the execution. Quite frankly, no one needs to see that footage. Just because something can be seen or known doesn't mean that it should. I am not saying that Saddam deserved any kind of dignity, but rather that your audience deserve not to have to be confronted by him anymore." — Janel

"Saddam met his end according to his deeds. Does anyone REALLY think that he (or his lackeys) ever gave THEIR victims any sort of comfort or protection in their last moments? Saddam was put to death much more humanely than most, if not all, of his many victims." — Chad (Mount Juliet, TN)

"Saddam Hussein was a bad man, but what I saw was a few thugs acting like terrorists. Now, if that is what they were, then they have to be punished. What they did was wrong also." — Bob

"FINALLY ... if he were in the States, he would have endless years of appeals! He and his guards were raping women, taking their husbands and killing them!" — Michele (Dallas, TX)

"He got what he deserved. Let it go. Do not add more fuel to the fire." — Jorge

"While we live in an age and country where people are increasingly held 'less accountable,' Saddam's execution stands in stark contrast. While some may find it deplorable, I'm sure there are a great many who suffered under Saddam who feel he got off easy. As far as the guards taunting him, it seems it bit superfluous in light of the fact they were putting a rope around his neck. The evidence doesn't seem to indicate that Saddam's regime was 'polite' about executing anyone. Considering the crimes he was being executed for and manner in which his victims were treated, I don't really see how taunting the man on the gallows constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. He probably deserved worse. We certainly can't begin to understand how the guards may have felt. Iraq is not America and they are not subject to our ideas of right and wrong." — Daryl (Ludington, MI)

"He received better than he deserved." — John

"Why should we be so concerned about Saddam's' dignity in his final moments? He did not care about the dignity of his thousands of victims. He should be grateful to his God that he was not tortured beforehand. We need to grow up as a nation and quit being so darn sensitive about the sensibilities of our enemies. He should have received what he dished out and that is slow painful torture before being buried alive." — Ruben (Seguin, Texas)

"The sectarian mob scene exposed by the cell phone video shows beyond any other source the nightmare we have created out of our initial Occupation Administration. This rabble is the Iraqi Government? This is our 'progress'?? That hanging was the most unprofessional law enforcement spectacle I have ever had the disgust to witness. The issue is not (as your headline states) the taking and leaking of the video (anymore than the media is the issue in the Plame affair)." — David

"I believe that Saddam should have been protected, because his final moments were taken advantage of by some rogue Shiite elements who might just have inflamed sectarian tensions between Shiite and Sunnis. Executing Saddam in that manner is, and was, the biggest mistake the authorities have taken so far, which will lead to further Shiite-Sunni reprisals and retaliations against one another. All in all, what they subjected him through wasn't wise at all … it does not help Iraq's future by creating further sectarian tensions between Shiites and Sunnis." — Benny (Edinburgh, Texas)

"Yes, it is a matter of human conduct." — Wouter

"An investigation into Saddam's final moments seems fruitless. Who really cares whether he was insulted? Did he extend that courtesy to his victims and their families? He was a man without conscience or remorse." — Peter (Rochester, NY)