December 12, 2009

"A Night with Saddam" - a unique perspective

I don't normally endorse books - unless they favorably reference me....

I am making an exception here for two reasons. I was intimately involved in the reportage at NBC News (NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC) of Saddam's capture, subsequent trial and execution.

Who can forget The Today Show segment with Matt Lauer and I in the mock up of the spider-hole from which Saddam was pulled six years ago this weekend - December 13, 2003? (See also my recent piece,
Execution of Saddam - in hindsight a good thing.)

The other reason is that the author, Dr. Mark Green, will donate a portion of the proceeds to my favorite charity - the
Wounded Warrior Project, as well as to the Night Stalker Association and the Bay Medical Foundation. Dr. Green, before becoming a physician, commanded a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division. As an Army physician, he was the American medical officer who examined and spoke with Saddam Husayn that night.

The book is A Night with Saddam - A Special Ops Flight Surgeon's Interview With Saddam Hussein On The Night Of His Capture And The Missions Which Led To Their Meeting.
Read more at Dr. Green's website.

An excerpt from the book:

"There was very little interrogating going on at this late hour in the battlefield interrogation facility (BIF). Most of the intelligence people wanted Saddam to rest prior to their intense questioning. The dignitaries and senior commanders had visited him and were now gone.

About this time, around midnight, the physician assigned to the BIF left. One of the senior intelligence officers recognized me standing outside the cell speaking with the interpreters and told me that the admiral wanted a medical officer with Saddam constantly. He asked if I would go in and stay the first night with him. I said yes and gathered my thoughts. The shear excitement of the moment was balanced by the realization of the terror and evil this man had produced in his lifetime.

I grabbed a worn-out copy of the Stars and Stripes newspaper and walked into his makeshift cell to share in the first night of captivity with the captured King of Babylon."