Man, these cameraphones are everywhere nowadays. Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air brings you Video: Saddamâ€™s execution uncut.
The Telegraph has a few interesting bits of information about Saddam’s final hours: Saddam’s end: tormented as his death loomed
Saddam rejected an offer of dinner, a cooked chicken, and asked only for a copy of the Koran. By 1am, all he wanted to do was sleep.
But his guards, all members of the dominant Shia Sciri party, had other ideas. One in particular, nicknamed Ali the Butcher, intended to make a hell of Saddam’s last night on earth. “They were making jokes about Saddam,” another guard who spoke to those on duty told The Sunday Telegraph. “Ali the Butcher had the rope they would hang him with, and he was telling Saddam ‘It’s waiting for you, it’s waiting for you’.
“The guards were dancing in front of him. When Saddam tried to sleep, they were going in, every 30 minutes. They said, ‘We didn’t let him sleep. We destroyed his personality’.”
Due process, Iraqy style? Growing pains of a young democracy? Or maybe it’s just the fact that we’re dealing with a foreign culture here with foreign customs?
ABC News’ Terry McCarthy has this commentary: Saddam’s Hanging — Uncut
However, the impact of this video could be quite significant. First, it may reinforce Sunni suspicions that the execution of Saddam was merely an act of Shiite revenge for decades of repression under Saddam. The building where the execution took place was expressly chosen because it was once used as a detention center by a division of Saddamâ€™s secret police that was focused on the Shiite Dawa party. Some of the witnesses whom the government invited to the execution had themselves once been tortured in that same building. Indeed, Prime Minister Maliki, who signed the execution order the day before the hanging, is a long-term member of the Dawa party and had himself been sentenced to death by Saddam back in 1980 before fleeing the country.
Worse, it may also reinforce the fears of Sunnis that Malikiâ€™s government is beholden to the Mahdi army, Moqtadaâ€™s militia. Executions are generally expected to be solemn affairs â€“- certainly not opportunities for thugs to score some final sectarian points before the â€œenemyâ€ is disposed of. The video itself seems quite distasteful â€“- but it is informative to the extent that it reveals the political baggage that the current government carries on its shoulders. It does not add up to a pretty picture.
Somehow I’m not so sure the way this affair has been handled will set the right tone in Iraq, let alone help build “a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror.”