Some more facts on Saddam’s execution… and some pictures of his last moments.
The execution took place shortly after dawn, Iraq’s national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, told Iraqi television.
“This dark page has been turned over,” Rubaie said. “Saddam is gone. Today Iraq is an Iraq for all the Iraqis, and all the Iraqis are looking forward. … The (Hussein) era has gone forever.”
Rubaie, who witnessed the execution, said the former leader was “strangely submissive” to the process.
“He was a broken man,” he said. “He was afraid. You could see fear in his face.”
THE NOOSE TIGHTENED: Saddam moments before he was executed in Baghdad. (Photo: CNN).
Clutching a Quran and refusing a hood, Saddam went to gallows after a quarter-century of remorseless brutality. photo: AP
This video image by Iraqi state TV shows Saddam’s guard wrapping a black cloth around his neck moments before execution.
Rubaie said that Hussein carried with him a copy of the Quran and asked that it be given to “a certain person.” Rubaie did not identify that person.
On Al-Arabiya television, Rubaie said the execution took place at the 5th Division intelligence office in Qadhimiya. He said Hussein refused to wear a black hood over his head before execution and told him “don’t be afraid.”
White House deputy press secretary Scott Stanzel said President Bush was asleep when the execution took place and was not awakened. The president had been briefed by national security adviser Stephen Hadley before retiring and was aware the hanging was imminent, Stanzel said.
The White House issued a statement praising the Iraqi people for giving Hussein a fair trial.
“Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical rule,” Bush’s statement read. “It is a testament to the Iraqi people’s resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial.”
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