Saddam Hussein's CIA Interrogator Admits Being Convinced He Should Have Been Left In Power

Tyler Durden's picture

In a new book due to hit shelves later this month, John Nixon, a former CIA officer who was responsible for interrogating Saddam Hussein after he was captured in 2003, admits being convinced by the fallen dictator that he was best suited to rule Iraq.  Per an excerpt published in Time Magazine, Nixon recalls an encounter with Hussein in which he warned that America would fail in Iraq because "you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind."

When I interrogated Saddam, he told me: “You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq.” When I told him I was curious why he felt that way, he replied: “You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind.”

Saddam Hussein


While Nixon found Hussein "thoroughly unlikeable," he admits to walking away with a "grudging respect" for the fallen dictator's ability maintain the Iraqi nation through forced consensus. 

Although I found Saddam to be thoroughly unlikeable, I came away with a grudging respect for how he was able to maintain the Iraqi nation as a whole for as long as he did. He told me once, “Before me, there was only bickering and arguing. I ended all that and made people agree!”


Saddam used every tool in his repertoire to maintain Iraq’s multi-ethnic state. Such tools included murder, blackmail, imprisonment, threats, and these were to be used to cow his enemies. For his friends, Saddam would dole out patronage to tribal leaders and supporters in the form of cash, elaborate gifts, land, and other largesse that was the lifeblood of an oil rich state. Today’s Iraq has been riven by deepening sectarianism that always seems to be only a step away from igniting again, as it did after Saddam’s overthrow.


Saddam also would have inevitably maintained a hostile stance toward Iran; he was very proud of his opposition to the Islamic Republic and reserved special contempt for the Shia in Iraq who would follow Iran’s guidance over his. Iraq is now very much the junior partner to a much emboldened Iranian regime that has expanded its military and security influence in the chaotic aftermath of Saddam’s overthrow and the aborted Arab Spring.

Of course, Trump has made similar comments about Hussein, comments that have drawn a lot of heat from the mainstream media.

"Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right?  He was a bad guy.  Really bad guy.  But, you know what he did well?  He killed terrorists.  He did that so good.  They didn't read them the rights. They didn't talk.  They were a terrorist it was over."


"Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism.  You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq."


Finally, Nixon concludes that Trump has the opportunity to help shape a new regional order in the Middle East, though it will "require making tough decisions and, ultimately, recognizing that we may have to deal with people and leaders that we abhor if we want to help bring stability back to the region and limit the scope of terrorism’s reach."

Our incoming president has the opportunity to play a very large role in shaping a new regional order in the Middle East. This will require making tough decisions and, ultimately, recognizing that we may have to deal with people and leaders that we abhor if we want to help bring stability back to the region and limit the scope of terrorism’s reach. Most of all, it will require placing diplomacy back into our foreign policy. President-elect Trump has shown with his election victory that he is a believer in “the art of the deal.” Maybe his administration can use this negotiating skill and end our involvement in the forever war.

Without opining on the merits of the strategy, certainly if there's one thing we know for sure about Trump, it's that he's never shy to make the difficult decisions that will draw endless criticism from the mainstream media. 

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Croesus's picture

CIA = Criminals In Action

TeamDepends's picture

(cackling) We came, we saw, we rammed a Kalashnikov up his ass for the Hatian children.
-de Beast

FatTony7915726's picture

Saddam kept the muslims in line.  He had an authority that they feared.  And that was a good thing!

ACP's picture

EXACTLY right. Islamists only know brute force.

All these dictators are basically secuklar leaders who've woken up to the fact that islam is the most dangerous ideology the world has ever known.


FatTony7915726's picture

The Jews wealth always comes from someone else.  In other words, they steal it.  Their father Abraham was a pro at it.  Abraham got wealth real fast straight from Pharoah.  You don't believe me take a look:


Genesis 12:10-20King James Version (KJV)

10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:

12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.

13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.

15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.

16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.

17 And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.

18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

bobbbny's picture

Probably shoulda left Ghaddafi in power too.


cheka's picture

exept he was busting the quota tha nyc.opec demanded for their peak oil/fossil fuel scam

cartel for a scarce resource?  lmao

Still Losing Money's picture

shut up and stop misquoting the bible, adolph

King Tut's picture

Adolph Huxley?

Vatican_cameo's picture


The ONLY thing those Savages understand is Horror and Moral Terror.  Hussein knew it and so did Ghaddafi.  Both countries knew with these men gone, they had "Run of the Asylum".  No one was going to be as ruthless as they were, and they were right.  Now these places are completely out of control (and will be) until another Dictator steps up and Cleans House.  Don't see that happening anytime soon.

zombiefarmer's picture

Abraham could out haggle god, just read the story of Sodom and gamoerra.

jmack's picture

Mussolini made the trains run on time  2.0



Oldwood's picture

I believe in freedom and self determination. Nations should be allowed to develop the society they create for themselves. We should not interfere beyond that which we can influence through our own actions as an example. America has been destructive in its efforts because of our interventionism, but also because of our hypocrisy. We do not practice the values we seek to impose on others. Of course this is the same problem we have within our own nation...out leaders seek to impose values of which they apparently detest in their own lives.

Paul E. Math's picture

Also, if you'll recall at the time, the invasion of Iraq occurred because they got tired of Saddam kicking out the UN inspectors.  They took this to mean that Saddam had WMD and was trying to hide them and, also, he was taunting the US.

Had they applied a little thought they would have realized that Saddam was acting like he had WMD, not because he actually had WMD, but because he needed Iran to believe he had WMD.

Had the Bush administration wanted to understand this was the case then the Iraq debacle could have been avoided.  But they didn't want to understand and they felt they needed to invade Iraq just to save their international reputation.

Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them Americans, are now dead for the sake of American pride.

jmack's picture

That is a rather convenient amalgamation of received wisdom. you seem to have forgotten the fact that saddam was bypassing oil sanctions by selling oil to france's total and other grey market routes. As well as paying stipends to suicide bombers in Palestine, aka state sponsoring terror.


     Saying that Leaving Saddam in power was the superior choice, may sound "smart" but to my ears is merely an indictment of our own state department and intelligence communities. 


  If Leaving Saddam in power was the best option, then we should halt funding to foggy bottom, CIA, and severly cut back funding to key portions of the pentagon, immediately, and I am totally open to that option.

elephant's picture

Paul, the US went in to Iraq because of PNAC and because Saddam wanted to sell oil in currency other than US dollars.  The inspections were just a pretext and opportunity for reconnaisance.  Trying to force Saddam to prove he had no WMD was a logical impossibility.  How can you prove the negative?  Prove to me that you haven't any Leprechauns in your country and we won't bomb you to the Stone Age.

Saddam knew what was coming.  He tried to cooperate but knew there would be no end to the dismissals of his efforts to meet UN demands.  

Aesop knew how human nature worked when he wrote this:


The Wolf and the Lamb

ONCE upon a time a Wolf was lapping at a spring on a hillside when, looking up, what should he see but a Lamb just beginning to drink a little lower down. “There’s my supper,” thought he, “if only I can find some excuse to seize it.” Then he called out to the Lamb, “How dare you muddle the water from which I am drinking?”


  “Nay, master, nay,” said Lambikin; “if the water be muddy up there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me.”


  “Well, then,” said the Wolf, “why did you call me bad names this time last year?”


  “That cannot be,” said the Lamb; “I am only six months old.”

“”I don’t care,” snarled the Wolf; “if it was not you it was your father;” and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and—



ate her all up. But before she died she gasped out—





cheka's picture

he didnt want to sell oil in other currency.  euro IS FRN IN DRAG.  anybody paying attention to frbny bailouts and currency swaps to save their euro franchise knows that.  there are TRILLIONS of pieces of evidence for proof

he was busting his oil quota - harming the peak oil/fossil fuel scam run by nyc.opec

cheka's picture

yeah...and pancake theory too.  stfu

jmack's picture

    Freedom and self determination, what lovely concepts.  Ask the yazidi's or the coptic christians how thats working out for them.


   If you are not willing to subjugate your enemies, they will determine your fate.  Self determination is a structure built on a foundation of the ability to secure and defend your hegemony, if you cannot, you are but slaves to the next conqueror.  


   I realize these concepts are strange to you, because you have never had think this way, thus the sublime complacency in  western nations, but they will be challenged, and they will relearn the old lessons, and history will repeat.  Because westerners want to live free and they find value in allowing other to self determine, while the death cultist merely want to dominate, be that women, boys, or goats.

not dead yet's picture

There are very few countries where we tried to impose our values on them. It's all about power and control which the US wants and will stoop as low as possible to get it no matter how many people die. The old world powers did this by invasion and occupation which eventually backfired. The US did it differently preferring to put dicators in place that would do our bidding. As long as he was our boy he could rape, kill, and pillage at will and we could have cared less. Now we have the last half century where the US threw that shrewed policy out the window and went the disaster road of old school invasion and occupation. We can blame Sunni Shia divide or any other bullshit thing but it was Paul Bremer with his and US policies that set Iraq down the road it is now on.

humbly_narcissistic's picture

One of the richest, smartest men I know is an 80 year old Egyptian Christian. He moved here in the 1950's with $20 to his name. Anyways I asked him about the area one day when my boss was on vacation in Dubai and he kept saying 3 things -

1) Sadam was what was needed in the area and a bad move eliminating him.

2) They (Muslims) want to kill us (Christians).

3) Never visit there.


This was within the last 12 months and I could see the honesty and belief in his elder eyes.

Mazzy's picture

I figured out in my young adult years, after many many months observing these people, that the are incapable of "self-policing" at the individual level. 

They cannot act morally or productively on their own which is why some authority figure, whether it be an Imam, a Mayor, a tribal elder, etc. will always be needed to lead them.  They respect the authority of police and their military (or did under Saddam) far more than even the simpletons in the United States do. 

Arabs will always need someone to kick their rear in gear to keep them somewhat productive, and will always need authority to keep them from getting out of line and causing chaos, which is to say even more chaotic than that culture already is.  Think Hatfields and McCoys x10,000 and that's the Arab world; their grudges go back generations.  Anyone who's been there knows this (and America and the west is just the latest grievence, we were better off never touching the bee hive, the honey is not worth it).

The Arab world is not too dissimilar to America's black inner cities which have no ability to "self police" and it is only the fear of arrest, imprisonment, or death which keeps them moderately in line.  Whether this fear comes from police, the courts, gang leaders, and hopefully from those of us out in the burbs makes little difference.  It is the only thing keeping that culture from getting even more chaotic than it already is.

Selly2k's picture

Answer a question for me. If a foreign enemy came here and killed your parents, my parents, your kids and my kids and bomb the heck out of us, wouldn't you become a suacide bomber to take revange on them. I thought so. 

The problem we have is that we can do anything to anyone even based on a lie, but when they fire back, they are terrorist.

jmack's picture

No, I wouldnt become a suicide bomber, because a suicide bomber is a one time dead ender.  Any red blooded american would become a guerilla, a sniper, or a hundred other things that would give them an opportunity to have maximum impact, and survive. Because they are not a member of a death cult that believes that killing themselves for some nebulous other, will garner them very earthly rewards, like 72 virgins...opps they are all goats... double oops, he is not disappointed.

john.smith's picture

What do you know about Iraq's history you buffon? Before Saddam Iraq was a much better place. Islamists only gained power after the CIA supported them in the 80s against the Russians in Afghanistan

Handful of Dust's picture


"If you want to be a tearrist, you go to Harvard."


So true in many ways!

FatTony7915726's picture

The other sand niggers in Israhell were pleased to oblige the destruction of Syria, Iraq & Libya.  Them Zio's want more land because God promised it.

FatTony7915726's picture

Semites = jews + muslims.  And as far as I am concerned, they should remain in the middle east.  One takes money from the Goyim and the other violently attacks the infidel.  Both of them should stay away from western culture.

Selly2k's picture

What the fuck u talking about. We go over there and kill million people. They go different places and kill two to three thousand by suicide bombing. Now u tell me where Harvard is. Here or there.

algol_dog's picture

It takes people like Hussein and Gaddafi to control those maniacs.

Still Losing Money's picture

all this started when the peanut farmer helped the ayatollah assahola depose the shah

King Tut's picture

The Shah was a murderous piece of shit who was placed in power by the CIA after they toppled a democratically elected president at the behest of BP

LetThemEatRand's picture

Just so the younger people here can put it into context, Carter came long after the CIA toppled the elected president of Iran.   I find it amusing but mostly depressing that most people alive today that are aware of the Iran hostage situation 1) blame Carter for causing it, and 2) credit Reagan for solving it (on the day he took office).

not dead yet's picture

The CIA action was 25 years earlier. It was Carter that pulled the rug out from under the Shah with his ignorant policies. It was Carter who pushed for allowing Khomeni back into Iran after Khomeni suckered Jimmy boy with glowing personal letters of how he was a man of peace who only wanted to go home and bring peace. The Iranian military was under the major influence of the US and when they asked what they should do upon Khomeni's return Jimmy told them to stand down and they did. Within days Khomeni execution squads were executing military leaders on the spot.

Laddie's picture

Not just the CIA but the ENTIRE government.
Saddam was bad, mainly because he let his sons run wild. His MAJOR CRIME, however, was his support for the Palestinians, Christian and Moslem, both.

Zuckerberg in Germany: No Place for Hate Speech on Facebook February 26, 2016

STASI-veteran will Assist German Government in Facebook Censorship

According to Vice Chancellor Sigmar approximately 1 million migrants will arrive in Germany this year alone and Chancellor Merkel says there is no limit to how many they will take in.

Politically incorrect Germans who voice their skepticism can look forward to censorship – at least on Facebook.

Anette Kahne who, during the years 1974-82, worked as a secret agent for the East German Security Service known as Stasi.

Today Anette Kahane works as a professional anti-racist and last year proclaimed in an interview with RT that European countries must open their borders and adapt completely to immigrants from the third world.

Tribal member and former Stasi agent Anetta Kahane in Germany saying MASS IMMIGRATION of non-whites into Germany is a MUST:

German-Jewish politician Gregor Gysi calls native Germans "Nazis" and their extinction "fortunate"

Stasi Roots of the German-Jewish “Anti-Racist” Left and Its Program of Destroying Ethnic Germany

The eradication of White Germany is not their only enthusiasm. They are both tireless defenders of Israel and are quite willing to hound and harass and purge not just their own left-wing comrades, but even other Jews who do not toe the line.

Gysi declared Anti-Zionism can no longer be an acceptable position for the left in general, and the Die Linke party in particular. He has echoed the words of Angela Merkel in saying that “solidarity with Israel” as an essential component of Germany’s “reason of state.”

Like so many Jewish leaders in Europe these days, Kahane is quite brazen in expressing her wish for the destruction of White Europe. “You have to really change the policy of immigration inside Europe. This is very important; you have to change the educational system and the self-understanding of the states. They are not only white anymore or only Swedish or only Portuguese or only German. They are multicultural places in the world.”

As for Anetta Kahane, what effect did her reports have on the lives of the people she denounced? A good example might have been the talented young actor Klaus Brasch who, together with his brother Thomas, met Kahane in 1976.

Her confidential report on them contained the following sentence. “The enemies of the GDR primarily include Klaus Brasch and Thomas Brasch.” It would be interesting to ask Klaus Brasch about the effects that Kahane’s reports had on their careers but sadly that is not possible. Thomas Brasch died of a heart attack in 2001. His brother Klaus died from an overdose in 1980.

Iraq war: NOT OIL BUT ISRAEL by Stephen J. Sniegoski PhD

King Tut's picture
King Tut (not verified) Laddie Dec 19, 2016 8:04 PM

Oil has a little to do with it as I believe SH wanted to price Iraq's oil in Euros which pissed off the US Dollar issuers but they are also tied into Israel so...

LetThemEatRand's picture

Libya also talked about moving away from the petrodollar.

All wars are banker wars.

not dead yet's picture

Qaddafi was usch a small player that selling oil in anything other than dollars was hardly getting bothered about. But he was tireless in promoting Africa for Africans and the Gold Dinar as the currency for ALL of Africa. There were to be 3 major banks set up to handle African affairs. That and Qaddafi's investments and loans to other African countries endangerd the control and manipulation of African business and resources by the major countries and the World Bank and IMF for the benefit of rich westerners.

silverthorn's picture

It's time for some German to make the supreme sacrifice and get rid of killer merkle for all time.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

His real crime was talking about settling oil sales in something other than dollars....

boattrash's picture

Should've been left in power...I said that about myself as well...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

No shit, Sherlock!

Aging Skeptic's picture

Yeah I thought the same.  Even since we started toppling ruthless but stable M.E. dictatorships, and replacing them with terrorist-supporting regime it's been nothing but trouble, setting the region aflame.  But then, as some of us here tend to think, that was the whole idea.

nufio's picture

"But then, as some of us here tend to think, that was the whole idea."

I just logged in to say that it was the whole idea, but you edited your comment and added that in.