“NBC Nightly News” on Sunday featured a report on “Saddam Hussein’s Secrets” based on Newsmax’s chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler’s new book, “The Terrorist Watch.”
For his book, Kessler interviewed George Piro, an Arabic-speaking FBI agent who was the only interrogator to extensively question Saddam after his capture, grilling him for hours on end over the course of many months.
As NBC reported, Piro disclosed to Kessler that Saddam said he had been so afraid of Iran, he wanted the Iranian leaders to believe he had nuclear and biological weapons. Therefore he sought to fool Iran and the U.S. by, among other things, stalling U.N. inspectors to make it appear he had something to hide — weapons of mass destruction.
As Kessler also reveals in “The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack,” Saddam told Piro he occasionally orchestrated phony plots against himself to see if others in the Iraqi hierarchy would join in. Those who did were executed.
The FBI won’t allow Piro to be interviewed on camera and is only now permitting him to tell part of his story.
He did tell Kessler that by the time he and Saddam paid their final farewells, they had grown so close that the toppled Iraqi leader was teary-eyed.
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