Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Answer the Question, General!
Q: Ibrahim Hayat (ph), Al-Hayat, LDC. I would like to ask you, don't you regret the fact that you couldn't get Uday and Qusay alive? It would have been probably the source of a lot of information could have got from them both. Also, wasn't a failure in a way, because you didn't use commandos to come and surprise them both? You conducted operation in a very traditional way. How would you describe it? All this attack preparation was only to surround five, probably four people who were armed with light weapons. And also, what about the child of Qusay?

Sanchez: First of all, we have confirmation that we've got Uday and Qusay Hussein, and we've got two other bodies that we're continuing the identification process on them.

On whether this was a failure, absolutely not. I would never consider this a failure. Our mission is to find, kill or capture. In this case, we had an enemy that was defending, it was barricaded, and we had to take the measures that were necessary in order to neutralize the target. When you look at the possibilities of what you may have gained or what you may have lost, that would be pure speculation on my part at this point.


Q: Thank you. General, I'd like to try and see if you could address more of the first question which we had from our colleague up front. The Americans are specialists in surrounding places, keeping people in them, holding up for a week, if necessary, to make them surrender. These guys only had, it appears, AK-47s, and you had immense amount of firepower. Surely, the possibility of the immense amount of information they could have given coalition forces, not to mention the trials that they could have been put on for war crimes, held out a much greater possibility of victory for you if you could have surrounded that house and just sat there until they came out, even if they were prepared to keep shooting.

Sanchez: Sir, that is speculation.

Next slide (sic).

Q: No, sir, it's an operational question. Surely you must have considered this much more seriously than you suggested.

Sanchez: Yes, it was considered, and we chose the course of action that we took.

Q: Why, sir?

Sanchez: Next slide -- or, next question, please.
-- From the DOD transcript of the press conference with Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez on the deaths of Uday and Qusay.

The phrase "dead men tell no tales" comes to mind, as does the phrase "it is easier to fake the identities of dead people than live ones." (I just made that second one up.)

Then there's this interesting quote from Sanchez:

The identification was done through multiple means. We had senior former regime members do visual identification of the bodies. We had four individuals that independently verified that we had both of Saddam Hussein's sons.

We also compared X-rays and verified that the injuries on one of the bodies were consistent with the injuries that had been suffered by this individual during a previous assassination attempt.

That seems to imply that this was an assassination, which of course it was (if it really was Uday and Qusay), but the general seems to acknowledge that. It appears that if U and Q had walked out with their hands held high they would still have been gunned down.