saddam hussein stars in - The Terminal
23 Jun 2004 00:59 GMT
A deposed dick-tater finds himself stranded in an american airbase, and must take up temporary residence there. The time of his landing coincides precisely with the point at which the war causes his nation of origin to no longer exist, meaning that his passport and paperwork are no longer valid. As a man without a home, he takes up residence in the airbase prison, 'befriending' the staff of the airbase, and falling in love with an airline flight attendant.
June 22 - Military censors have blacked out nine of the 14 lines. But in what remains of his letter, Saddam Hussein assures his family that “my spirit and my morale, they are high, thanks to greatness of God.”
The message—apparently the first and only letter the former Iraqi dictator has sent to his family since his capture last December—is on a standard “family message” form provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It is addressed simply “to my daughter,” and was delivered to the family by the ICRC after they visited Saddam on Feb. 21. The letter, apparently in Saddam’s handwriting, was shown to NEWSWEEK by Muhammed al Rushadan, a Jordanian lawyer retained by Saddam’s family.
Rushadan is currently on a visit to the United States, where he hopes to make the case that his client's human rights are being violated and that he's being held in violation of the Geneva Conventions. In addition, says Rushadan, he believes Saddam is being mistreated like some of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib were. "There are fresh wounds on his body," he said, citing a Red Cross document he claims to have. "I say to the ICRC that you should do your job under Article 10 of the Geneva Conventions, or you should quit your job."
The document in question, produced by Rushadan on Sunday shortly before the lawyer left for New York to lobby the U.S. media, actually turns out to be what the ICRC calls a "capture card," a form that detainees fill out and which authorities use to report their detention to the Red Cross, which makes inspection visits and carries letters for prisoners. Apparently signed by Saddam and dated January 21, 2004,—more than five weeks after U.S. forces pulled him from a spider hole near his hometown of Tikrit—the card carries two check marks in the four boxes listed under the heading “Internee’s/detainee’s health.” One of the selected boxes lists the prisoner as being in “good health;” the other notes that he is “slightly wounded.”