"We want Saddam to be held to account for his evil crimes and eagerly await the day when his lifeless body will swing from a rope," said Hatem, a farmer from Dujail whose brother Ali is one of the witnesses fearful to testify.How difficult it will be to get through the trial. The trial ought to inspire people about the rule of law, but, as it is, many will decide instead that it would have been better to have killed Saddam outright on capture.
"There is almost nothing we won't do to hasten this day, but Saddam is very powerful. He has his agents everywhere. So when the message came that we would be liquidated if we took part in his trial we had to think of our families."...
American officials said there was no possibility that Saddam could threaten prosecution witnesses from the confines of Camp Cropper, the facility near Baghdad Airport where he is held in isolation from other prisoners.
"There is rampant paranoia about Saddam," one said. "He is a broken man who will soon be begging for his own life. All he thinks about now is himself and he has had no connection with the insurgency since we captured him in late 2003. I don't underestimate the evil that is inside him or the magnitude of his deeds. But as a tyrant, he is finished, impotent. And Iraqis need to realise this."
October 23, 2005
That's the telephoned message to prospective witnesses in the trial of Saddam Hussein.