On April 12, 2003, in the presence of international journalists, Amir al-Saadi turned himself in to coalition forces in Iraq. He was on the list of “high-value” Iraqi targets (people) to be captured. There was a list of 52 individuals, each matched on a deck of cards according to their perceived importance in the run up to the war. Saddam was the ace of spades. Dr. al-Saadi was the 7 of diamonds.
al-Saadi was one of the top managers of the former weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program and a key interlocutor with UN weapons inspectors—both UNSCOM and its successor, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). When he turned himself in, he said publicly to the press that Iraq did not have WMD and the truth would bear him out. At that moment, I realized that the likelihood Saddam had retained significant WMD was extremely low. Al-Saadi was in a good position to know the truth. Why would he lie in light of the American occupation of all of Iraq?
The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent, nonprofit media organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.