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Holiday market at Grand Place, the central square of Brussels. Photo by Eric Francis.

Saddam Hussein Executed, with Half Brother

Saddam Hussein's lawyer has confirmed the hanging. Saddam's half-brother [and enforcer] was also hanged, along with the former Chief Judge of the Revolutionary Court. Reports are that after the execution, witnesses cheered and danced around the body singing Shiia chants.

The White House has attempted to distance itself from this -- but Saddam was housed in the Green Zone, and given over to the Iraqi's for execution this evening. We can't get our fingerprint off of it -- certainly not in the minds of Iraqi's; and the first report, below, shows that our own judiciary had some hand in it as well.

Videotape and still photos will be released shortly but, to correct the first report, haven't been shown yet; this is being judged necessary in order for Iraqi's to believe it. CNN will show some clips with warnings to viewers.

Iraqi ex-pat's in America are celebrating; and there are reports of celebratory gunfire, undoubtedly Shiite, in the Iraqi Capital. Anderson Cooper is discussing the difficulty of know what is celebratory and what is hostile gunfire now -- and that's a judgment call I wouldn't want to have to make.

Judith Gayle
News Editor, Planet Waves


Iraqi TV says Saddam Hussein executed
13 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein, the shotgun-waving dictator who ruled Iraq with a remorseless brutality for a quarter-century and was driven from power by a U.S.-led war that left his country in shambles, was taken to the gallows and executed Saturday, Iraqi state-run television reported.

"Criminal Saddam was hanged to death," Iraqiya television said in an announcement. The station played patriotic music and showed images of national monuments and other landmarks.

It was a grim end for the 69-year-old leader who had vexed three U.S. presidents.

Despite his ouster, Washington, its allies and the new Iraqi leaders remain mired in a fight to quell a stubborn insurgency by Saddam loyalists and a vicious sectarian conflict.

A U.S. judge on Friday refused to stop Saddam's execution, rejecting a last-minute court challenge.

The execution came 56 days after a court convicted Saddam and sentenced him to death for his role in the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims from a town where assassins tried to kill the dictator in 1982. Iraq's highest court rejected Saddam's appeal Monday and ordered him executed within 30 days. ++

What's right and good doesn't come naturally. You have to stand up and fight for it - as if the cause depends on you, because it does.  Allow yourself that conceit - to believe that the flame of Democracy will never go out as long as there's one candle in your hand.
~ Bill Moyers

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