"Saddam Hussein, please raise your left hand, the one we will chop off if we find you guilty of crimes too numerous to mention. Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you Allah?"

"I do."

"Mr. Hussein, you have committed many horrendous crimes, including murder, ethnic cleansing and gassing -- and you have 2,300 unpaid traffic tickets in Baghdad. How do you plead?"

"Not guilty."

"How can you say that when the entire world has seen what you did?"

"My sons, Uday and Qusay, did all those things. You know how kids are."

"Didn't you know what they were doing?"

"I was suspicious that they were up to some mischief, but they were my sons, so I thought they would outgrow it."

"There is evidence that you killed a million Kurds. Why?"

"They ticked me off."

"Did you ever use poison gas to do it?"

"I didn't ask any questions. When it comes to genocide, I always leave the decisions up to the generals in the field."

"I would like to ask you how you could build so many palaces on your salary as president."

"I was able to do it through the Food for Peace program. I provided the United Nations with oil in exchange for food. I took kickbacks on each barrel."

"Didn't you feel you were shortchanging your people, who were starving to death?"

"They never complained. If anyone did, we would listen to his story and then shoot him."

"Here's a picture of you firing a rifle on the presidential balcony. Weren't you violating your own anti-gun laws?"

"I had a permit."

"You couldn't have done all the things you are accused of alone. Please tell us the names of those who helped you."

"If I name names, will it help me?"

"It might. We always show leniency toward those who rat on their friends. Now I'm going to show you a deck of cards with war criminals on them. Please pick a card. Who is that?"

"That's Chemical Ali. We called him that as a joke because he loved to gas Kurds. And that is Kamal Mustafa Abdullah, my half-brother. He tortured all my enemies regardless of race, color or profession."

"Take another card."

"That is Barzan Ibrahim Hassan. He is another half-brother and he played ball on the same little league soccer team as I did in Mosul. Would you like me to do card tricks? Take a card, any card, with a war criminal's face on it. Now put it back in the deck. The card you picked is Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime minister. Right?"

"Can I continue the cross-examination? Have you ever heard of the Abu Ghraib prison?"

"I've heard of it, but I have never been there."

"Why not?"

"It had a bad reputation, both before the invasion and after. When I heard we tortured prisoners there, I ordered an investigation, but before I could get a Red Cross report my statue was toppled."

"Mr. Hussein, do you feel that you did anything wrong?"

"If I did, I'm saving it for my book."

(c) 2004,

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