DEBKAfile – Indications Saddam Was Not in Hiding But a Captive This is a long article, worth reading. Here's only part of it:
1. The length and state of his hair indicated he had not seen a barber or even had a shampoo for several weeks.
2. The wild state of his beard indicated he had not shaved for the same period
3. The hole dug in the floor of a cellar in a farm compound near Tikrit was primitive indeed – 6ft across and 8ft across with minimal sanitary arrangements – a far cry from his opulent palaces.
4. Saddam looked beaten and hungry.
5. Detained trying to escape were two unidentified men. Left with him were two AK-47 assault guns and a pistol, none of which were used.
6. The hole had only one opening. It was not only camouflaged with mud and bricks – it was blocked. He could not have climbed out without someone on the outside removing the covering.
7. And most important, $750,000 in 100-dollar notes were found with him (a pittance for his captors who expected a $25m reward)– but no communications equipment of any kind, whether cell phone or even a carrier pigeon for contacting the outside world.
According to DEBKAfile analysts, these seven anomalies point to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein was not in hiding; he was a prisoner.
After his last audiotaped message was delivered and aired over al Arabiya TV on Sunday November 16, on the occasion of Ramadan, Saddam was seized, possibly with the connivance of his own men, and held in that hole in Adwar for three weeks or more, which would have accounted for his appearance and condition. Meanwhile, his captors bargained for the $25 m prize the Americans promised for information leading to his capture alive or dead. The negotiations were mediated by Jalal Talabani’s Kurdish PUK militia.
These circumstances would explain the ex-ruler’s docility – described by Lt.Gen. Ricardo Sanchez as “resignation” – in the face of his capture by US forces. He must have regarded them as his rescuers and would have greeted them with relief.
From Gen. Sanchez’s evasive answers to questions on the $25m bounty, it may be inferred that the Americans and Kurds took advantage of the negotiations with Saddam’s abductors to move in close and capture him on their own account…
It's an intriguing theory.
As for the capture itself, (1) It's good; (2) It is orthagonal to the justice of invading in the first place; (3) Better now than later; (4) In itself this has almost no medium much less long-term political significance…although if it were to change the casualty rate in Iraq, that might matter.