Ex-Hussein political adviser claims Iraq accepted Bush's ultimatum before
Hossam Shaltout, a
former political adviser to Saddam Hussein's son, said today that before the
U.S. invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, Saddam expressed his intent to yield to
all American demands, but that the Bush administration refused his offers,
according to a press release on Yahoo News.
Shaltout is a Canadian citizen
who claims he was beaten repeatedly by U.S. officers while in an Iraqi detention
camp, under suspicion of once having been a "right hand man" for Saddam
"Saddam was willing to yield
to all American demands, announced and unannounced, to reach peaceful
resolution," said Shaltout, "but the Bush administration, including Elizabeth
Cheney, undersecretary of State, David Welch, the U.S. ambassador in Egypt, and
Gene Cretz, his political attache, did not respond to his offers."
Shaltout claims that in March
of 2003, just as he was to read the Iraqi government's official reply to the
Bush ultimatum on Al-Jazeera, the broadcast was interrupted and "the plug was
pulled on the transmission." He also maintains that later, when the Americans
arrived in Baghdad, he offered his assistance to U.S. military officials, but
instead was arrested by Marines who went to his hotel suite and took his
Left unmentioned in the press
release are Shaltout's claims that he was tortured and abused during his
In May of 2004, Shaltout told
his story to MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
"I was there to convince
Saddam Hussein to step down, and I was in the last hours working on this peace
agreement," Shaltout said. "And I wanted him to keep the agreement that he
agreed to step down only 15 minutes before the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of this
ultimatum. That was what I was doing there."
Shaltout claimed that he was
beaten and tortured while held in the Iraqi prison in order to extract a false
confession that he was once Hussein's "right-hand man."
"They wanted me to confess
because they found the speech I was going to say and said that I‘m the
speechwriter of Saddam Hussein, which I wasn't," Shaltout said. "And they want
me to confess I am his right-hand man."
The ACLU has a pdf link which
contains Shaltout's written claims to the U.S. Department of the
According to his Web site,
Rights And Freedom International, Shaltout is currently running for President of
Excerpts from Shaltout's press
The disclosure was made
by Hossam Shaltout, a Canadian aerospace engineer, former American pilot, and
founder of the peace organization Rights and Freedom International
(http://www.rightsandfreedom.com), who said that war could have been averted,
but Bush aides blocked his efforts to announce Saddam's decision.
Shaltout said he was planning
to fly from Amman to Baghdad to announce Saddam's decision, but the Royal
Jordanian Airlines officials claimed that the US ordered the flight to leave
five hours earlier causing him to miss the flight, preventing him from
announcing on CNN that Saddam would bow to the Bush ultimatum. Shaltout said he
traveled by road to Baghdad, delaying him almost one day, but raced to get the
communique approved from Saddam to broadcast over international TV stations
broadcasting from Baghdad.
Couple of hours before the
expiration of the Bush ultimatum, Saddam ordered Colonel Amer, his strongman, to
facilitate Shaltout's broadcast of the communique. Colonel Amer ordered Allaa
Mecky, the head of the Iraqi Channel 2 television, to accompany Shaltout and
help him broadcast the communique."
It was very late at night and
CNN in Baghdad was closed. So they went to al-Jazeera, and Shaltout told
al-Jazeera Washington correspondent Hafez Almirazy on the air that he had the
Iraqi government's official reply to the Bush ultimatum. Moments after Mirazy
asked him for a brief, the plug was pulled on the transmission. Shaltout has a
copy of that interrupted broadcast.
Shaltout said that when the
Americans arrived in Baghdad, he offered his assistance to U.S. military
officials. Instead he was arrested by Marines who went to his hotel suite taking
his documents. Shaltout has the videotape of his arrest, and several supporting