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The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein began shortly after his December 2003 capture, while the deposed President of Iraq was held at the United States Camp Cropper detention facility at Baghdad International Airport. Beginning in February 2004, the interrogation program, codenamed Operation Desert Spider, was controlled by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. Standard FBI FD-302 forms filed at the time were declassified and released in 2009 under a U.S. Freedom of Information Act request filed by the National Security Archive. Saddam, identified as "High Value Detainee #1" in the documents, was the subject of 20 "formal interviews" followed by five "casual conversations." Questioning covered the span of Saddam's political career, from 2003 when he was found hiding in a "spider hole"

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  • Interrogation of Saddam Hussein
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  • The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein began shortly after his December 2003 capture, while the deposed President of Iraq was held at the United States Camp Cropper detention facility at Baghdad International Airport. Beginning in February 2004, the interrogation program, codenamed Operation Desert Spider, was controlled by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. Standard FBI FD-302 forms filed at the time were declassified and released in 2009 under a U.S. Freedom of Information Act request filed by the National Security Archive. Saddam, identified as "High Value Detainee #1" in the documents, was the subject of 20 "formal interviews" followed by five "casual conversations." Questioning covered the span of Saddam's political career, from 2003 when he was found hiding in a "spider hole"
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  • The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein began shortly after his December 2003 capture, while the deposed President of Iraq was held at the United States Camp Cropper detention facility at Baghdad International Airport. Beginning in February 2004, the interrogation program, codenamed Operation Desert Spider, was controlled by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. Standard FBI FD-302 forms filed at the time were declassified and released in 2009 under a U.S. Freedom of Information Act request filed by the National Security Archive. Saddam, identified as "High Value Detainee #1" in the documents, was the subject of 20 "formal interviews" followed by five "casual conversations." Questioning covered the span of Saddam's political career, from 2003 when he was found hiding in a "spider hole" on a farm near his home town of Tikrit, back to his role in a failed 1959 coup attempt in Iraq, after which he had taken refuge in the very same place, one report noted. Detailed questioning covered the Iran–Iraq War and his use of chemical weapons against Iranians. Saddam denied repeated assertions by his interrogator of a current weapons of mass destruction capability in Iraq, yet had resisted U.N. weapons inspections because he "was more concerned about Iran discovering Iraq’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities than the repercussions of the United States for his refusal to allow U.N. inspectors back into Iraq," according to the reports. The former leader reportedly maintained that he did not collaborate with Al-Qaeda, as had been suggested by George W. Bush administration officials in support of its policy of regime change in Iraq. Saddam said he feared Al-Qaeda would have turned on him, and was quoted calling Osama bin Laden a "zealot." The face-to-face sessions were conducted by Lebanese American George Piro, an FBI supervisory special agent (SSA), one of only a few FBI agents who spoke Arabic fluently. Saddam was led to believe that his interrogator was a high-ranking U.S. government official with direct access to U.S. President George W. Bush, when in reality he was in a relatively low-level position at the time.Piro discussed the interrogation process during an interview on the television news magazine 60 Minutes in January 2008.In an official statement, a senior FBI official in Piro’s chain of command characterized the perceived success of their interrogation of Saddam Hussein as one of the agency's top accomplishments in its 100-year history.
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