Saddam Hussein, the dictator who ruled Iraq until his regime was overthrown in the U.S.-led 2003 invasion, was executed in Baghdad by hanging on December 30, 2006. Saddam had been found guilty for the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims in 1982 and an Iraqi court sentenced Saddam to death on November 5, 2006. 
Prior to his invasion of Kuwait, however, Hussein had a long history of often-friendly ties to the United States. He was reported captured by U.S. forces on December 14, 2003.
"While many have thought that Saddam first became involved with U.S. intelligence agencies at the start of the September 1980 Iran-Iraq war, his first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim," reported Richard Sale of United Press International. "U.S. intelligence services ... used him as their instrument for more than 40 years." 
For more on the U.S.-Saddam Hussein relationship, see "Missing U.S. Iraq History" by Robert Parry, a reprint of his February 23, 2003, article published before the invasion of Iraq began. Says Parry, "Before George W. Bush gives the final order to invade Iraq--a nation that has not threatened the United States--the American people might want a few facts about the real history of U.S.-Iraq relations. Missing chapters from 1980 to the present would be crucial in judging Bush's case for war."
For a chronology of events in Saddam Hussein's life, see article by Stephen R. Shalom, December 15, 2003, on Znet.
Saddam Hussein was hung at dawn December 30, 2006, for crimes against humanity, which was "a dramatic, violent end for a leader who ruled Iraq by fear for three decades before he was toppled by a U.S. invasion four years ago," Mariam Karouny reported for Reuters.
Reaction: Executed during Eid
Eid Al Adha is when "millions of Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca." 
"It's official," River of Baghdad Burning blog commented December 31, 2006. Nouri al-Maliki "and his people are psychopaths. This really is a new low. It's outrageous—an execution during Eid. Muslims all over the world (with the exception of Iran) are outraged. Eid is a time of peace, of putting aside quarrels and anger—at least for the duration of Eid.
"This does not bode well for the coming year. No one imagined the madmen would actually do it during a religious holiday. It is religiously unacceptable and before, it was constitutionally illegal." 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002
- capture of Saddam Hussein
- capture of Saddam Hussein backlash
- Iraq's covert arms procurement network
- The alleged linkage of Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction
- trial of Saddam Hussein
- weapons of mass destruction
- weapons of mass destruction investigation
- Murray Waas,"Official Who Lobbied for Saddam Donated Heavily to GOP Committees" Huffington Post, Oct. 31, 2008.
- John F. Burns and Marc Santora, "Rush to Hang Hussein Was Questioned," New York Times, January 1, 2007.
- Joe Sudbay, "Cell phone turned Saddam's execution in to a public spectacle -- and the angry fallout builds," AMERICAblog, January 1, 2007.
- Joe Sudbay, "The U.S. was for the Saddam execution before we were against it," AMERICAblog, January 2, 2007.
- Robert Scheer, "A Monster of Our Creation," Truthdig, January 2, 2007.
- Tony Karon, "Why Saddam's Execution Clouds Bush's Iraq Plan/ Viewpoint: Whether or not more troops are sent, the circumstances of Saddam's hanging are a stark reminder that the U.S. may lack an Iraqi partner for its strategy," TIME Magazine, January 3, 2007. re McCain doctrine
- Robert Dreyfuss, "Saddam's Polarizing Death. The Nation: Dictator's Execution Will Push Sunnis And Shiites Further Apart," The Nation (CBS News), January 3, 2007; TomPaine.com.
- Joshua Partlow, "Official Held in Hussein Video Probe," Washington Post, January 3, 2007.
- "U.S. Military Transported Saddam To and From His Execution," The Constant American Blogspot, January 3, 2007. Transcript: "Major General William Caldwell, spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq, talked to media in the Green Zone on Jan. 3, including comments about Saddam Hussein’s hanging."
- John Aravosis, "Uh, there were obviously two videos of Saddam's hanging, not one," AMERICAblog, January 3, 2007.
- John Aravosis, "Why is Bush more worried about the legal rights of Arab dictators than innocent Americans?" AMERICAblog, January 3, 2007.
- John Aravosis, "Bush 'wrote' an op ed in today's Wall Street Journal," AMERICAblog, January 3, 2007.
- "U.S. Wants To Focus On Saddam, Not Hanging. White House Talks Up 'Justice' Of Sentence, Not Execution Missteps," CBS News/Associated Press, January 3, 2007.
- Will Bunch, "UPDATED: The long strange trip of 'Mow Baker': From spokesman for anti-U.S. terrorists to our man in Saddam's death chamber," Attytood, January 3, 2007. re Mowaffak al-Rubaie
- Joe Sudbay, "George Bush's Iraq: 'We've substituted one dictatorship for another'," AMERICAblog, January 7, 2007. re Nouri al-Maliki
- Qassim Abdul-Zahra, "New Video of Saddam's Corpse on Internet. New video showing Saddam's corpse shortly after hanging posted on Internet," Associated Press (CBS News), January 9, 2007.
- Paul Krugman, "Yes He Would," New York Times, April 10, 2006.
- Murray Waas,"Rove-Novak Call Was Concern to Leak Investigators," National Journal, May 25, 2006.
- Mariam Karouny, "Saddam Hussein hanged, says Al Hurra TV station," Reuters, December 29, 2006; Washington Post, December 30, 2006.
- "Hussein executed with 'fear in his face'," CNN, December 30, 2006.
- Obituary: Saddam Hussein, BBC, December 30, 2006.
- "Saddam not hanged 'for revenge'," BBC, December 31, 2006.
- "Video shows taunts at execution" and "Saddam's Last Moments," BBC, December 31, 2006.
- "'NY Times' Only Major Paper to Show Dead Saddam on Front Page," Editor & Publisher, December 31, 2006.
- Peter Baker, "Hussein and the Bushes: Conflicts Shaped Two Presidencies. U.S., Iraq Continue to Experience Aftereffects of Their Confrontations," Washington Post, December 31, 2006.
- Murray Waas, "The Meeting," The American Prospct (CBSnews.com), August 8, 2005, and via original article
- Murray Waas, "Cheney, Lobby Blocked Papers to Senate Intelligence Committee" National Journal, Oct. 27, 2005
- Murray Waas, "Key Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel," National Journal, November 30, 2005.
- Ian Douglas, "Why Saddam is important. The trial of Saddam Hussein is the lynchpin of America's bid for global hegemony and the verdict is already in: America loses," Al-Ahram Weekly, December 15-21, 2005.
- Robert Parry, "Missing U.S.-Iraq History, ConsortiumNews, February 27, 2003: "Before George W. Bush gives the final order to invade Iraq -- a nation that has not threatened the United States -- the American people might want a few facts about the real history of U.S.-Iraq relations. Missing chapters from 1980 to the present would be crucial in judging Bush's case for war."
- Erik P. Sorenson, "Gore Speech Reveals Saddam was a Bush Sr. Made Man," Republicons.org, March 14, 2003: "In 1992 during the heated campaign for the Whitehouse the mantra for the Bill Clinton/Al Gore team was "it's the economy, stupid", but the assault on (George Herbert Walker Bush) the elder could just have easily been targeted toward his administration's duplicity on Iraq. In September 1992 Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Al Gore addressed the Center for International Policy and articulated a comprehensive dissertation on the inconsistencies, fabrications and collaboration between the Ronald Reagan/Bush I administrations and Saddam Hussein."
- Robert Scheer, "We Got Him ... Now What?" AlterNet, December 16, 2003.
- Bill C. Davis, "Saddamania," Common Dreams, December 16, 2003.
- Jim Lobe, "Rumsfeld and his 'old friend' Saddam," Asia Times, December 17, 2003: "How much more of this intimate relationship Saddam will recall when he gets a public forum is undoubtedly a concern of many current and past administration figures."
- Robert Fisk, "Saddam Hussein, Like Adolf Hitler, Will Live on for Millions of People," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 17, 2003.
- Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, "Dubious Link Between Atta and Saddam. A document tying the Iraqi leader with the 9/11 terrorist is probably fake," Newsweek (MSNBC), December 17, 2003: "A widely publicized Iraqi document that purports to show that September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta visited Baghdad in the summer of 2001 is probably a fabrication that is contradicted by U.S. law-enforcement records showing Atta was staying at cheap motels and apartments in the United States when the trip presumably would have taken place, according to U.S. law enforcement officials and FBI documents."
- Pepe Escobar, "The Rat Trap, Part 1: How Saddam may still nail Bush," Asia Times, December 19, 2003.
- Dana Priest, "Rumsfeld was told to placate Saddam," Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), December 20, 2003: "Donald Rumsfeld went to Baghdad in March 1984 with instructions to deliver a private message about weapons of mass destruction: that the United States' public criticism of Iraq for using chemical weapons would not derail Washington's attempts to forge a better relationship, according to newly declassified documents."
- "Video Clip of 'When Donald met Saddam'," Information Clearinghouse, December 23, 2003. Requires Windows Media Player.
- Dale Steinreich, "A Pox on Fox: Latest Lies From Fox News," Antiwar.com, December 29, 2003: "While the capture of Saddam Hussein has so far meant little in terms of stemming the violence in Iraq, it has certainly emboldened the Fox News Channel (FNC) to curiously trumpet the capture as ex post validation of the coalition's invasion. Since Sunday December 14, FNC has been almost one continuous Saddamathon with the now-famous footage of the latex-gloved frisker searching Saddam triumphantly showing on the channel almost every hour on the hour."
- Russ W. Baker, "IRAQGATE. The Big One That (Almost) Got Away. Who Chased it -- and Who Didn't," Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 1993: "ABC News Nightline opened last June 9 with words to make the heart stop. 'It is becoming increasingly clear,' said a grave Ted Koppel, 'that George Bush, operating largely behind the scenes throughout the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence, and military help that built Saddam's Iraq into the aggressive power that the United States ultimately had to destroy.'"
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Bush Had Long History of Support Iraq Aid," Los Angeles Times, Feb. 24, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "U.S.Loans Indirectly Financed Iraq Military," Los Angeles Times, Feb. 25, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "U.S. Knew Arms Sales Broke Law, Pell Charges," Los Angeles Times, March 7, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "U.S. Gave Intelligence Information to Iraq Three Months Before Invasion," Los Angeles Times, March 10, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Abuses in U.S. Aid to Iraqis Ignored: Bush Administration Pushed Trhough $1 Billion More in Assistance Despite Efforts of Kickbakcs and Evidence That Food May Have Been Traded for Arms," Los Angeles Times, March 22, 1992.
- Norman Kempster and Murray Waas, "U.S. Paying Off Bad Iraqi Loan," Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Saudi Arms Link to Iraq Allowed," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Italian Report Suggests U.S. Knew of Bank's Loans to Iraq," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1992.
- Dean Baquet, "Documents Charge Iraqis Made Swap: U.S. Food for Arms," New York Times, April 27, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Bush Tied to `86 Bid To Give Iraq Military Advice," Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas,"Bush Officials Defend Prewar Aid to Iraq," Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Officials Investigating Whether U.S. Loans Helped Iraq Buy Arms," Los Angeles Times, May 30, 1992.
- Elaine Sciolino, "U.S. Reports A Stronger Saddam Hussein," New York Times, June 16, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Testimony on Iraq Export List is Contradicted," Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Special Counsel Sought to Probe U.S. Aid to Iraq,"Los Angeles Times, July 10, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Administration Perferred `Iraq Papers Get Under Wraps," Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Iraq Got U.S. Technology After CIA Warned Baker," Los Angeles Times, July 22, 1992.
- Elaine Sciolino, "Arming Iraq: The Ohio Connection," New York Times, July 28, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "CIA Told White House of Iraqi Arms Exports," Los Angeles Times, August 6, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Iraqi Used American-Built Plant to Develop A-Arms," Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "New Documents Show U.S. Helping Iraq Loans," Los Angeles Times, Sept. 4, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Kuwait, Saudis Supnplied Iraq With U.S. Arms," Los Angeles Times, Sept. 12, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Jordan Gave Iraq Broad Military Assistance," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 9, 1992.
- Index of Articles, ""U.S. Military Aid to Iraq," Los Angeles Times, 1992-1994.
- Index of Articles, "U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Iraq," Los Angeles Times.