Dr. Susmit Kumar

According to a former senior State Department official, 22-year-old Saddam Hussein was part of a U.S. plot to oust Qasim. Saddam was placed in Baghdad in an al-Rashid Street apartment directly opposite Qasim’s office in Iraq’s ministry of defense to observe Qasim’s movements.[1] Adel Darwish, a West Asia expert and author of Unholy Babylon, said the move was done “with full knowledge of the CIA” and that Saddam Hussein’s CIA handler was an Iraqi dentist working for the CIA and Egyptian intelligence. The assassination was set for October 7, 1959, but was botched. One former CIA official said Saddam lost his nerve and fired too soon, killing Qasim’s driver and only wounding Qasim in the shoulder and arm. [2]

Hussein, whose calf had been grazed by a bullet from a fellow assassin, escaped to Tikrit, thanks to CIA and Egyptian intelligence agents. He then crossed into Syria and was transferred by Egyptian intelligence to Beirut. The CIA paid for Saddam Hussein’s Beirut apartment and put him through a brief training course. The CIA then helped him get to Cairo. [3]

Qasim was killed in a Baath Party coup in 1963. According to Roger Morris, former National Security Council staffer in the 1970s, the CIA was behind the coup and it was sanctioned by President Kennedy. Noting that the Baath Party was hunting down Iraqi communists, the CIA provided lists of suspected communists, who were then jailed, interrogated, and summarily shot, according to former U.S. intelligence officials with intimate knowledge of the executions. Many suspected communist were killed outright, these sources said. Saddam Hussein presided over these killings, which took place at Qasr al-Nehayat—literally, the Palace of the End—and became head of the Baath Party’s intelligence apparatus.[4]

1 “How the CIA picked and groomed Saddam Hussein”, Indo-Asian News Service, Washington, April 12, 2003

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

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