(2005-04-13): “In a south-city Saint Louis Bread Co., a young auto mechanic named Samir puts down his coffee long enough to carefully eye the other patrons. Assured no one is paying him any mind, he lowers his voice to a guttural whisper, fidgets with the zipper on his black tracksuit and rubs his grease-stained fingers along a finely manicured goatee. Then, in a syncopated rhythm of street slang and accented English, he transports himself back in time to a bitter-cold December night in Iraq.
It had to have been the most sublime moment of his life. Samir tells how he arrived in Tikrit as an Arabic interpreter for United States Special Forces in late 2003, how he peered into a hidden bunker and heard a voice begging for mercy, how he reached into the darkness and pulled out Saddam Hussein.
‘I was so angry,’ says Samir, who immigrated to St. Louis eleven years ago after fleeing Iraq. ‘I began cussing at him, calling him a motherfucker, a son-of-a-bitch — you name it. I told him I was Shiite from the south and was part of the revolution against him in 1991. I said he murdered my uncles and cousins. He imprisoned my father.
‘All these years of anger, I couldn’t stop. I tried to say the worst things I could. I told him if he were a real man he would have killed himself. I asked him: ‘Why are you living in that dirty little hole, you bastard? You are a rat. Your father is a rat.”
In Arabic, Saddam told Samir to shut up. And when Saddam called him a traitor, an enraged Samir silenced his prisoner with a flurry of quick jabs to the face.
‘I punched Saddam in the mouth.'”
Samir’s extravagant story is difficult to believe — until he pulls out his laptop computer and rifles through the dozens of photographs he shot that night. There’s the photo of Samir posed next to the bodyguard who will ultimately lead U.S. forces to Saddam. There’s the photo of Samir standing behind the stack of $12 million in U.S. currency seized near Saddam’s hideout. And there’s the most riveting image of all: Samir kneeling behind the bruised and bloodied dictator just minutes after his inglorious capture. More… must read
What’s your reaction to this interview of the interpreter soldier who pulled Sadam Hussein out of his rat hole? His relatives were killed by Saddam… he describes his emotions!