Saddam to Commanders: Wait, Do We Have WMDs?
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 2:55 PM CST
Captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction, but America made such a strong case that even the Iraqi leader himself had doubts, the Washington Post reports. Saddam, apparently in awe of US intelligence, asked his top commanders if the nation had stashes even he didn't know about. So says a new book by a CIA investigator, which also notes that Vladimir Putin tried to get Saddam to step down in 2003 to avert a US invasion.

Hide and Seek, by Charles Duelfer, also doles out blame over US bumbling. Duelfer gave the CIA a list of Iraqis who could help stabilize the country post-invasion, which was instead used to target and harass the individuals. More tantalizing: Details on Saddam's last days in prison, where he wrote poems, flirted with US nurses, asked for a firing squad instead of a noose, and pledged to restart Iraq's nuclear program.