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Re: [casi] By the beard of the Manical Dictator - querying the Saddam captured images.

At 03:09 AM 12/19/03, you wrote:
>Dear all
>The photographs Tom is referring to are worth looking at. It seems to me
>quite clear that Tom is right about this. The moustache in the one on the
>left is not the same as the moustache on the one on the right. Yet the
>background is the same. I've no idea what this can possibly mean.
> > Clearly it is nothing of the kind.  To my mind the two pictures are
> reasonably
> > obviously of different people, but I guess that is debatable so it is
> not what
> > I want to focus on.

Having done a few portrait drawings from photos, I have experienced how
difficult it can be to properly interpret phots, especially different
angles and lighting. The photos really tell nothing -- they could be real,
doctored, or manufactured on a computer entirely.

The issue comes down to only several possibilities, however. Either they
have him or they don't. If they do, the photos are inconsequntial. If they
don't, there are two possibilities, Saddam is either alive or dead. If he
is alive, and free, then he could turn up at any time and that would
present a great risk for the US.

If he is dead, however -- and if the US was somehow assured of that -- then
what are the advantages and disadvantages of pretending to have captured
him? At some point he could not be produced, and some tale of how he died
would be needed, or a very convincing excuse to refuse contact with him by
anyone else. Again, this is risky and likely to casue the US problems. The
only real advantage I can see is to report things he supposed is saying,
and try to use that as evidence of some assertions the US want to make --
but that seems an awfully weak reason to go through all the trouble of
faking a capture and imprisonment. If the US wanted to discourage loyalists
from continuing attacks and dead Saddam would be as good.  That leaves only
one other possibility: that he was captured, but died in US hands, and the
fiction of him still being alive is to quell accusations of ill-treatment.
But then, they could have simply reported that he died from wounds suffered
during the capture, and  it would not matter.

It seems to me that the most likely story by far is he was captured, and is
alive, and the pictures are just lousy pictures.  Of course there could be
conspiracies and lies, but to what purpose? A more likely conspiracy of
lies would be in the timing of the capture and the announcement -- but then
the US would have had control of how and when photos were taken. As it is,
having captured him is a bit of a bag of worms, specifically navigating the
storms of a trial, both reactions to one and what Saddam will likely
testify to -- he may yet suffer a heart attack and such problems would

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