The Lebanese-born George Piro, one of the few FBI agents who speaks Arabic and who debriefed Saddam Hussein following his capture in December 2003, was interviewed Sunday by Scott Pelley on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The FBI interrogator said that, while Saddam said he no longer had active weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in 2003, the dictator admitted that he intended to resume those programs as soon as he possibly could. “The folks that he needed to reconstitute his program are still there….He wanted to pursue all of WMD. So he wanted to reconstitute his entire WMD program,” Piro said. Saddam told Piro that he maintained a pretense of having those weapons mainly to keep Iran at bay. But the key point is Saddam’s admission that an Iraqi WMD program remained a threat so long as Saddam remained in power.
In another telling moment in the “60 Minutes” interview, Mr. Piro relates that when he asked Saddam about his use of chemical weapons against Kurdish civilians, the dictator acknowledged that he had given the orders personally and explained himself in a word: “Necessary.” The same still goes for getting rid of Saddam.