Warning: The following article is graphic in detail. The article describes extreme violence, sexual acts on children, the raping of women and men, and explicit accounts of torture and murder. These actions were not conducted by the men of Saddam Hussein but by Saddam Hussein himself.
In 1975 a British Journalist interviewing Saddam Hussein was asked by an interpreter if he could procure some books on Nazi Germany. The reason Saddam gave forth when asked why he wanted said books, “… as an example of the successful organization of an entire society by the state for the achievement of national goals.”
His name is Shahristani, he is one of the few people to say “No” to Saddam Hussein and still live. This is his story.
In 1979 Saddam Hussein made a surprise visit to the AEC headquarters which was a military complex located South of Baghdad. The inspection was unexpected and the only hint that something major was going down was the sudden arrival of armed Guards and bomb sniffing dogs that invaded the complex. Abdul Razzaq al-Hashimi was then taken aside upon which he was ordered to assemble the top nuclear officials and wait for Saddam Hussein’s arrival.
Shahristani at one time was a remarkable Nuclear Scientist. His specialty was Neutron Activation and he was well renowned for being a man ahead of his time. He had a gentle disposition and was a family man who loved his wife and children. During Bakr’s Presidency the scientist had been hand selected by the President and had done well in his position. Still, Shahristani had never been told what he was working on and had always believed that the project he was working on was for Energy reasons and thus had worked hard towards these means.
Saddam’s arrival came with the arrival of plain clothes officers carrying machine guns. Saddam never went anywhere without an army of bodyguards and on this day it was no exception. Marching in Saddam made his way to the assembled scientists and asked a simple question, “When will you deliver the plutonium for the bomb?”
Shahristani was confused. Though he was charged with the plutonium extraction no one had told him that the plutonium was going to be used for a Nuclear Weapon. “Bomb, we cannot make a bomb. That would be in violation of our treaty obligations.” He said and then tried to explain to Saddam the binding contracts of the nonproliferation treaty.
Saddam at this point is said to have grown angry. He seized the scientist and yelled, “Treaties are a matter for us to deal with. You, as a scientist, should not be troubled by such things.” He then went on to explain to the other scientist that they should be doing their job instead of coming up with excuses. He then turned his head and cocked it indicating to Saddam’s security guards that they should remove Shahristani.
Shahristani was then taken to Mukhabarat where he was told that he had angered the President and that the President wanted to deal with him directly. At which he was led to a room and ushered in. Shahristani’s family had also been arrested and when Shahristani was brought in was shocked to find them sitting across from him. They were ordered not to talk. His boy tried to ask his father a question which resulted in two guards entering. They beat the boy unconscious. When both Shahristani and his wife tried to intervene they tied them up and using rubber hoses with rocks beat them on and off till Saddam’s arrival.
When Saddam arrived he walked up to the boy, stroked his hair, and asked him if he wanted some milk. This was a favorite line of Saddam’s that he would use frequently on his younger victims. Turning away he pulled a handgun and holding the gun to the boy’s temple pulled the trigger. The boy was immediately killed.
Once the boy had been taken away Saddam Hussein turned his attention to the seven year old girl. In front of both the wife and her father he raped her repeatedly. He then ordered a guard to bring in an electrical device that had a probe on one end in which he inserted into the girl and shocked her for hours. At times laughing and at one point pulled out a cigar, lit it, and began burning her on the legs and buttocks. When he was done, the guards brought in a carpet, and throwing her down Saddam shot her two times in the chest and once in the head. The guards then rolled her in the carpet, took her to the bank on the River, and left her for the dogs to eat.
Saddam Hussein then turned his attention to the wife. He sodomized her in front of her husband, burning her, and used the electrical probe multiple times till she lost consciousness. He then turned her over to the Guards declaring her a whore to do with as they wished.
Saddam beat the scientist till exhausted, taking acid he poured it over the scientist head, and then using a knife cut off most of his fingers. At leaving Saddam ordered the guards to torture Shahristani for two more days and then with contempt began chuckling at the words “brilliant scientist”.
The guard interviewed went on to say how Saddam liked children and would often use the phrase, “Do you want some milk?” before beginning his ritual. He would often bring in the families of those he disliked and would kill them in front of the person he tortured. He took joy in killing those that were intelligent and well educated. Often times the wives and children would be left on the banks of the river with instructions that they were not to be buried.
The nuclear reactor was French supplied. It was brokered in a deal for 3 billion dollars. Though the treaty was supposed to be honored the French helped in teaching the scientist in extracting Nuclear Weapon Plutonium. The Reactor was named Osirak and in a French way of having fun began to rhyme it with the Prime Minister’s name, O’Chirac.