Ever since the day I arrived here, I’ve wanted to visit Saddam Hussein’s cell. Today, I finally got that chance.
I never really had a reason to go over there until now. About a month ago, a media outlet directly asked our general on camera if they could visit. He said yes and that I would set it up.
I knew where the cell was (which is still classified by the way), but I never actually saw it. I’m a firm believer that in order to talk about something or someplace, you need to see it for yourself first. Otherwise, I’m just a talking head reading bullet points from a piece of paper.
So, a few of us involved in this upcoming media visit took a trip to the cell. I think what amazed me most was the simplicity. His cell was about 12 feet by 10 feet. The only items inside were the toilet/sink and the concrete slab where Saddam kept his mattress. There were two air vents above and a flourescent light between them.
Reports say that Saddam was pleasant to those who guarded him, and they were friendly to him. It is said that he was far from the over-the-top leader his reputation suggested. Although he could still have bouts of “the crazy,” he was really a man resigned to his fate. He was hanged by the Iraqi government on Dec. 30, 2006.
You’ll notice I’m not really smiling in the picture. Whenever I visit a detention facility, I remember that it’s not a happy place by any stretch. No matter what rights and amenities the detainees enjoy, the one thing they don’t have is freedom. I don’t think I should smile and pretend like everything is fun here.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. War is serious business, and not everything is as awesome as it is back home.