***scroll for updates…1147am Fox News reporting hand-over of Saddam from US troops to Iraqis has taken place…1245pm Saddam’s lawyer Najeeb al Nauimi tells FNC that Saddam “will be smiling” when he’s brought to the gallows…more on the hand-over….1:20pm Eastern Now, FNC reporting that James Rosen’s administration sources say Hussein is still in US custody…230pm Eastern…Muslims protest to save Saddam…Mohammed at Iraq the Model is liveblogging…247pm Eastern FNC reporting again that Hussein has been handed over to Iraqi authorities…***
Bill Ardolino, on his way to Iraq for his first embed tour, visited Kuwait’s “Not to Forget” Museum–a “timely place to be,” Bill notes, as Saddam Hussein’s date with the noose approaches.
The victims of Saddam’s atrocities deserve not to be forgotten.
Allah Pundit: “[D]on’t be surprised if there’s big breaking news this afternoon a little after 4 p.m. eastern time.”
Bob Owens hears the same.
Jules Crittenden, who reported from Kuwait and Iraq in 2003, reflects on Saddam’s impending execution:
It’s an odd thing, to be in your 40s, and yet to feel as though you’ve only just been born. Into this world of war. Saddam means a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, Saddam will always be tied to that kid in the ditch among the date palms at al-Hindiyah. A young soldier with a bullet through the side of his face, his eyes open, staring at nothing.
They were Tikritis, the Nebuchadnazzer Division of the Republican Guard, and they died for Saddam. Saddam didn’t have the decency to die for them, when he crawled out of his hole in December 2003, proclaiming himself the President of Iraq.
USA Today’s blogger Mark Memmott rounds-up MSM speculation on the execution.
Rick Moran calls for treating this historic moment with gravity and sobriety:
I wish I could believe that hanging Saddam will make other tyrants pause and clean up their acts, hoping to avoid suffering a similar fate. But you and I know that is wishful thinking. What is more probable is that the dictators will redouble their efforts to stifle opposition thinking it will guarantee their security – at least from their own people.
But in the end, whether it’s having your neck snapped by a taut rope or dying peacefully in your bed, the criminal oppressors who cause so much human misery and suffering will all come face to face with their own mortality. And I have to believe that as the curtain rings down on their existence, the cold hand of fear will grip their failing heart as they contemplate an eternity that may include torments far surpassing those they meted out during their useless, failed existence on this planet.
The New York Times, decrying the “rush” to execution, wants the Mumia abu Jamal treatment for Saddam. Ed Morrissey puzzles over the editorial. Daniel Freedman listens to the Times’ broken record player.
Jesse Jackson is also shedding tears for Saddam.
Who will air the Saddam execution video?
The timing of Saddam’s date with the gallows was unclear, but late Thursday CBS, NBC and Fox News Channel reported that the former dictator, convicted this year in the deaths of 148 people in 1982, would be turned over by the American military to the Iraqi government within 36 hours and hanged before the start of a Muslim holiday on Sunday.
Several sources said Saddam’s execution would be videotaped by the Iraqi government, though it wasn’t clear whether it would be released to the public or broadcast.
“We will video everything,” Iraqi National Security adviser Mouffak al Rubaie told CBS News.
Judging by the Iraqi government’s release Tuesday of videotape of the hanging of 13 convicts, it could be a gruesome affair. Meetings were held Thursday in at least two network headquarters over how to handle the potentially graphic images.
ABC and CBS said they wouldn’t air the full execution if the video became available.
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