Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein
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Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein


In December 2003, after one of the largest, most aggressive manhunts in history, US military forces captured Iraqi president Saddam Hussein near his hometown of Tikrit. Beset by body-double rumors and false alarms during a nine-month search, the Bush administration needed positive identification of the prisoner before it could make the announcement that would rocket around the world.

At the time, John Nixon was a senior CIA leadership analyst who had spent years studying the Iraqi dictator. Called upon to make the official ID, Nixon looked for telltale scars and tribal tattoos and asked Hussein a list of questions only he could answer. The man was indeed Saddam Hussein, but as Nixon learned in the ensuing weeks, both he and America had greatly misunderstood just who Saddam Hussein really was.

Debriefing the President presents an astounding, candid portrait of one of our era’s most notorious strongmen. Nixon, the first man to conduct a prolonged interrogation of Hussein after his capture, offers expert insight into the history and mind of America’s most enigmatic enemy. After years of parsing Hussein’s leadership from afar, Nixon faithfully recounts his debriefing sessions and subsequently strips away the mythology surrounding an equally brutal and complex man. His account is not an apology, but a sobering examination of how preconceived ideas led Washington policymakers—and the Bush White House—astray. Unflinching and unprecedented, Debriefing the President exposes a fundamental misreading of one of the modern world’s most central figures and presents a new narrative that boldly counters the received account.

Title:Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:272 pages

    Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein Reviews

  • Keith CARTER
    Jan 13, 2017

    Excellent read, this book really opened my eyes regarding the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces. Nixon was one of the first of many agents of the CIA to debrief Saddam and although the man was a mo...

  • Chris Lawson
    Dec 22, 2016

    For Years At The CIA, I Lived And Breathed SaddamDEBRIEFING THE PRESIDENT is an informative look into the life of a senior CIA analyst, John Nixon, who happens to also be the one who debriefed Saddam ...

  • Murtaza
    Jan 17, 2017

    Firsthand accounts of historical figures have always been fascinating to me, and this is a particularly captivating recollection by a former CIA officer of his interrogations of Saddam Hussein. John N...

  • Ali
    Jan 19, 2017

    Brief ThoughtsAt first it was hard digesting the book, as the author seemed to normalize Saddam, but as the book progressed it was clear that's not the case - after all I grew up in Kuwait and was 7 d...

  • Thiago S.
    Dec 31, 2016

    Pontos positivos:- As conversas com Bush no salao oval;- Opinioes de Saddam sobre determinados eventos e figuras historicas;- Alguns detalhes surpreendentes sobre o governo de Saddam e traos de sua ...

  • Chuck
    Jan 17, 2017

    4-starsTrust me, you don?t wanna read this. It?s so much easier to believe the blowhards on Fox News. Just forget what the CIA?s top expert on the matter has to say. And just forget the fact tha...

  • Daniel
    Jan 12, 2017

    An illuminating book. While the actual interrogation of Saddam comprises only two-thirds of the book, the reader learns a lot about how CIA analysts work and how they can be pressured by an administra...

  • B.
    Jan 16, 2017

    This is a very good accounting by a ground level CIA analyst. The actual part about interviewing Saddam Hussein is the first 2/3 of the book. The final 1/3 is about the "Seventh Floor" CIA leadership ...

  • Sara
    Jan 16, 2017

    Interesting book by a CIA agent who was the first person to interview Saddam after he was captured and demonstrates that Saddam was very different from how he presented in the press as well as by the ...

  • Todd
    Jan 19, 2017

    This was a very interesting read on what I consider to be one of the biggest governmental blunders to occur in my lifetime. It's amusing to consider that the reason that things seemed to chaotic with ...