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

  • Christopher 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 ...

  • Ziad Fahom
    Feb 18, 2017

    "In foreign affairs, the United States is constantly reinventing the wheel by quickly forgetting the lessons learned from the last war. Just as people forget pain, the United States develops a case of...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Farhana
    Feb 09, 2017

    very focused writing. The writer looks into what was it all about USA's invasion in Iraq & whether the effort was worth the cost in blood, treasure & regional stability. It focused on how USA often to...

  • 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...

  • Matthew Trevithick
    Feb 01, 2017

    Interesting, quick read. Mainly happy this book exists at all. The author provides a book that is 3/4 replay of his working to understand Saddam as an analyst and interacting with him in person, and 1...

  • hdgsallen
    May 08, 2017

    This is a really interesting assessment of the Iraq War from the perspective of a CIA analyst. It is not so much about Saddam as it is about Bush. The most interesting dimensions are in how Saddam was...

  • Crisel
    Jan 24, 2017

    Book #5.When Saddam Hussein was captured in Iraq in December of 2003, they needed someone to confirm his identity and that person was John Nixon, an ex-CIA senior analyst. He then became one of the fi...