Baghdad - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein today told investigators
he is not developing nuclear or biological weapons, but instead has
been doing research for a book on weapons of mass destruction he
hopes to see published next year.
whose palaces were recently searched by the United Nations as part
of an ongoing investigation, said he always been strongly opposed
to such weapons, and believes he was a victim of weapons of mass
destruction during his childhood.
According to inspectors, Hussein denied possessing any fissile or
biochemical materièl, but acknowledged visiting "a handful" of
Internet sites where he could view images of chemical, biological,
and nuclear weapons. In an interview with the British tabloid The
Sun, the dictator also admitted he used a credit card to access
one such site, but "never downloaded any blueprints or bought
any uranium or anything."
The visits, Hussein claims, were part of his research for an upcoming
book, which will include a claim of weapons of mass destruction abuse
when Saddam was between the ages of five and six years old and living
with his maternal grandmother. (The abuse allegedly came from a male
friend of the family, who forced Saddam to expose himself to nerve
The experience is considered an influence in Hussein's classic 1980
show of force in northern Iraq, in which thousands of Kurd boys were
made deaf, dumb, and blind with sarin. But Hussein said that action
was an "awkward but sincere" attempt at shedding light
on weapons abuse, and insisted he should not be viewed as a weaponographer.
"I am angry about ease of access to weapons of mass destruction,
and deeply wounded at the inference that I might be a procuring or
peddling them," he said. "I have looked at weapons sites
maybe three or four times in all, just the front pages and previews.
I have never purchased any weapons of mass destruction or wished
to own any. The truth is, we must try to stop it, but if we can't
do that we should invest our energy in helping victims, such as myself."
Since the allegations came to light, Iraq fans have been poring
over Hussein's novels,
trying to discern whether he has given hints about his apparent obsession.
Several passages have raised red flags, including one in his latest
work, The Fortified Castle, which includes the line, "Rough
boys, under the sheets, I want to infect you with 60cc of anthrax
and kiss you."
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