They say that he died with fear in his eyes but you can’t really tell in this grainy cell phone video:

The deposed leader, 69, shuffled to the gallows about 2pm Melbourne time carrying a copy of the Koran.

Hands bound behind his back and his ankles shackled, he asked guards to loosen his manacles but refused to let authorities cover his head with a black hood.

Then he was led to the trapdoor of the gallows, where, five minutes later, he died in “the blink of an eye”.

Among his last words was a Muslim profession of faith: “There is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet.”

There is an official high-definition version but it still hasn’t been released:

The Iraqi government photographer who filmed this morning’s execution of ex-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein used a Sony High-Definition video camera, according to wire reports.

There was no word when — or if — the execution video would be broadcast in high-def in Iraq and elsewhere. Newsweek reports that the video is 15 minutes long and shows Hussein from “close quarters” during his final moments.

The photographer has commented on the scene.

CNN breaks down the audio:

But a crude cell-phone video leaked less than 24 hours later goes much further — showing bitter exchanges between Hussein and his Shiite guards.

After Hussein offers prayers, the guards shout praise for Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric whose father is believed to have been murdered by Hussein’s regime.

They chant, “Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada!”

Hussein smiles.

“Is this how you show your bravery as men?” he asks.

“Straight to hell,” someone shouts back at him.

“Is this the bravery of Arabs?” Hussein asks.

A sole voice is heard trying to silence the taunts.

“Please, I am begging you not to,” the unknown man says. “The man is being executed.”

Another shout, “Long live Mohammed Baqir Sadr” — referring to Muqtada al-Sadr’s father-in-law and a founder of the Shiite Dawa movement who was executed by the Hussein regime. Dawa is al-Maliki’s party.

The taunts continued, and the trapdoor dropped shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday. Hussein was hanged. (Watch Hussein’s last moments Video)

Immediately after, Shiite witnesses danced around his body, chanting celebratory slogans.

He was buried in Tikrit:

Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was buried Sunday in Awja, near Tikrit, according to a CNN journalist who witnessed the ceremony.

About 100 people, including the governor of Salaheddin, clerics, tribal leaders and relatives attended the event, which took place at 4 a.m. (0100 GMT).

Saddam Hussein’s relatives, including sons Uday and Qusay, are buried in the same cemetery. His sons were killed in a firefight with U.S. forces in 2003.

Iraq’s state-run television network, Al-Iraqiya, reported that the Iraqi government formally handed over Hussein’s body to Sheikh Ali al-Nida, leader of the Bou Nasser tribe, and the governor of Salaheddin. It was transported by the U.S. military.

The body was then taken to Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, north of the capital, where members of the Bou Nasser tribe and clerics prayed over it, said a reporter for CNN who saw the body in Tikrit.

Blogs of War reader Greatcanine emails:

I thought you would like to post this. I put it together from the clandestine cellphone video filmed at the execution. The cellphone recorded flash photography during the post-hanging sequence and Saddam’s face is lit up for a second here and there. The sequence is chilling as it shows Saddam closing his eyes for the last time. I can get you larger files

You can see the image here. Shokk.com has one too.

Update 1/3/2006:
The person who recorded this video has been arrested by the Iraqi government.

Hot Air: I don’t know whose bright idea it was to let three punks in leather jackets and balaclavas take care of business instead of the Iraqi army, but the more I watch it, the more it looks like a hit instead of a state execution.



68 Comments

  1. UNKNOWN

    ISLAM TEACHES PEACE AND LOVE…IM NOT GONA SAY ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT SADDAM OR ANYTHING BAD…BUT I THINK HES PAID 4 WAT HES DONE IN THE PAST…HE READ THE SHAHADA B4 HE DIED…MAY ALLAH GRANT HIM JANNAH (PARADISE)
    AND MAY GOD GUIDE U ALL AMEEN!

  2. Jess

    From my understanding………the US had nothing to do on the decision to hang Saddam- it was the Iraqi Govt. If this information is correct, then all of you who criticize Presdient Bush need to direct your complaints elsewhere.

  3. Jess

    ….also………most people still don’t understand that Muslims in the middle east……just want to kill “Infidels” like their Qu’ran says! They don’t play by the rules. They are trying to hasten the return of the 12th Imam- this is very religious! The US is doing what it can to protect us from becoming victims of “holy war”. This is more moral than political. To me, I take comfort in the fact that Jesus Christ warned us ahead of time in the Bible that there would be people who will kill in the name of God- because they think they are doing God (Allah) a service. BUT Jesus said, “but they do not know the true God”.

  4. A-man

    I think recording a man’s execution is wrong, even if it be the worst man on the planet….its just wrong….a person deserves a decent execution without being taunted and being broadcasted all over the freaking world…..I say Saddam might have deseved an execution….BUT….you dont make a video out of it/….

    Shame of all of humanity for making a man’s execution entertainment….

  5. A-man

    JESS>>>YOUR AN IDIOT>>>A INTOLERANT ASS>>>EVERYONE KNOWS THAT SADDAM DINT HAVE ALLAH’S FAVOR>>>>I AM A SUNNI MUSLIM (SAME AS HIM) AND I DUNT THINK GOD FAVORED HIM>>>>AND STOP PREACHING ABOUT JESUS>>>I”M PRETTY SURE YOUR ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT ACT ALL TOLERANT AND GRANT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM>>>BUT INSIDE YOUR JUST LIKE HITLER>>>YOU WANT TO EXTERMINATE EVERY ONE THAT THINKS DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU>>>>

    AND YEAH MUSLIMS HAVE GONE OFF TRACK FROM THEIR PEACEFUL RELIGION>>>ITS JUST LIKE GERMANY IN WWII>>>A PREDOMINANTLY CHRISTIAN COUNTRY GOING CRAZY KILLING INNOCENT JEWISH PEOPLE FROM WHICH ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE CHRISTIAN ASCENDED FROM AND STARTED THE RELIGION OF CHRISTIANITY….

    YOU HAVE TO REALIZE YOUR VERY DIFFERENT THAN YOUR LORD AND THE MUSLIM PROPHET JESUS WHO PREACHED OF LOVE AND TOLERANCE>>>TOLERANCE BEING THE KEY WORD JESS

    AND ANOTHER MSG TO ANITA>>>STOP SAYING ALL MUSLIMS WANT AMERICA AND ISRAEL TO BE DESTROYED>>>THERE ARE MANY MUSLIMS THAT AREN’T WHAT YOU THINK>>>>ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS>>>>AND CERTAINLY I DUNT WANT TO SEE AMERICA FALL >>>> I BELIEVE EVERY NATION HAS A RITE TO EXIST>>>>

  6. Mark

    It is amazing how many imbeciles out there don’t know the difference between the justice of an execution after a trial, and the genocide and torture perpetrated by the criminal. To cry that we are stooping to Saddam’s level when we execute him is absurd. This is a man who lowered parents feet-first into human meat grinders while their children watched. And some of you have the gall to say we are stooping to Saddam’s level to simply have justice? In order to stoop to Saddam’s level we would have to hang him 300,000 times. We have a long way to go before we get there. Now if that were possible we might have real justice. As it is, I believe that Saddam’s evil is proof-positive that hell actually exists, because if God is just, then eternal hell is the only way justice can ever be served for maniacs like Saddam Hussein. I don’t watch the video to enjoy the death of a human being, but to have at least a small sense of humanity and justice as I contemplate his many innocent victims–and feel a small sense of closure for them. If we have any humanity at all, let us watch the video with our focus not on Saddam, but in memory of his countless victims. Finally, this particular horror is over.

  7. Suliwe Sihlwayi (Democratic South African)

    Jess Jess the Bible is the only truth yes? Yes, well atleast that is what i believe, but if u must understand Jess, the world doesnt operate with that truth, th only truth th world understands is ‘dog eat dog” so if u r gonna have a debate on current affairs yes the bible will help but i think u r being a tad bit naive&ignorant when it comes to your beloved president Bush.PLZ plz do youself a major major favour and watch faranheit 9/11, ull gain a lot of knowledge just from that documentary alone.

  8. Alireza

    This is the true meaning of justice. Even now, Iraqi people are still suffering from the ignorance of his cruel party. Look how they slaughter innocent people every day to say this is a war between Shiite and Sunnis!

    For hundreds of years Shiite and Sunni people have been living together with no fight. Persians and Iraqis have had a very good relationship and lots of families from both countries were married each other with no concern about the border lines.
    But, what is the consequence of Saddam’s rein? More than one million people were dead because of the Iran-Iraq war, thousands of innocent people are suffering from chemical weapons that he used, lots of families have been devastated, the economies of Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait have been ruined…

    No one is happy to see a dead body, but this could remind us to become reunited and love each other in order to make a better future for the whole Middle East region in which no fight and hatred shall exist.

  9. Natalie

    This is all to do with the USA and the UK goverment. Bush and Blair have a lot to answer for. This is all down to them. They are the ones who made us go to war, they say its because of Hussain was an evil dictator and he is going to use wepons of mass destruction to kill us which it toally untrue. A wepons expert from Oxford went to Iraq undercover to look for wepons of mass destruation, but when he came back and said there was nothing out there. Then a few days later he mesteriously went missing after going out for a walk and was found dead. We have gone to war to fight for oil….thats all, and now we are in over our heads because of the sucide bombers.

    I would also like to ask……How can you have a law that says DO NOT MURDER. but then murder yourself. I know what Hussin did was sick, wrong, and totally unforgiveable. I also know that keeping him in prision would cost thousands. BUt i dont see how you can say do not murder, and then muder yourself. Rules like that sould be universal. Two rongs make a right. By having him hung they are just a bad as he was. They themselves have caused pain and suffering, and mudered. Now they are on this level. I think it was wrong, but i totally understand why they had him hung.

  10. Monique

    The video of this hanging is completely horrible. But like many of the people said, he has deserved it. If you pause your media player and move the clip up to exactly 02:26, there is a quick flash that you cannot notice while its playing. If you move the clip to that point, 02:26, its a clear shot of Saddam’s neck literally snapped with his head pointing upwards.

    I stared at this image for a period of time, its rather sad but at the same time, karma definitely haunted Saddam in the end.

  11. Lonnie Edward Dickard

    “Are we fighting a war on terror or aren’t we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001 ?

    Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan , across the Potomac from our nation’s capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania ?

    Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn’t they?

    And I’m supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was “desecrated” when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet?

    Well, I don’t. I don’t care at all.

    I’ll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

    I’ll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia

    I’ll care when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tells the world he is sorry for hacking off Nick Berg’s head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

    I’ll care when the cowardly so-called “insurgents” in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

    I’ll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

    I’ll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

    In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don’t care.

    When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college-hazing incident, rest assured that I don’t care.

    When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank that I don’t care.

    When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed “special” food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being “mishandled,” you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts that I don’t care.

    And oh, by the way, I’ve noticed that sometimes it’s spelled “Koran” and other times “Quran.” Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and —- you guessed it – - I don’t care ! ! ! ! !

    If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your e-mail friends. Sooner or later, it’ll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behavior!

    If you don’t agree, then by all means hit the delete button.

    Should you choose the latter, then please don’t complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great country.

    I am not deleting this, I am sending it on, but only after

    I add:

    –”Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.”

    – Ronald Reagan

    I have another quote that I would like to add AND…….

    I hope you forward this such as I have.

  12. barbara

    i think that saddam got exactly what he had coming i just think that they should have dragged it out for a while so that he could suffer knowing that it was going to take place. he made so many people suffer for their family members lives and he got off way to easy. he should have had a much more tortureous death because once his evil neck snapped he had no suffering like he caused others.

  13. ana

    I think that saddam should of just put to prison eventhough i agree that he put alot of people to suffer no one can judge from right or wrong only god. God knows what he did and it wasnt right but i totally disagree that he got exacuted and what he said was right is this how the men are gonna act with bravery just by hanging him i dont think so well this is just me

  14. mubaarak

    Saddam is a person not supposed to have been killed by the terrorists who proclaim to be world powers, I mean the so-called ‘american government’. His execution on the muslim festival is a very bad thing,and I’m very sure that the stupid man called ‘bush’ would reap the evils of his hand. I must also add here that it is a thing of shame that ‘america’ as they claim to be gigantic can find it difficult to trace out where Osama bin Laden is hiding out.SHAME TO THEM!

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