Saddam Hussein hanging video – connecting the dots

The second video (unofficial footage) hit the net a few days ago.
All the media covered one side of the story – probably a soldier was the author, and the movie was probably made with a mobile phone.

Technical facts about the footage:
– the camera had a motion sensor
– the camera had a very good zoom (I estimate at least 5 meters – in the first screen)
– the poor lightening seemed not to be a problem for the phone camera
– the resolution seems to be quite high
– the microphone (supposed to be on a phone) was again very good so the sound is quite clear

Are cell phones common in Iraq?
The media provided us the movie filmed with the phone camera as a natural a probable fact. The penetration of GSM/mobile telephony in the western world is very high. Large percent of the population has a mobile phone.

In Iraq, the situation is quite different. Imagine a population of 26,783,383 (July 2006 est.) with only 574,000 (2004) having mobile cellular devices.
Via CIA factbook: the 2003 war severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq including international connections; USAID is overseeing the repair of switching capability and the construction of mobile and satellite communication facilities.
Repairs to switches and lines destroyed during the 2003 war continue, but sabotage remains a problem; additional switching capacity is improving access; cellular service is available and centered on three regional GSM networks, improving country-wide connectivity.

Must know:
– In Iraq, the mobile phones are quite rare;
– After the war begun, the gsm networks were severely affected (still are) – impossible to communicate;
– The military use only satellite/radio telecommunications;
– During the war the mobile shops were closed and there is no market for mobile phones (it’s quite hard to buy a modern cell in Iraq).

Who is the author?
– For sure it’s not a soldier as the Iraqi guards are not allowed to carry GSM/mobile devices other than the standard equipment;
– It’s not easy to own such a device and not being noticed (a cell is rare in Iraq, a modern cell is an eye catcher);

The author’s profile (as presented to the press):
– soldier
– hi-tech user
– Internet user
– Youtuber (one of the few Iraqi to use the tube)

Another fact to know, Is that there are only 5 internet hosts in Iraq and only 36,000 users (far less than mobile users). In order to use youtube, a broadband connection is necessary in order to see the video streaming. You can imagine how many broadband users are in Iraq.

What happened after the movies were released:
– the violent protests and the attacks were more intense – after the official video (this was not what the US/Iraqi wants)
– everybody saw that Saddam is dead (the US wanted the iraqi insurgents to see this and to acknowledge their leader is dead – this is why the first footage was released)
– everybody saw how Saddam was killed – internet users and western media coverage – this means that the second footage is not popular in Iraq where the government controlls the mass-media and few people have internet acces (the movie was released for the non-iraqi citizens – again, both Iraqi/US had to loose PR points because of this)

So… the million dollar question: who did it?
…I have no idea but it’s interesting to watch that in the United States, some governmental/secret service/army officials are already changed because of this.
Meanwhile, Bush welcomes Chancellor Merkel of Germany to the White House and they make jokes – of course the laughters („No back rubs”) circle the world while their hidden enemies are still there.

A new plan for Iraq will soon begin.

12 Replies to “Saddam Hussein hanging video – connecting the dots”

  1. I think I heard on the BBC some allegations about the author of the video being an Iraqui official. Some prosecutor said it was somebody that taped everything from a point behind his back.

    Your scenario is very interesting. However, a private person might have recorded everything and then somebody else could have taken over the video for some processing and YouTube publication. The simplest explication possible is often the real one, they say.

  2. It is clear that the get a phone, record, post thing is designed from the get go to promote sectarian strife, so two possibilities here: 1) a Shia interested in showing how the Moqtada family got their revenge, and by extension how the whole Shia community got their; 2) a Sunni that aimed to show how the Sunni are threatened and how Saddam died for sectarian reasons and revenge and not because of his dictatorship past…

  3. Unprobable chances he was just a regular soldier, i belive that it was a video put up by the coalition inteligence agencies to prove to tha masses that saddam is really dead, like u said it, hi-tech phones are not available to common soldiers in irak and u can spot some dude filming with his phone. deafinately he was permited to film.

  4. i don’t agree with the statement that the second footage is not popular in iraq – i’ve seen on cnn iraqi kids making cds and dvds with it and selling them on the streets, because the demand is very high

  5. Ideea este urmatoarea: suntem prea mici in lumea asta mare.Si inca o data ni se dovedeste faptul ca mass media este o mare unealta prin care poti influenta masele:

    1. Cum de executia lui Saddam s-a filmat cu un telefon?

    2. De ce in momentul spanzurarii, omul cu telefonul face pipi pe el si imaginea a iesit tremuranda si nu reusim sa vedem mai nimic? doar cateva flashuri mai luminau din cand in cand rest bezna totala.

    3. Cu cateva minute inainte de executie s-au efectuat imagini cu o camera profesionala (doar am vazut la stiri), deci exista o camera la fata locului, inteles…sa spanzuri un om e o multe tari condamna pedeapsa capitala dar nu cred ca iraqienii aia sangerosi nu au filmat executia cu o camera profesioanala, sa aiba ce pune si ei la arhive, vorba existe o marturie! chiar daca o aratau publicului lar doar peste 50 ani…

    Daca vreti sa cititi tot articolul sau sa ma luminati…..o puteti face aici

  6. Morbo, imagine how many dvd players are in Iraq… of course there is a black market for this but the movie didn\’t hit the masses… there are 26 million iraqis…
    But of course, if you seen it on CNN, they can\’t be wrong.

    Alex – the coalition already had an official movie to prove Saddam is dead.
    This second movie was not for the insurgents in Iraq (as it was posted on YouTube) and it shows how Saddam was killed. I would say that there are intelligence officers involved but not from the coalition…

  7. i beg to differ. your scenario is interesting but somewhat far from the reality of everyday life in iraq. mobile phones are very popular in iraq so the execution was also a very big thing amongst phone users. even stores that sell mobile phones sold the movie for a few cents to costumers. after the American invasion there were even dvd’s and cd’s with recordings of fights and executions on the iraq black market. i found this very interesting article on the bbc site and i think you will find that it somehow proves your theory wrong.

  8. well, if there are 100000 things in which you can watch a dvd or a cd (and there are more, it’s iraq, not afghanistan or somalia), multiply that with at least 50 (big families, neighbours, they are pretty social you know).
    and you probably went to iraq and saw the truth, didn’t you?it’s bulgaria, turkey, and there you are, not a big deal

  9. Guys, I said that mass-media will never compare to the dvds sold on the black market. The only way to reach the masses in Irak is through the television and maybe daily newspapers.

    Maybe you’ll have another point of view if you notice that only 40.4% of the mature population know how to read/write (male: 55.9%
    female: 24.4% – 2003 est. CIA World factbook).

    Imagine the low impact of the dvds available on the black market…

  10. Well, there are supposition but are not pathetic. I’m writing a piece on this and I’ve reached some of the conclusions you had above.
    It seems that the video was not recorded on site – it was broadcasted from the room and can be considered a “leak”.

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