Members and visitors to the Mansfield Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday heard from a member of Delta Force. They captured Saddam Hussein hiding in a small underground bunker on his family farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He had fled to the farm after his government was toppled by US and allied forces in 2003.
Retired Sergeant Major Jeremy Morton was a member of the team that captured Hussein. He described his Army career and the capture to the Rotary Club in great detail. He noted that Hussein was taken without a shot being fired. That he was pulled from a small underground bunker.
Morton said a source of information named Mohammad was questioned or Hussein’s location. It was known that Mohammad was a close associate. Morton said, “Through an interpreter we asked him ‘Where is he” and he quickly flipped and told them Hussein was in one of two locations. One was in a farmhouse. He gave us the location.”
Morton described the events leading to the capture, including the assembly of the team, getting the search authorized, and taking the source with them to show the exact location where Hussein was supposed to be hiding. Morton said, “Once we got there the description given by the source did not match the location, so he was asked ‘Where is the bunker?’ and the source indicated under a flower bed.”
“We dug in the flower bed and handles popped up,” said Morton. He described what happened, “We popped the lid. There was a hole, but we could not see Hussein. An interpreter screamed ‘come out’ then someone moved forward. A couple of our guys grabbed him and pulled him out of the hole.”
Morton said, “I looked at him in that moment and said, ‘it’s him!’”
Hussein was captured on December 13, 2003. He was taken back to his palace in Tikrit for questioning. Then he was transported to Bagdad. And the rest is history.
Morton told the group, “Hussein was carrying a pistol tucked into his waist. One member of our group found it and turned it in. That pistol was put in a case, and we all signed the back of it. The pistol was taken to Washington and presented to President George Bush. It stayed in his White House office until he was succeeded by Barak Obama. That pistol in its case is now displayed in the Bush Presidential Library in Dallas.”
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