- How the U.S. stole $30 million from Saddam's chief money
mover and then beat him to death. In one of the worst intelligence fiascoes
carried out by the neo-con administration of Iraq under Paul "Jerry'
Bremer, Saddam Hussein's chief money mover and financial adviser was beaten
to death by US interrogators in Tikrit after the U.S. invasion. Sa'ad Hassan
Ali, also known as Abu Seger, was the spitting image of Robert Young, the
late white-haired actor who played Dr. Marcus Welby. Seger had other close
connections to Saddam. Abu Seger's daughter, an engineer, designed and
built Saddam's 50 palaces throughout Iraq.
- As Saddam's chief financial adviser and money mover,
Abu Seger, a man who was fluent in American-style English, knew where all
the "financial skeletons" were buried -- details of Halliburton's
involvement with the UN's Oil-for-Food program, the purchase by Iraq of
VX nerve gas and other WMD components from US and British sources in the
1980s, and various counter-intelligence operations run by Saddam against
the United States and Britain. Abu Seger was also one of Saddam's trusted
counter-intelligence agents. It was Seger who Saddam sent to investigate
the Iraqi Communist Party. Seger's western intelligence contacts must have
given a green light to his determination that the Iraqi Communists were
tied closely to Moscow -- intelligence that cued Saddam to wipe out the
Iraqi Communists in 1985 -- during the height of American and Saudi support
for the anti-communist Afghan mujaheddin, Nicaraguan contras, and UNITA
guerrillas in Angola.
- After Samara was occupied by US forces, it was discovered
that Abu Seger lived in a home on the Tigris River just 200 yards from
the main U.S. military position in the city. It did not take long for U.S.
troops to break down Seger's door and haul him off to a detention center.
Seger's wife Sada, an English teacher, and U.S. military intelligence officers
were witnesses to what soon transpired.
- U.S. forces discovered $30 million in plastic garbage
bags in an armoire in Seger's bedroom. Contained in the bags was $14 million
in US currency, $28 million in convertible Iraqi dinars,and $12 million
in euros. Although the money was counted, signed for by two U.S. military
witnesses,and transported to U.S. military headquarters in Samara, it was
never seen again. A knowledgeable source present at the time revealed that
the $30 million was stolen by U.S. authorities in Iraq.
- What happened to the $30 million stolen by the US from
Saddam's chief financial adviser in Samara?
- Although Sada did not put up much of a fuss about the
taking of the money, she did object when U.S. forces tried to take photos
of her family members with Saddam.
- Abu Seger, who suffered from high blood pressure, was
taken to US military headquarters in Samara without his medication and
a dangerous blood pressure reading of 210 over 180. One of the U.S. interrogators
who had a pathological hatred for Arabs and Muslims was permitted to interrogate
Seger. He beat Seger repeatedly. Although many U.S. intelligence agents
viewed Seger as a valuable recruitment target, it was clear that he was
a marked man for other U.S. military and contractor personnel with another
agenda and another chain-of-command.
- Seger knew too much about Iraq's past dealings with the
Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2 administrations. Seger was quickly ordered transferred
from Samara to Saddam's black marble palace in Tikrit. In Tikrit, against
the direct orders from a U.S. military intelligence team, Seger was placed
in the same room with one of the most feared men in Iraq -- Saddam's lead
international assassin. That bit of psychological warfare was obviously
meant to increase Seger's blood pressure to the point his death could be
attributed to "natural causes." It took several contentious meetings
to get the assassin removed from the detention room. Soon, Sada was permitted
to deliver blood pressure medicine to her husband. The trip from Samara
to Tikrit would be for naught. Suffering from the repeated beatings by
U.S. torturers, Seger died in captivity the day after Sada delivered her
husband's blood pressure medicine to the black marble palace in Tikrit.
- However, Seger left one important legacy that will haunt
the United States for years to come. Seger's daughter, the engineer who
built Saddam's palaces, managed to gain control of the $9 billion that
Saddam's son-in-law, Kamal Hussein, managed to spirit out of Iraq when
he defected to Jordan. Mademoiselle Seger, a woman about 35 years of age,
is now in charge of funding the Iraq insurgency with a bankroll that could
be as high as $12 billion. The money is funneled into the Sunni Triangle
from banks in Western Europe. Most of the money went to Izzat Ibrahim al
Douri, Saddam's one-time confidante who became leader of the Iraqi resistance.
However, since his recent death from leukemia, the money for the resistance
will be filtered to other resistance leaders in the field. And Mlle. Seger's
importance to the resistance will certainly increase. As if out of a John
Le Carre novel, much of the money is actually laundered through a barber
shop on Baghdad's Haifa Street, an area that is considered so dangerous
for U.S. occupiers that it is an official "no go zone."