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Update on our Exclusive Editorial Report: "Internet Rumors Fly ... Saddam Was Killed or Wounded by American First Strike !" "scooped the world" early this morning.

There is no doubt that we were the first news service in the world to break the report about Saddam being dead. We posted our exclusive report at 12:18 AM on our mirror site and on our home page. When I awoke this morning I discovered that the major networks were broadcasting essentially the same information that we had posted almost eight hours earlier. They also mentioned that rumors about Saddam's death were being transmitted on the Internet. Perhaps NewsPundit has some readers who are employed by the major televison networks.

The "Saddam" who appeared by the video taped broadcast did not look much like the real Saddam. There are photographs of the Iraqi leader available for people to compare and contrast at their leisure. Draw your own conclusions.

There were at least three international news reports making the similar pronouncements this morning. I quote briefly from all their reports below:

From the Washington Post we learned that the White House had reached "no immediate conclusions" about whether Saddam had been killed by our first strike:

* * * A senior Bush administration official today questioned the authenticity of a videotape showing Saddam Hussein speaking a few hours after the cruise missile strikes that opened the war in Iraq. "We reach no conclusions about who that was or when it was taped or anything like that," the administration official said. "It does not lend itself to immediate conclusions." * * *

The VOA News Service head line this morning was "White House Unclear About Authenticity of Saddam's Address." A brief excerpt from that report:

* * * The White House says it is drawing no conclusions about the authenticity of a television appearance by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein following the launch of the war. * * * A senior Bush administration official said intelligence experts are investigating when the television appearance may have been taped or if it was really Saddam Hussein who delivered the remarks. The Iraqi leader is reported to have used doubles in the past. * * *

From the AP World Report this morning the headline was "Bush Assesses Initial Strikes on Iraq:"

* * * President Bush conferred with his national security adviser early Thursday on the initial strikes against Iraq, as officials tried to determine whether the attack aimed at killing Saddam Hussein had succeeded. * * *

`The president is not going to be a play-by-play commentator on it,'' White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said. ``The president has a long approach to this.'' * * *

More ...

The Drudge Report is saying this morning that "Senior White House officials believe that Saddam may have been killed" by our first strike.

CBS reported this afternoon about Saddam's Iraqi Imposters having had plastic surgery. I quote from that report:

* * * "My initial reaction was, 'Gee. That does not look like him,'" said Jerrald Post, who created the CIA's psychological profile unit and has studied Hussein intensely.

"Either that was a really quite drawn and stressed out, puffy-faced from not getting enough sleep Saddam, or it represented a double," he said. * * *

Rumors Confirmed ...

by a FOX News Report : Saddam May be Either Dead or Very Seriously Wounded ... because he was in the bunker at the time of the attack.

Breaking news tonight ... From the New York Times. (March 21, 2003) I quote an excerpt below:

* * * United States officials said today that they were fairly certain Saddam Hussein and his sons, along with other key leaders, were in the bunker that was a target during the first hours of the attack early Thursday morning in Iraq. But officials said they did not know whether Mr. Hussein and his associates were still alive.

"There are reports that he was wounded, reports that he is dead, reports that he is alive," one official said, referring to Mr. Hussein. "One of those reports is probably right." * * *

Other news reporting agencies have also confirmed the FOX News report. I will be reporting later on Saddam's possible death and the death of one or more of his son(s) who were believed to be hiding with him at the time of the United States first attack. Also news reports confirm that the tip about Saddam's location came from sources inside Iraq and additionally from covert CIA sources on the ground in Iraq. This does note bode well for Saddam or his regime. It appears that he had enemies with access to high very level information. It is also being reported that Saddam may have recorded the video broadast on CNN several days before the attack. Perhaps to protect the Ba-Ath Party in the event of his untimely death.(March 21, 2003)

It is apparent that the Ba-Ath Party would quickly lose control of Iraq if they admitted that Saddam Hussein had been killed by a U.S. first strike. There are mass desertions taking place already from the Iraqi army. Conservative estimates put the number of desertions at "20,000 or more." I believe that the "or more" number is already above 30,000. Our military progress should be applauded.

Iraq has been under the domination of one very evil man for a long time. His personal addiction to brutality, death, torture, and murder of entire families in well known. By all accounts both of his sons are addicted to rape and murder in addition to common, ordinary bloodshed and brutality.

The world will be a better place after Saddam and this Ba-Ath party are beaten militarily and stripped of their power. Iraq will most certainly be a better place for the Iraqis. I strongly support the American effort to disarm Iraq and bring an end to this evil regime. What follows is our original report made early this morning.

Posted by Douglas Oliver on March 20, 2003 at 10:25 AM

Updated Multiple Times on March 20th and 21st. (Most recent update was March 21st at 11:59 PM)

Breaking news in the first hours after the initial strike on Baghdad: The Washington Post reported late tonight the details about a CIA report that it had "a fix a Saddam Hussein" that brought about the cruise missile attack. (March 20, 2003)

About ninety minutes after the attack an Iraqi appeared on televison claiming to be Saddam and read a prepared speech from pages of notes. Rumors are flying that the person reading the written speech was not Saddam Hussein.

Regarding the American first strike, I quote a brief excerpt from the Washington Post report:

* * * Shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday, Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet offered President Bush the prospect -- improbable to the point of fantasy, yet suddenly at hand -- that the war against Iraq might be transformed with its opening shots. The CIA, Tenet said, believed it had a fix on President Saddam Hussein.

Hussein and others in "the most senior levels of the Iraqi leadership," ordinarily among the most elusive of men, had fallen under U.S. surveillance. The intelligence was unforeseen and perishable, presenting what one administration official called "a target of opportunity" that might not come again. Not only did the agency know where Hussein was, Tenet said, but it also believed with "a high probability" that it knew where he would be for hours to come -- cloistered with advisers in a known private residence in southern Baghdad. * * *

When Bush signed the launch order at 6:30 p.m., it had a hastily prepared insert. The first shots would strike through the roof and walls of an anonymous Baghdad home and deep beneath it in hopes of decapitating the Iraqi government in a single blow.

"If you're going to take a shot like this, you're going to take a shot at the top guy," said a government official with knowledge of the sequence of events. "It was a fairly singular strike." * * *

A few hours later it was learned that Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blain had called a top level meeting of his Cabinet to discuss "new developments" in the Iraq war for the early morning of hours of March 20th.

In the meantime, rumors were flying on the Internet that Saddam and his closest military advisors were probably killed in the first strike by U.S. forces.

I find it strange that the reports from Iraq have quieted down after the first strike. There appears to be a total news black out in the media. This independent reporter has no first hand knowledge of the effectiveness of America's first strike on Bagdad. But I hope and pray that the rumors flying on the Internet are true.

Posted by Douglas Oliver on March 20, 2003 at 12:18 AM