Sunday, October 09, 2005

Psychic (or Psychotic!) Seeks $25 Million Reward for Saddam's Capture

I....I'm nearly at a loss for words.

A Brazilian court will consider a psychic's claim that the U.S. government owes him a $25 million reward for information he says he provided on the hiding place of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"Jucelino da Luz alleges that the U.S. armed forces only found Saddam based on his letters that provided his exact location, the very hole where he was hiding in Iraq. So he filed a court case to claim the reward."

The court said Da Luz sent letters to the U.S. government from September 2001, describing Saddam's future hiding place -- a tiny cellar at a farmhouse near Tikrit. He never received a reply. (Yahoo News)

From April 2003-April 2004, I was in Tikrit, Iraq serving as an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division, whose 1st Brigade - working in conjunction with the U.S. special forces' Task Force 21 - was responsible for the capture of Saddam Hussein. I remember the Commanding General of the Division shutting down every internet and phone connection for half a day in order to prevent any leaks of information regarding the raid on the Ad Dawr farm house where Saddam was found.

No one knows whether or not Mr. Da Luz is truly psychic or just DaLuzional. I do know however that the capture of Saddam Hussein was the direct result of painstaking work done by the men and women of the U.S. military and the many civilians who support them.

I also remember doing a few analysis products on Saddam Hussein. I remember the long discussions that were sometimes debates about whether or not Saddam was more likely to be in his home-town of Tikrit which was also the location of the 4th Infantry Division - the Army's "Digital Division" - or somewhere else. Maybe further north; or perhaps south, in Samarra or near the Balad penninsula; or out west of Lake Thar Thar; or maybe even in Syria.

I remember that the advances came in baby steps, excruciatingly slow. Finally, at some point, we were able to create a rough outline of Saddam's security apparatus and provide a general overview of how it operated. That outline formed enough of a foundation of knowledge to provide the special operators with something they could really use.

It was those guys that did the real work - the HUMINT work, the ground work. It was frustrating enough working the matter as little as we did at the Division level, on only a broad level. Those guys must have been tearing their hair out daily. God only knows the mental torture they put themselves through.

But when special operaters have the knowledge and the tools to do the job, there isn't anything they can't accomplish. Those guys are LITERALLY one-man armies - just look at the kill ration during the Blackhawk Down incidient in Somalia, and that was a decade ago. Those guys are machines, and they will find you.

I wish I could explain more - its a fascinating story.

But unless Mr. Da Luz was with U.S. special forces in Iraq on December 13, 2003, he wont be seeing that $25 million any time soon. Nor should he. The real credit goes to those special operators who do the most dangerous job in the world every single day and do it without recognition.

But then, that's the way they prefer it.


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