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Rumsfeld: Saddam Not Cooperative In Questioning - 2003-12-15


U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Saddam Hussein is not being cooperative with U.S. interrogators.

Mr. Rumsfeld made the comment during an interview with the American television news program "60 Minutes" (on Sunday).

Time magazine says the captured Iraqi leader has offered defiant answers to simple questions such as "how are you?"

However, the magazine says Saddam has told interrogators that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction.

Citing an unnamed U-S intelligence official in Iraq, the magazine quotes Saddam as saying the United States "dreamed up" the weapons to give itself a reason to make war on his government.

Mr. Rumsfeld told "60 Minutes" that Saddam will be protected under the Geneva Convention, the international agreement that prohibits mistreatment of prisoners of war

Earlier, President Bush said a "dark and painful" era in Iraq has ended, adding that the ousted leader will face the justice he denied to millions. But Mr. Bush warned Americans that the capture will not mean an end to violence in Iraq.

It is not yet clear how, or when Saddam will be tried. But prominent members of the U.S. appointed Iraqi Governing Council have called for a trial by a new Iraqi court set up to deal with war crimes.

U.S. officials in Iraq announced Sunday that the 66-year-old former Iraqi leader was captured in an operation called "Red Dawn" near the town of Al Dur, south of his hometown, Tikrit. Saddam put up no resistance.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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