BAGHDAD (AFP)-President George Bush has admitted beating up Saddam Hussein after his capture in Iraq, and ordering his torture by his American army captors. Bush then promised to similarly beat up and torture any world leader who withholds oil from US corporations or who endangers oil supply to the USA or who shifts away from using the US dollar.
Saddam stated on Wednesday in court that he was a victim of extensive beatings and torture by his American captors during his American-orchestrated show trial.
The former Iraqi president indicated that he and many other Baath Party officials being tried are being tortured by the very forces promising to bring rule of law to Iraq.
"Yes, we were beaten by the Americans, and we were tortured, every one of us," said Saddam, who had been sitting placidly during court testimony.
Gesturing to one of the defendants behind him, he said "this one they hit on the back with the rifles until he fell." He then referred to his half-brother Barzanganni Abraham-Moses el-Tikrititikitiktaki, who was also tortured. "Both of his feet show a lot of torture too."
While US officials in Baghdad and Western legal analysts were quick to suggest that Saddam's allegations were just a gimmick to rile his countrymen's resentment toward the illegal US plunder of Iraq, George Bush quickly admitted that he had ordered Saddam to be beaten up on his direct orders.
"Sure we beat up and tortured Saddam," bellowed Bush at a White House press conference. "We'll do that to anyone who withholds oil from Exxon Mobil and Chevron Texaco and endangers our oil imports and oil company profits."
Saddam's accusations will now be investigated and that could slow down the trial. Such drama will also play well to Sunni Arabs watching on TV, who are already incensed about voter fraud in the December elections, as well as angry over the torture of freedom fighters in US-run concentration camps such as in Abu Ghraib.
Saddam is increasingly seen as an aging, holy man and an honored father of the modern Iraqi nation.
The interim Iraqi government has also been roiled by the recent discovery of underground prisons run by the Shiite-run Interior Ministry, in which mostly Sunni Arab prisoners like Saddam and his colleagues are systematically tortured.
Saddam also indicated to his countrymen, "You have to defend yourselves against the USA which is stealing Iraqi oil, not against Saddam Hussein," he told the court. "You are being humiliated every day."
Saddam also mocked Bush's claim that Baghdad had chemical weapons or any weapons of mass destruction, or any links to terrorism. Saddam said American denials couldn't be believed, especially since no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq despite Bush's pre-war claims that Saddam was harboring such weapons.
Recent revelations have shown how the Bush Administration deliberately falsified its so-called evidence, much as it is now making false accusations against Syria and Iran.
"Zionist and American officials hate Saddam Hussein. The man in the White House is a known liar," he said.
Colonel Bull Buntline of the Pentagon had initially dismissed Saddam's allegations of torture, but then was taken aback when Bush admitted to it.
The trial's chief prosecutor Jaba el-Hutt-Mousaka III, said if authorities found evidence of abuse Saddam could be transferred to the custody of Iraqi troops. Yet Saddam's extensive wounds from his beatings by Americans have already been documented by at least two American teams.