4,165. 10/20/2002

On October 20, 2002, “in an extraordinary move, Saddam ordered a blanket nationwide amnesty that emptied his network of prisons, and a cheering mob swept out to greet families who had not seen them in years. A statement issued in Saddam’s name said the gesture was in gratitude for his [October 16] reelection, but much else suggested that the growing threat of war had spurred his repressive regime to a sudden gesture of magnanimity to rally the populace to his side.”

 – Todd S. Purdum and The New York Times Staff, A Time of Our Choosing, Page 60

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