5,507. 12/13/2003

“On December 13, 2003, in a moment of misplaced bravado, [Coalition Provisional Authority leader] Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III famously crowed at a press conference, ‘We got him!’ Saddam Hussein was finally captured in an intensive hunt by U.S. Special Forces that began with the invasion nine months earlier. He had been literally holed up outside his hometown, Tikrit. Saddam looked haggard and disoriented in the videos made public to the world after his capture. He had been tracked down by a combination of human and technical collection. An informant from his hometown identified a farm with a very obscure small hut. U.S. forces arrived at night and almost missed the concealment cover to Saddam’s hide site. When they lifted the cover, Saddam’s first words were something like, ‘I am Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq. I am prepared to negotiate with President Bush.’ ”

 – Charles Duelfer, Hide and Seek, Page 386

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