FBI agent opens up on 7-hour sessions with Saddam Hussein before his execution

The FBI agent who was tasked with interrogating Saddam Hussein has finally spoken out about the moment he met the dictator after his capture.

In 2003 George Piro would be set for a career-defining moment when the FBI personally selected him for the seismic task of having to interrogate the Iraqi dictator.

It was earlier in the same year that then US president George Bush made the decision to invade Iraq, telling the entire world that he believe that Hussein was plied with weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

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After being joined by UK forces Hussein's troops were defeated after two weeks but an uprising that rose up would fight the war against the British and American forces for years to come.

But, on December 13 2003, as the year was drawing to a close, US forces found the Iraqi leader hidden alone in a hole in the north of the country.

It was not long after that Mr Piro was deployed to speak to Hussein, where he would spend seven hours a day for seven months talking to the Iraqi dictator.

Speaking on the 20th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion Mr Piro recalled how seven-hour-long sessions with the dictator would play out.

He said: ""Initially, I would see him in the mornings. I would translate for his medical staff. And then, the formal interrogations were once or twice a week for several hours.

"As time went on, I started to spend more and more one-on-one time with him because I could communicate directly and very quickly with him.

"I built that to about five to seven hours every single day, one-on-one, a couple of hours in the morning, a couple of hours in the afternoon and then a formal interrogation session or two a week.

"And we talked about everything. So especially in the first couple of months, my goal was just to get him to talk.

"I wanted to know what he valued in life and what his likes, dislikes and thought processes were. So we talked about everything from history, art, sports to politics. We would talk about things that I knew he wouldn’t have any reservations or hesitations to talk about."

Saddam Hussein was executed on December 30 2006 at a military base after being handed over to the interim Iraq government for crimes against humanity.


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