The Secret Collaborators

WHY DID LAST SPRING'S WAR GO SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE OCCUPATION? A TIME EXCLUSIVE ON HOW SADDAM HUSSEIN GOT UNDONE BY HIS OWN MEN

Saddam Hussein didn't want to believe what his intelligence networks were saying. Before the war last spring, says a former colonel in the Iraqi intelligence service, Saddam's analysts presented him with classified reports predicting a decisive U.S. victory. The documents described how the Iraqi security forces, already outmatched, had been undermined by Washington's success in recruiting Iraqi spies and double agents. Internal intelligence reported to Saddam that Iraq's defenses would probably collapse. "We diplomatically suggested he should not stay here," the colonel says, "because we couldn't tell him outright that he had to step down." Even as U.S. troops moved into...

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