The Path to Evil in Saddam's Iraq

Stripped of all insignia of rank, the soldier delivered to Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison seemed just another anonymous victim of Saddam Hussein's capricious cruelty. He was swiftly executed, his bullet-ridden corpse crammed into an abandoned refrigerator. For General Kamel Sachet, a national hero, it was an ignominious end.

It was also an untimely one: five years later, in 2003, journalist Wendell Steavenson arrived in Iraq to "learn more about the locked-in years of Saddam's regime" and chose Sachet as the prism through which those years might best be refracted. In the resulting book, The Weight of a...

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