Iraq: Rumor Mill in Overdrive

Rumor Mill in Overdrive

One day word has it that 80 Iraqi military officers were executed for attempting a coup. Another day the rumor is that 76 Iraqis and Egyptians were put to death for mounting an anti-Saddam demonstration south of Baghdad. Still another day brings the story that former Iraqi Prime Minister Saadoun Hammadi and 24 high-ranking army officers were shot for a coup attempt.

Unconfirmable reports of roundups and executions, circulated by Iraqi opposition sources intent on destabilizing the regime, have reached such a pitch that it is tempting to conclude that Saddam Hussein is pressing the panic button. On the other hand,...