By 1993, Alwishah and his family had left the Saudi refugee camp that they called home for 14 months and had resettled in the United States. That's when his brother, Gen. Abdallah, was arrested and charged as an anti-Saddam conspirator and sent to a small prison in Baghdad for high-ranking officials accused as traitors. I asked him about the experience.
ABDALLAH: I was in jail for eleven months. There was no judge. They just put you in. If one was to be executed or put in jail, no judge. They put us in the same room as those five generals who were executed. And they were killed with big knives. Those people were killed with big knives hitting them on the neck. And the room had blood everywhere.
SH: Did you think you might be next?
ABDALLAH: Yes. I thought that they would do the same thing to me. Every day they told me that I will be executed.
SH: How long?
ABDALLAH: Eleven months. Intimidation every day. At that time they found out about a conspiracy by another person who was a big general, a doctor actually, from the same town as Saddam. His name was Raji al-Tikriti. It's a very famous story in Iraq. And they made him a food for dogs.
SH: You were in prison when this happened? You heard about this?
ABDALLAH: They showed me these prisoners that were eaten by wild dogs. They made us--that was one kind of intimidation--they brought all of the generals and officers in the prison to watch it, to intimidate us. . . . They took us from jail and they put some blindfolds on our eyes and they took them off and we saw him. Before the dogs ate him we saw them read the judgment and they said why they were going to kill him. He was the head doctor for all the military, and he was the personal doctor for Saddam Hussein and for former Iraqi president Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr.
SH: Was he killed before this happened?
ABDALLAH: He was alive when these wild dogs . . .
SH: Do you remember what month this was?
ABDALLAH: It was the wintertime, but I can't remember exactly because for 11 months I didn't see the sun, nothing--I didn't know what time. There was only spider webs in the room, so I didn't know if it's day or night. [Pause] Probably what you're hearing is impossible to believe, but that's what happened. And all that you're hearing is nothing compared to everything else.
Abdallah later explained that Raji al-Tikriti was dressed in "prison pajamas" with his hands and feet bound when this was done to him. Abdallah and seven other prisoners were forced to watch. The five dogs, he said, "were like big wolves."
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Dr. Raji al-Tikriti
On page 92 of Stephen F. Hayes The Connection and found here.