***1:53am Eastern update…witness Mowaffak al Rubaie describes to FNC the execution scene…”meticulously adhered to Islamic practice and ritual…no foreigners, no coalition”…body carried to ambulance/helicopter…negotiating with family on burial location…he shouted “Long live jihad!”…I have to admit he looked frightened…”he was shivering, he looked broken, frightened”…***
***11:30pm Eastern update…CNN and Arab media reporting that pictures/video expected soon…Iraqi state TV reporting it will air images…11:46pm Eastern…CNN correspondent says a witness reports there was “fear in Hussein’s face” as he headed to execution…Celebration…more execution witness details…refused to wear a hood…had a Koran…shouted “Allahu Akbar!”…FNC reports that a witness says Saddam struggled when taken from his cell…***
10:09pm Eastern. Fox News reporting that al Arabiya has announced that Saddam has been executed.
Allah Pundit: “Al-Hurra is reporting it too. I’m monitoring Al Jazeera in the expectation that they’ll have the video before American media does.”
U.S.-backed Iraqi television station Al Hurra said Saddam Hussein had been executed by hanging shortly before 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Saturday.
Still and video cameras were in the chamber at the time of the execution. How long before it’s on YouTube?
Celebrations are on in Sadr City, according to Arab media and Fox News.
Sic Semper Tyrannis.
Lots of readers are peeved by CNN’s memorial tribute to Saddam. Reader Roger writes, “Did Gerald Ford get this much respect on CNN’s home page?”
Reader Jake e-mails: “A very telling CNN screenshot on your post about Saddam’s death…I noticed the page of “Family Photos” and had to browse them earlier…family snapshots of Saddam’s. Where are the pictures of the tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of Saddam’s victims and their families?!? [Update] As of 11:20pm EST, the “Family Photos” post is now removed from the page.”
The New York Times, to its credit, does better:
Brian Maloney notes hand-wringing over at HuffPo.
The execution occurred outside the Green Zone, according to FNC. Two of Hussein’s co-defendants have also been put to death.
Lots of talking-head heat over the fairness and integrity of the Iraqi war tribunal. The Case Western Reserve University Law School has a blog and website with tons of key original docs related to the trial. Go here and judge for yourselves.
CNN reports Husssein’s hometown of Tikrit is in lockdown. Curfews elsewhere in Iraq will end sooner than anticipated.
President Bush issues written statement…standby. Here it is via LATimes:
Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial — the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.
Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people’s resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people’s determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.
Saddam Hussein’s execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops. Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq’s course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror.
We are reminded today of how far the Iraqi people have come since the end of Saddam Hussein’s rule – and that the progress they have made would not have been possible without the continued service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.
Many difficult choices and further sacrifices lie ahead. Yet the safety and security of the American people require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq’s young democracy continues to progress.
11:45pm Eastern. CNN Iraqi correspondent reporting first details about the execution. A witness says there was “fear in Saddam’s face.” Dancing and celebration around his body after execution.