Saddam Hussein was moments away from being blown to bits Saturday, before he eagerly surrendered.
(CNN) — The soldiers who captured Saddam Hussein talked to reporters Monday about how a mission that seemed similar to others they had been on ended with the former Iraqi dictator in custody. […]
Outside the hovel, the soldiers saw a rug on the ground, pulled it back, and found an 8-inch thick piece of Styrofoam covering a narrow hole that appeared to be 6 to 8 feet deep.
They heard noises from below.
They were about to execute a “clearing procedure” — firing into the hole or dropping a grenade into it — when someone saw upraised hands belonging to a bearded, bedraggled man. The man had a pistol but did not fire it.
When the soldiers assisted the man from the hole, he said, in English: “I am Saddam Hussein. I am the president of Iraq. I want to negotiate.”
The soldiers replied: “President Bush sends his regards.”