We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
US
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

THEIR MONSTER IN A GLASS BOX

THE 12 AMERICAN SOLDIERS CHARGED WITH GUARDING SADDAM HUSSEIN WHILE HE WAS TRIED FOR SOME OF HIS MANY SINS KNEW HE WAS A BRUTAL MASS KILLER. THEY DIDN’T KNOW HOW MUCH HIS EXTRAORDINARY LAST FEW MONTHS WOULD CHANGE THEM

IN THE SUMMER OF 2006, a squad of U.S. military policemen deployed to Iraq, eager to join the war. They were tough kids, many from small, working-class communities scattered across the American heartland, who’d joined the military for many of the familiar reasons: post-9/11 patriotism, adventure and the hope for a better life when they got out.

They were hard-charging and well trained, but nothing could have prepared them for the mission they were given a few months after they landed in Baghdad. They would be responsible for a “highlevel detainee”—Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq. The brutal dictator had been deposed by a massive military invasion, then captured after nine months on the run. He was now the most famous prisoner in the world.

Upon receiving the news, a few of the MPs joked, “We should kill him.” Some of them knew their new charge had once said, “I wish America would bring its army and occupy Iraq. I wish they would do it so we can kill all Americans. We will roast them and eat them.”

What follows i s an exclusive peek inside the walls of a palace turned prison, built to hold one man, and a tantalizing glimpse of the complex and improbable relationships that developed over the next four months these men would spend together.

Baghdad—September 2 0 0 6

Specialist Steve Hutchinson was, once again, working nights. But this time, he was half a world away from the Midnight Rodeo in central Florida, where he’d been prying apart drunk brawlers. Just a few weeks before, he and his squad mates in the 551st Military Police Company—the Super 12—were given a top-secret mission: guard Saddam while he was tried by an Iraqi tribunal for some of the many atrocities he had committed during the two decades he ruled his country with a profligate brutality.

Hutch and the rest of his Super 12 team were ordered to not tell anyone about their mission, even their families. They weren’t permitted to keep a journal, all their emails were monitored, and they were subject to random searches to make sure they weren’t taking notes about what they were doing, seeing, hearing or even thinking.*

Hutch’s first shift with his notorious prisoner began at midnight. The two of them were in the bowels of the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), a courthouse constructed just to try Saddam and his seven co-defendants for crimes against humanity. Beneath the courtroom was a row of subterranean cells—halfwall, half-plexiglass enclosed rooms that resembled the “interrogation room in a movie”—in which Saddam and several co-defendants were held when they were due in court.

The Super 12 called their own temporary lodging beneath the IHT courtroom “the Crypt.” It was dark 24 hours a day because, at any given time, some of them would be sleeping, since their lives were now an endless loop of eight-hour shifts guarding Saddam. They had been ordered to maintain visual contact with him at all times to make sure he didn’t harm himself or wasn’t harmed by someone.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Newsweek International - 23 June 2017
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 23 June 2017
$4.99
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 0.67 per issue
SAVE
87%
$33.99
Or 3399 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 0.94 per issue
SAVE
80%
$3.99
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Newsweek International

Hating for the Man - Breitbart News helped elect Donald Trump. Can it survive his presidency? Their Monster in a Glass Box - The 12 American soldiers charged with guarding Saddam Hussein while he was tried for some of his many sins knew he was a brutal mass killer. They didn’t know how much his extraordinary last few months would change them.
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points