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George Piro, Saddam Hussein's interrogator, speaks

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 05 2012 05:29:26 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 06 2012 05:37:31 AM CST
Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein

The man who got Saddam Hussein to talk is talking himself. FBI interrogator George Piro gave a rare inside look at the Iraqi dictator's secrets in Bucks Co. on Wednesday.

For decades, Saddam was the face of evil. But behind that face lay many secrets.

"Saddam thought he was the greatest thing that ever lived," said Piro.

Prio spent up to seven hours a day interrogating Saddam for months.

"Saddam didn't have to talk to us," said Piro. "He really didn't have to agree to talk to us or provide us any information."

Speaking in Warrington, Piro gave a detailed account of the brutal dictator who led the U.S. into two wars.

"He could be very, very charismatic," said Piro. "Very, very charming. Very, very liked."

After Saddam's capture, it was Piro's job to find out how the U.S. was apparently fooled into believing Iraq still had weapons of mass destruction, as the Bush administration claimed. According to Piro, Saddam said he purposely misled the world because he feared the regime in neighboring Iran.

"He became very paranoid that the Iranians were going to discover how weak and vulnerable he had become, and could not afford that," said Piro.

Saddam also told Piro that he had almost no connection to Osama bin Laden.

"Saddam feared al Qaeda," recalled Piro. "He hated Osama bin Laden; he did not believe in al Qaeda's ideology."

For all the attention Saddam Hussein sought, George Piro does not. He rarely gives interviews, but insists it's important for people to hear the story.

In spite of his crimes, Piro forged a bond with the dictator over seven months. He said Saddam was almost likeable.

"I did not expect him to have a sense of humor, but he had an incredible sense of humor," said Piro.

Currently, Piro is Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Washington headquarters.