- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS
U.S. intelligence indicates that at least one of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's top deputies is alive and is commanding some of Iraq's military efforts.
Senior Bush administration officials said yesterday, however, that no intelligence would determine conclusively whether Saddam or his sons, Qusai and Uday, are alive, dead or wounded.
State-run Iraqi television reported that Saddam held two meetings yesterday with senior government members and Qusai, who had been regarded as his father's likely successor.
Video footage from the meetings was not shown during the initial broadcast.
An evening report aired a brief clip showing Saddam in a military uniform at a meeting, but U.S. officials said there is no way to tell whether the footage is current or was taped before the war began.
"There's no way to date it at all," said one U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "If they wanted to confirm that he was alive, there are certainly ways they could do it, and that doesn't achieve it. They need to do something which has some dated reference."
The unidentified official said one other high-level Iraqi leader was known to be alive: Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid al-Tikriti, known as "Chemical Ali" for leading in 1988 a deadly campaign in northern Iraq against Kurdish civilians that included chemical-weapons attacks.
Ali Hassan was not thought to be present in the war-opening strike on Saddam himself, the official said. Since the war began, he has moved frequently but is able to provide some direction to Iraqi military and security forces.
As for Saddam, "I have no idea where he is right now," Gen. Tommy Franks said yesterday at a news briefing at command headquarters in Qatar.

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