- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The Bush administration yesterday said the intelligence flow from informants will pick up now that Saddam Hussein’s two sons are dead, as a former Pentagon policy-maker urged the United States to quickly and publicly pay $30 million to the Iraqi who fingered the pair.

“The one thing that I’m sure of is we’re going to get more intelligence, that Iraqis are going to be more comfortable,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who just returned from a four-day tour of postwar Iraq.

He added, “There has been an extraordinary strategic effort to both encourage people to feel good about coming forward and also to remove that blanket of fear that scares them.”

Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top commander in Iraq, predicted other good things. “The death of Uday and Qusai, I believe, is definitely going to be a turning point for the resistance and the subversive elements that we’re encountering,” he said.

Some officials privately suggest their deaths may also stir up more tips on the whereabouts of Saddam.

Robert Andrews, the Pentagon’s top civilian for special operations forces in 2001-02, said one way to improve the chances of that happening is for the U.S. State Department to quickly pay the “walk-in” Iraqi who told authorities the sons were hiding in a villa in Mosul.

“The best thing we can do right now to grab Saddam is to make sure we pay the Iraqi patriot the full $30 million for both sons,” Mr. Andrews said in an interview.

“Make sure everybody knows about it. They ought to have a big truck driven to the center of Baghdad filled with millions and say, ‘This is going to that guy.’ You can’t plan this for weeks and weeks. That money ought to go in the guy’s pocket right now.”

Gen. Sanchez said the reward will be paid, but he gave no timetable.

The State Department is operating a rewards program that offered up to $25 million for information leading to the killing or capture of Saddam, and $15 million for each of his sons.

Mr. Wolfowitz gave an upbeat report on his tour, but acknowledged in the most direct way yet that the Pentagon did not properly plan for the deadly resisters they faced once Baghdad fell April 9. “It was difficult to imagine before the war that the criminal gang of sadists and gangsters who have run Iraq for 35 years would continue fighting, fighting what has been sometimes called a guerrilla war,” he said.

He listed the top problems in Iraq today: subpar electricity generation, unemployment and the domination in the Iraq media of anti-American media, such as the Qatar-based Al Jazeera.

Mr. Wolfowitz said some Iraqis actually thought the United States was using Saddam as a “trump card” to hold over the populace.

“The level of suspicion and paranoia is unbelievable,” he said. “Another great thing about [Udays and Qusais demise] is it really helps to put a spike in the heart of that conspiracy theory. There is no doubt, I think, in Iraqis minds now that we’re out to get those people.”

Some in the press immediately questioned why the military killed the brothers, rather than taking them alive. Gen. Sanchez said his troops called on a bullhorn for them to come out and were greeted by rifle fire.

A British reporter in Baghdad yesterday yelled at Gen. Sanchez during a press conference that his men should have surrounded the building and waited for the sons to surrender.

Gen. Sanchez said the raid was a success. “I would never consider this a failure. Our mission is to find, kill or capture,” he said.

Mr. Andrews, a former CIA officer, said in the interview that troops could not afford to let the Husseins remain in the building for a long standoff. He said delaying an attack would have given them time to destroy any documents they carried and to perhaps escape through a secret tunnel.

“It’s easy for a bystander critic to say we should have captured them than killed them, but the critics weren’t facing RPGs and AK-47 fire,” he said.

Qusai would be expected to have extensive knowledge on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, which the Bush administration has yet to find. Qusai, Saddam’s chosen successor, ran all the front-line military units, as well as the intelligence and security services.

Bill Gertz contributed to this report.

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