Some major questions are popping up about the deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein.

Firstly: Why were they killed? Why not captured?

At a news briefing today, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, squirmed his way past that question repeatedly. It was, he said, the decision of the commander on the ground based on the circumstances and his judgment — “and it was the right decision.” But was it? Who beside the sons might have better information about the one HVT that really matters, Saddam? “The whole operation was a cockup,” said a British intelligence officer. “There was no need to go after four lightly armed men with such overwhelming firepower. They would have been much more useful alive.”

(via Lambert)

Daily Kos asks some of the same questions I did when I heard the news: A four (or six) hour firefight between 200+ troops and four people?

Ok, while I’m no expert, a four hour firefight is an extremely long time to fend anyone off. You have Task Force 20 supported by a company from the 101 attacking a house. People who can move fast. Now, either they shot this house up until the mice had .223 rounds in them, there were a LOT more than four people killed inside, or Uday and Qusay Hussein learned to fight from American gangster movies.

Yes it is possible that Saddam’s murderous, heinous sons got killed in a four hour long fire fight, but then again, given the firepower arrayed against them, the idea that they lived for four hours in such a hailstorm of fire is dubious. Also, how in hell could their bodyguards survive and escape? There should be a pile of dead Iraqis around the house, not four as the news reports claim.

And last, but not least: As the military seems reluctant to release photos of the two, was it really them?

The US Army seems to be doing everything possible to enhance the myth of the dead Hussein brothers. They use a great deal of fire power to kill them, then instead of marching a camera crew in the building and splashing the pictures all over TV, play cute with it. They wanted the evidence of their deaths, they collected it, but when it comes time to prove it to the Iraqi people, they falter.

Both brothers had doubles. There is little trust in the CPA or the US military. If this is an important thing, if killing them was a major priority, proving they were dead, is even more so. It’s just another amazing half-measure in the administration of Iraq that they haven’t done so.

Too many questions, not enough answers. Of course, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception these days.

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