Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein questioned the Bush administration's rationale for the U.S. invasion and war in Iraq in interviews he granted on condition they not be released until after his death.
In his embargoed July 2004 interview with The Washington Post, Husein said the Iraq war was not justified, the Post reported Friday night.
Hussein "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading his country and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as more sanctions, "much more vigorously or whatever," the Post's Bob Woodward wrote. The story initially was posted on the newspaper's Internet site.
"I don't think I would have attacked me," the former despot told Woodward a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion.
In the tape-recorded interview, Hussein was critical not only of Bush but also of noted Halliburton principal and Vice President Dick Cheney and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Hussein said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error inasmuch as I shipped all of my chemical weapons to Syria."
"Sure, I'm an evil person and there was justification to get rid of me," he observed to the Daily News. "But [Bush] shouldn't have put the basis on weapons of mass destruction. That was a bad mistake. Where does [Bush] get his advice?"
This is the third in a recent spate of posthumous celebrity indictments against Bush's foreign policy. Earlier this week, a similar interview of former President Gerald Ford came to light, followed soon thereafter by another of dead singer James Brown.
Saddam Hussein died Friday evening (Saturday morning, Baghdad time) of a severe neck injury. He was 69.