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Capture of Saddam Hussein Helped US in Arrest of Insurgency Leaders - 2003-12-21

The U.S. military's top general says Saddam Hussein's capture last week has led to the arrest of several hundred Iraqis, including some leaders of the anti-American insurgency.

In an interview with the Fox News Sunday program, General Richard Myers said Saddam's capture gave U.S. forces information that led to a better understanding of the insurgency's structure.

The general, who heads the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said those arrested likely include some cell-level leaders of the insurgency.

He added that Saddam is not cooperating with his interrogators.

Following his arrest last Saturday, U.S. officials said information provided by Saddam and documents found in his briefcase led to the arrest of at least two senior figures from the ousted Iraqi regime. However, since then, U.S. officials have consistently described Saddam's demeanor as defiant and uncooperative.

Meanwhile, The New York Times is reporting that Saddam eluded arrest for months by moving between 20 and 30 safehouses in Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland.

The paper quotes U.S. military officials who say the former Iraqi leader traveled by foot, on a small boat on the Tigris River, and along back roads in a mix of cars, taxis, and pickup trucks.

The United States' top civil administrator in Iraq says ousted leader Saddam Hussein looked "like a man who had lost hope" when they met in Saddam's cell shortly after his capture.

In an American television interview on the CBS program 60 Minutes, to be broadcast later Sunday, Paul Bremer describes Saddam as obviously tired. But "underneath that," the U.S. official says, "you could see resignation."

Saddam is being kept in a cell at an undisclosed location in Iraq. On the walls before him, he can see pictures of 38 former senior Iraqi officials who have either been captured or killed this year - including Saddam's two sons, Uday and Qusay, who were killed during a gunbattle with coalition forces in July. A portrait of President Bush hangs on a wall opposite Saddam's cell.