Uday HusseinUPDATE: Post-mortem pictures of Uday and Qusay Hussein have been released by the U.S. military on Thursday, 24 July 2003. These pictures are graphic and show the two brothers wrapped in plastic.
If you want to get a good idea of what Uday Saddam Hussein was like, just imagine his father, Saddam Hussein, without all the self-restraint and sanity.
Uday was born in 1964, the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac, which means he ought to be "energetic, excitable, short-tempered, eccentric and stubborn." Add sadistic, misogynistic, ultraviolent and totally deranged to that list, and you've just about got it. Uday, and his brother, Qusay, were killed in a firefight in Northern Iraq on 22 July 2003.
Despite spending years as the favored son of Iraq's dictator, Uday had problems. Big problems.
Uday started off his career as the garden variety child-of-power-and-privilege. He liked expensive cars and expensive women, and he dabbled in the sports industry using his father's money, just like George W Bush. Uday entertained himself during the 1991 Gulf War by stealing hundreds of expensive cars from Kuwait, according to some reports, which he stored in garages all over Iraq.
But unlike Bush, Uday never quite learned how to pretend to be civilized. Luckily for him, Saddam put him in charge of the national newspaper and television operations, allowing him to keep his scandals off the front pages in Iraq, anyway.
Uday's bad reputation dates back to 1988, when he murdered his father's personal valet. According to most reports, Uday was pissed off at the valet for arranging Saddam's trysts with a mistress, which Uday felt was disrespectful to his mother. The Middle East Quarterly reports that things came to a head during a state-sponsored party:
On the shooting off of celebratory shots into the air, one of Udayy's men reportedly complained about the noise, to which Hanna (Saddam's valet) replied, "Tell Udayy I don't take orders from babies." A drunken Udayy then stormed the party, carrying a German-made nightstick equipped with a stiletto and electric prods, and slashed Hanna's neck, then shot him. Udayy then fled the scene, swallowed pills, and ended up in the hospital. While recovering, Saddam reportedly warned his son, "If Hanna dies, so will you." The valet did indeed die but Saddam permitted Udayy to leave the country until his feelings had cooled enough for his son to return.
It was all downhill from there. Uday's reputation for brutality quickly grew to encompass a variety of humanity's wost crimes. Like his fellow mama's boy Norman Bates, Uday has a penchant for taking his frustrations out on women. Witnesses report that he has a nearly insatiable appetite for women, who would emerge from his chambers battered and bruised at best.
Uday reportedly murdered at least half a dozen women and tortured countless others. When one woman complained about the abuse, Uday had her "stripped naked, covered in honey and killed by three starving Dobermans," according to Middle East Quarterly.
In an interview with Laurie Myrloie, an Iraqi defector described being tortured at Uday's order for "no particular reason" and on other occasions with specific reasons. When the defector (an editor at the national newspaper) refused to write an editorial ordered by Uday, the defector was whipped with electrical cables. On another occasion, he was jabbed with "large needles."
On another occasion, the defector said, "Uday also killed his friend Muhammed Qaraghuli in a particularly brutal manner. He forced three bottles of gin down his throat by continuously beating him. Qaraghuli passed out. Uday then ordered that he be on a merry-go-round at an amusement park. Qaraghuli fell from it onto a metal stake that went through his head." Prior to the U.S. invasion in 2003, Uday ran Iraq's Olympic committee in much the same style that he applies to his personal affairs. According to several Iraqi Olympic athletes who defected between the mid-1990s and the present, athletes were "beaten and humiliated" when they lost games. Some reported being flogged, beaten and imprisoned.
According to ESPN, Uday has athletes "beaten with iron bars. Caned on the soles of their feet. Chained to walls and left to stay in contorted positions for days. Dragged on pavement until their backs are bloody, then dunked in sewage to ensure the wounds become infected. If Uday stops by a player's jail cell, he might urinate on his bowed, shaven head. Just to humiliate him." Even ping-pong players were subject to torture for poor performances. Let's go out there and win one for the Ripper!
Sports Illustrated also shared colorful anecdotes of Uday's barbarism in a 2003 article:
As he stood at the double-door entrance to the office of Iraqi National Olympic Committee president Uday Hussein, the boxer knew what awaited on the other side. He had just returned from a Gulf States competition, where he had been knocked out in the first round. Now it was time to pay the price. Inside the yellow-and-blue office, Uday, the older of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's two sons, paced the floor, waving his expensive Cuban cigar and glaring out the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Baghdad. "He was yelling about how Iraq should not be embarrassed by its athletes," recalls Latif Yahia, employed for nearly five years as Uday's body double--he would stand in for Uday on occasions that were deemed a security threat--and one of his closest associates to have escaped to the West. "He kept saying, 'This is my Iraq. Embarrassing Iraq embarrasses me.'"
With a wave of Uday's arm the manacled boxer was led into the room by Iraqi secret service. Sitting behind a dark wood desk beneath an oversized portrait of himself, Uday began his tirade. "In sport you can win or you can lose. I told you not to come home if you didn't win." His voice rising, he walked around the desk and gave the boxer a lesson. "This is how you box," he screamed as he threw a left and a right straight to the fighter's face. Blood dribbled from the athlete's nose as Uday launched another round of punches. Then, using the electric prod he was famous for carrying, Uday jolted the boxer in the chest.
Blood was streaming from a cut above the boxer's eye when Uday ordered his guards to fetch a straight razor. The boxer cried out as Uday held the razor to his throat, and as he moved the blade to the fighter's forehead, Uday laughed. He then shaved the man's eyebrows, an insult to Muslim males. "Take him downstairs and finish the job," Uday screamed.
Says Yahia, "They took him to the basement of the Olympic building. It has a 30cell prison where athletes--and anyone else who is out of favor with Uday--are beaten and tortured. That was the last I ever heard of that boxer."
With a record like this, it's hardly surprising that Uday made some enemies. A 1996 assassination attempt fell short of the mark, leaving Saddam's son temporarily paralyzed and reportedly with a permanent limp. Some accounts say it also left him impotent, which no doubt helped improve his already sunny disposition.
With a massive field of suspects to choose from, Iraqi intelligence made a cursory investigation and killed someone in what was pretty much a random act of punishment.
There wasn't really any outcome of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq that didn't involve Uday Hussein ending up dead, through whatever means. Aside from the U.S. Army's repeated efforts to target Saddam and his sons, which may have already succeeded, the chaos of battle and the chaos of the aftermath set the stage for settling old scores in a whodunnit with a virtually endless list of suspects. As it happened, the Army got there first, although the secret informant who divulged Uday's location may have been one of those old enemies. Whether or not that's the case, the informant is $30 million richer, thanks to the $15 million on each of the Hussein brothers.
While he was alive, Uday was a big fan of e-mail. Addresses that have been listed for Uday include firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. His password brilliantly is "babil," and if you move fast, you might get to read some of his mail before the accounts disappear.