Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Characterized by Iraqi defectors as quiet and sly, but very brutal, Qusay Hussein stayed out of the public eye, in sharp contrast to his older brother, whose greed and violent rampages were the stuff of many legends — often based in fact — circulating through Saddam Hussein's Baghdad.

Human Rights Watch, the New York-based group, and other experts have said that Qusay implemented the revenge killings and terror after the uprising that followed the Persian Gulf war in 1991. The same sources say he also engineered the draining of the southern marshes after the 1991 attack on Iraq, to eliminate the reeds in which insurgents had taken refuge. The draining of the marshes ended a centuries-old way of life for marsh Arabs.

The rights group also accused him of supervising the "cleansing" of overcrowded prisons by killing several thousand prisoners by shooting or torture...

Iraqi exiles agreed that Uday Hussein, the eldest of five children, personified the government's random brutality. Human rights groups and Iraqi exiles accused him of routinely kidnapping women off the streets, raping and sometimes torturing them, and personally supervising the torture and humiliation of hundreds of prisoners. Such conduct earned him the title "Abu Sarhan," the Arabic term for "father of the wolf."

In October 1988, at a party given in honor of the wife of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Uday bludgeoned to death Kamal Hana Gegeo, a valet to his father. Mr. Mubarak subsequently called the young man a "psychopath."

Soon after that, Uday's violent, erratic behavior led his father to banish him to Switzerland for a time, but Uday returned and gradually reclaimed some power. For a time, he owned Babel, Iraq's most widely circulated daily newspaper, and Youth TV.

But he was most infamous for his stewardship of his country's National Olympic Committee. Since Mr. Hussein's government collapsed in April, former Iraqi sportsmen have come forward to tell journalists of Uday's cruelty, and his routine torturing and jailing of athletes, particularly those who lost important matches, or games that he attended.

A New York Times reporter who visited the National Olympic Committee building after the Hussein government fell saw torture contraptions that included a sarcophagus, with long nails pointing inward from every surface, including the lid, so victims could be punctured and suffocated.

Someone call Noam Chomsky and Sean Penn and tell them their heroes are dead.


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