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Torture and murder in Iraq

Torture and murder in Iraq were a common means of state oppression[?]. According to officials of the United States State Department, this was largely carried out by Saddam Hussein and eleven other people.

The term "Saddam's Dirty Dozen" was coined in October 2002 and used by US officials to denote a group of alleged Iraqi torturers and murdererers led by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Most members of the group held high positions in Iraq's regime and membership went all the way from Saddam's personal guard to Saddam's sons. One effect of the list was to support the Bush Administration's claim that the 2003 Iraq war is not against the Iraqi people, but against Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party leadership.

Ironically, the phrase "the dirty dozen" comes from a novel by E.M. Richardson[?], later adapted as a film directed by Robert Aldrich[?], celebrating a group of heroic U.S. soldiers.


  • Saddam Hussein, Iraqi President, accused of many torturings, killings and of ordering the 1988 cleansing of Kurds in Northern Iraq.
  • Qusai Hussein, son of the president, head of the elite republican guard, believed to be chosen by Saddam as his successor.
  • Uday Hussein, son of the president, accused of having a private torture chamber and of the rapes and killings of many women. He was partially paralyzed after a 1996 attempt on his life, and is the leader of a paramilitary group named Fedayeen and of the Iraqi media.
  • Taha Yassin Ramadan, Vice-President. He oversaw the mass killings of a Shi'a revolt in 1991, and he was born in Kurdistan, north Iraq.
  • Tariq Aziz, Foreign minister of Iraq, supposedly backed up the executions by hanging of political opponents after the revolution of 1968.
  • Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Hussein's half brother, leader of the Iraqi secret service, Mukhabarat. He was Iraq's representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
  • Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Hussein's half brother, he was the leader of the Mukhabarat during the 1991 Gulf War. Director of Iraq's general security from 1991 to 1996. He was involved in the 1991 suppresion of Kurds.
  • Watban Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Hussein's half brother, former senior Interior Minister who was also Saddam's presidencial adviser. Shot in the leg by Uday Hussein in 1995. He has allegedly ordered tortures, rapes, murders and deportations.
  • Ali Hassan al-Majid, Chemical Ali, alleged mastermind behind Saddam's lethal gassing of rebel Kurds in 1988. A first cousin of Saddam Hussein Majid had vast scientifical knowledge. He was found dead after an aerial attack on his house in Basra on April 6, 2003.
  • Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, military commander, vice-president of the Revolutionary Command Council and deputy commander in chief of the armed forces during various genocide campaigns.
  • Aziz Saleh Nuhmah, appointed governor of Kuwait from November of 1990 to February of 1991, allegedly ordered looting of stores and rapes of Kuwaiti women during his tenure. Also ordered the destruction of Shi'a holy sites during the 1970s and 1980s as governor of two Iraqi provinces.
  • Mohammed Amza Zubeidi, alias Saddam's shi'a thug, prime minister of Iraq from 1991 to 1993 - ordered many atrocities.

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