By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
It was probably the most important interview before the Iraq war: Dan Rather vs. Saddam Hussein. But we learn in the new book Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq by Charles Duelfer, longtime United Nations and CIA weapons inspector, that Saddam likely got a peek at Rather's questions. Duelfer, whose book tells of screw-ups and missed opportunities by the Clinton and Bush administrations in dealing with Saddam, suggests the former CBS News anchor underestimated his target. Rather told reporters that his preinvasion quiz was so important that he practiced his questions before a mirror in his Rasheed Hotel room. But Duelfer notes that Saddam had the city so heavily wired for surveillance that his posse probably heard every question. "It is simply surprising," Duelfer tells Whispers, "that someone as worldly as Dan Rather would not assume his room was bugged in one of the most security-conscious regimes on the planet."
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