Oklahoma Soldier Recalls Saddam's Capture

Wednesday, September 13th 2006, 10:05 am
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma soldier talks about his experience concerning Saddam Hussein. This retired soldier led the battalion that helped capture Saddam nearly three years ago.

Recently retired Lieutenant Colonel Steve Russell spoke with News on 6 reporter Chris Wright about the trial and the colonel’s role in history.

Russell says the man he helped capture needs to face justice. Steve Russell was there that night in December of 2003 when Saddam Hussein emerged from his "spider hole." The Del City native's battalion had spent months tracking the former dictator. "We knew that if we kept going after him, we just might get him.”

Russell, who also served in Kosovo and Afghanistan, even snapped some personal pictures immediately after the raid. He says he has kept close tabs on Saddam's trial, and agrees with the prosecutor's criticism that the presiding judge is allowing Saddam too much time for "political statements." "I think that is uncalled for, I think the prosecutor is right, let's get him to trial, let's bring him to justice. The Iraqis will do that, and in the end I think he will be hung."

Confident the Iraqis will convict Saddam, Russell also says he did not have a problem handing him over to them. "The Iraqis have suffered the most and they are the ones who deserve to put him on trial and ultimately bring him to justice." And now that his part in the war is over, Lieutenant Colonel Russell says he will retire to Oklahoma, his place in history secure. "Well the night he was caught was one of the proudest moments of my life, just a tremendous feeling."

Russell's retirement took effect on September 1st, and he is currently on a countrywide speaking tour, including a stop in Tulsa on Thursday. He also says he plans on writing a book detailing his hunt for Saddam.