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The policy makers at the White House and the leadership on the seventh floor at the C.I.A. didn’t want to hear that many of the reasons for going after Saddam were based on false premises.

Set for publication on the 10th anniversary of Saddam Hussein's execution, comes a riveting, revealing and news-making account of the CIA's interrogation of Saddam, written by the CIA agent who conducted the questioning.

In December 2003, after one of the largest, most aggressive manhunts in history, US military forces captured Iraqi president Saddam Hussein near his hometown of Tikrit.

Beset by body-double rumors and false alarms during a nine-month search, the Bush administration needed positive identification of the prisoner before it could make the announcement that would rocket around the world.

At the time, John Nixon was a senior CIA leadership analyst who had spent years studying the Iraqi dictator. Called upon to make the official ID, Nixon looked for tell-tale scars and tribal tattoos and asked Hussein a list of questions only he could answer. The man was indeed Saddam Hussein, but as Nixon learned in the ensuing weeks, both he and America had greatly misunderstood just who Saddam Hussein really was.

Debriefing the President presents an astounding, candid portrait of one of our era's most notorious strongmen. Nixon, the first man to conduct a prolonged interrogation of Hussein after his capture, offers expert insight into the history and mind of America's most enigmatic enemy.

After years of parsing Hussein's leadership from afar, Nixon faithfully recounts his debriefing sessions and subsequently strips away the mythology surrounding an equally brutal and complex man. His account is not an apology, but a sobering examination of how preconceived ideas led Washington policymakers - and Tony Blair's government -astray.

Debriefing the President has chilling relevance for the current state of American foreign policy and the CIA – who Nixon lambasts as “yes men” increasingly side-lining hard-won evidence in favour of towing the White House line. Unflinching and unprecedented, this book exposes a fundamental misreading of one of the modern world's most central figures and presents a new narrative that boldly counters the received account.

‘Mr. Nixon, the first C.I.A. officer to interrogate Hussein after his capture in December 2003, reveals gobsmacking facts about that deposed Iraqi leader that raise new questions about why the United States bothered to invade Iraq to oust him from power… Mr. Nixon offers a stinging indictment of the C.I.A… The agency, he writes, is so eager to please the president — any president — that it will almost always give him the answers he wants to hear.’ – The New York Times

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