portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

imperialism & war

News report exposes Saddam statue toppling as "staged event."

WJLA Channel 7, the Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate, this evening aired a special investigative report on the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. Basing its coverage on the release of an internal report by the Army, Channel 7's "I-Team" concludes the event was completely staged.
The Channel 7 "I-Team" found that:

1. The toppling of the statue was not the "spontaneous" event it was reported to be,

2. The event was staged by a Psychological Operations unit of the U.S. Army,

3. Iraqis were told where to stand and what to do while the cameras rolled,

4. Only a dozen or so hand-picked Iraqis were present for the event, not thousands as virtually all news organizations reported,

5. The cordoned-off square was pretty much deserted apart from these few Iraqis, a large number of U.S. military, and many members of the press and camera crews (the photo showing the large view of the square was shown),

8. At the exact time of the toppling and filming of Iraqis celebrating their "liberation", only a few blocks away U.S. forces were engaged in a furious defensive gunbattle with Iraqi resistance fighters.

Sort of lets the wind out of some of the administration's propaganda sails. Of course, much of this was reported at the time in the foreign press and on Indymedia - including the photos showing the square pretty much empty and the adjoining streets blocked off. Nice to see that the truth of that propaganda stunt finally reaches home, although I somehow doubt the story will go much further than this single report on the local D.C. news hour.

The transcript of the "I-Team" news segment is at:


and the (complete) Army report is at:

..... 22.Jul.2004 23:32


i thought people knew this something like a year ago.

... 23.Jul.2004 00:31


Yeah, I guess they'll be reporting about those sodomized Iraqui boys sometimes next year.

The point is this... 23.Jul.2004 02:14


That this has finally been reported in the mainstream media. For the vast majority of Americans, this is big news.

Why hell, they still think that Saddam was the mastermind behind 9-11. They think that the "War on Terrorism" is to protect the country from attack and that Bush saved the economy by giving tax cuts to the rich.

Psychological Operations- A Euphemism for Lying 23.Jul.2004 09:06

Gary Sudborough IconoclastGS@aol.com

I remember distinctly that when this story of the toppling of Saddam's stature appeared in the corporate media, an alternative explantion appeared on indymedia that indicated the incident was staged because a wide angle shot showed that the square was mostly empty and the cheering Iraqis were largely Ahmed Chalabi's exiles. Right-wingers and the spooks that inhabit indymedia sites wrote in comment after comment that this was all a "conspiracy theory" by these leftist nut-cases and the leftists were just angry over the American victory and the great joy felt by Iraqis over Saddam's defeat. Well, now all you Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly fans- who was really right about this whole affair by the US army's own admission? Further, was the Jessica Lynch story also a psychological operation of the U.S. army? The Iraqi doctor who treated her seems to think so. Can one believe anything the US military says about Iraq, including the real American casualty figures?

Old News 23.Jul.2004 09:57


I did a search on ABC Nightline for their report on this story, and it sent me back to portland.indymedia:

"ABC's "Nightline" of April 11 closed with a report titled "The Art of Framing" by Robert Krulwich. The segment's opening shot showed tight framing of people jumping on the Hussein statue, and then pulled wide to reveal a mostly empty public square- just as you see in the photo posted on this page! This is a familiar tactic of the US networks- showing biased coverage 100 times, and then covering their butts by doing one quick "mea culpa." But hats off to ABC for their mea culpa- their CIA plants must have left early for the weekend."

I remember seeing this episode well over a year ago, then seeing Nightline use the tight "Iraqi celebration" shot the very same week, with no acknowledement of the hoax exposure story. I sent them an e-mail asking them to explain, and received no response.

Another take on this story here:  http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?noframes;read=51617

This Article is the real psyops 24.Jul.2004 10:22


In other words, Iraqis actually support Saddam and only a few handpicked Iraqis are against him? The fact is that Saddam Hussein is asshole #1 and an exceedingly vast majority of Iraqis were happy to see that statue fall and rejoice that he is now in custody, many Iraqis hope that he will be executed (against the will of the occupation authority which placed a ban on executions in Iraq).

Saddam Hussein is still a CIA asset. Even if he did run amok, his imperialist handlers have an acute interest in guaranteeing his life to the point that George Bush recomended that he go safely into exile before the start of the war. France Working on Saddam Exile Deal  http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/Primetime/saddamexile_030321.html

Vatican denies involvement in Saddam exile bid  http://www.cathnews.com/news/303/62.php

Jordan Pressing U.S. to Offer Exile to Hussein  http://www.drumbeat.mlaterz.net/Jan%20Feb%202003/Jordan%20pressing%20US%20to%20offer%20Saddam%20exile%20021203a.htm

War Looms After Bush Abandons Diplomacy and Demands Saddam's Exile  http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0317-09.htm

Don't be taken in by false flag operations claiming that real socialists support Saddam or that the blatant lie that the DPRK supports Saddam or the blatant lie that the PFLP supports Saddam or the blatant lie that the Iraqi people support Saddam. The only "left" group supporting Saddam is the MKO which has also been proven to be a CIA asset. Saddam was installed by the USA. Now he is removed by the USA. In neither case does Iraq have sovereignty unless the masses determine the fate of Saddam which will most certainly lead to his execution.

... 24.Jul.2004 16:50

this thing here

what i would love to know is who inside the media organizations ordered their cameria crews to point their cameras in that direction at that time.

folks, baghdad is a big city. there are many statues of saddam. not only that, there was a freaking war on, many many things besides this particular statue to point a camera at.

the point is, a psy ops operation such as this doesn't work without the cameras. and the cameras and camera crews won't cover it unless some editor, some higher up in their corporation tells them to.

yeah, it was the statue right out front of the very hotel where all the journalists were staying. still, the thing i'm trying to get at is that the media were essentially collaborators in this psy ops, and the important question to ask is were they witting or unwitting collaborators.

this thing here 24.Jul.2004 20:12

Tony Blair's dog

"what i would love to know is who inside the media organizations ordered their cameria crews to point their cameras in that direction at that time."

It wasn't the media corporations handling the cameras at that event.

If you remember back the hotel where the "media people" lived in
had just before the "toppling" been "shelled" by a U.S. tank
standing on a bridge across from the hotel. A journalist standing
with his big filmcamera on their balcony had been effectly killed
by the tank crew.

The "media people" were all quite upset and "unfortunetely" "missed"
the "toppling" "event".

The hotel is located very near the place of the "toppling"
Would the camera man who was blasted to death by the tank shell
able to see the whole "stage" and risking exposing the hoax?

Maybe that can be found out ;-)