Saddam Hussein may be gone, but President Bush still has a souvenir he uses to titillate special guests: the pistol Saddam was carrying when he was captured. Like a child showing off his favorite toy, the president has been known to beam with delight when guests view the mounted weapon, which is held in the Oval Office.
One such guest remarked in 2004: “He really liked showing it off…. He was really proud of it.”
When Saddam Hussein was rousted from his spider hole in Dawr, a town near Tikrit, by U.S. soldiers last December, Iraq’s fallen dictator was clutching a pistol. He is now in detention at an undisclosed location, being questioned by American authorities and awaiting charges for war atrocities and crimes against humanity. But what ever happened to the pistol?
The sidearm has made its way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Sources say that the military had the pistol mounted after the soldiers seized it from Saddam and that it was then presented to the President privately by some of the troops who played a key role in ferreting out the old tyrant. Though it was widely reported at the time that the pistol was loaded when they grabbed Saddam, Bush has told visitors that the gun was empty—and that it is still empty and safe to touch. “He really liked showing it off,” says a recent visitor to the White House who has seen the gun. “He was really proud of it.”