nobody expects the EU inquisition!
Ok, you can all go home now. No need for war. Saddam has done a tell-all interview and now we can be sure the truth will be known.
Tony Benn met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad yesterday in an attempt to avert war in the Gulf.
During an interview filmed by an Iraqi crew, the former Labour MP and veteran peace activist said he asked President Saddam whether Iraq possessed any weapons of mass destruction. He said he also asked him whether Iraq had links to the al-Qa'ida terrorist network. Iraq has repeatedly denied both accusations
The interview will be broadcast on television this week, but my network of underground spies has already obtained a copy of the transcript:
As Benn enters the room, Saddam looks surprised. Benn is accompanied by Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder, who have vowed to finally get the truth out of Saddam .
Benn: NOBODY expects the EU Inquisition!
They sit down to begin the interview
Benn:You are hereby charged that you did have weapons of mass destruction and connections to al-Qa'ida. Now, how do you plead?
Saddam: I'm innocent.
Chirac:Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Schroeder: We'll soon change your mind about that!
Benn: Now, old man - you are accused of terrorism on three counts - heresy by thought, heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action - four counts. Do you confess?
Saddam: I don't understand what I'm accused of.
Chirac: Ha! Then we shall make you understand! Biggles! Fetch...THE SOFT CUSHIONS!
(Schroeder holds out two ordinary modern household cushions)
Schroeder: Here they are, Chirac.
Benn: Now, old man- you have one last chance. Confess the heinous sin of building nuclear weapons, reject al-Qaida- two last chances. And you shall be free - three last chances. You have three last chances.
Saddam: I don't know what you're talking about.
Benn :Right! If that's the way you want it - Chirac! Poke him with the soft cushions!
Chirac: Confess! Confess! Confess!
Schroder: It doesn't seem to be hurting him.
Benn: Have you got all the stuffing up one end?
Chirac: Yes, lord.
Benn:Hm! He is made of harder stuff! Fetch...THE COMFY CHAIR!
Schroeder:(terrified) The...Comfy Chair?
(Chirac pushes in a really plush comfy chair)
Benn: So you think you are strong because you can survive the soft cushions. Well, we shall see. Chirac! Put him in the Comfy Chair!
(They roughly push him into the Comfy Chair)
Benn: Now - you will stay in the Comfy Chair until lunch time, with only a cup of coffee at eleven.
Eventually, the lobbing of the soft questions gets to Saddam and he breaks down and confesses that yes, he had a weapon once but he got rid of it. It was a BB gun that he gave his son Uday for his tenth birthday, but they threw it in the river when Uday embraced peace as a way of life.
When asked why he did the interview, Benn replied, "We hear President Bush and Tony Blair every day but we don't hear from Saddam Hussein."
He then added, "Now that you have heard Saddam speak -and you cannot say we did not try to force the answers from him - you know the truth. He is truly a man of peace. I feel bad that we even tortured him like that."