Dr. Hamza also presents a startling, unprecedented portrait of Saddam himself, his drunken rages, his women, his fear of germs, and his cold-blooded murder of underlings.
Saddam's Bombmaker is also a saga of one man's journey through the circles of hell. Educated at MIT and Florida State University, dedicated to a life of peaceful teaching in America, Dr. Hamza relates how the regime ordered him home, seduced him into a pampered life as an atomic energy official, and forced him to design a bomb. The price of refusal was torture. The tale of his escape, his first bungled contact with CIA agents, and his flight abroad will keep listeners riveted toward a climax worthy of a well-crafted spy thriller.
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- Karol Babioch
Not too sure about the historic accuracy
While I very much enjoyed this audiobook, I'm not too sure what to make of this whole thing. The historic cornerstones seem to be authentic, but apparently the role of the author in the Iraqi nuclear program is vastly exaggerated. It can be easily verified that the Iraqis did purchase a French reactor in the 70's, which was bombed by the Israelis in the early 80's during Operation Opera. This is basically the scheme of the whole book. Known facts are mixed up with the accounts of Khidhir Hamza, which as an outsider are hard to verify. Doing a little bit of research it seems that he is vastly exaggerating his role and responsibilities and his accounts of the program are rejected by all major intelligence services, so all of this should probably be taken with a huge grain of salt.
Nevertheless it is written and structured in a very good way, and it is a fun read. I think the most important lesson I've learned from this book is, that we should focus on the people whenever dealing with nuclear proliferation. This was true when the Soviet union fell apart, and this is also true with the Iraqi program.
I guess intelligence services all around the world (but especially the Mossad) understand this also (and have been for a long time). While there are technical means to prevent Iran from getting the atomic bomb (e.g. Stuxnet), there are also all sorts of assassinations of nuclear scientists going on. It's not mentioned in the mainstream media, but there is a dedicated Wikipedia page with all sorts of references. I'm really surprised that all of this is going on, and nobody of importance gives a shit about it. At least I haven't heard about a debate, which discusses whether it is morally acceptable to kill people (without a trial, etc.) based on the assumption that they work on a program to attain a bomb that the killing party already has.
2 Leute fanden das hilfreich