The capture of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was met with elation. Iraqis rejoiced, as President Bush and Prime Minister Blair breathed a sigh of relief. American forces found Hussein just outside of his hometown of Tikrit, hiding in a "spider hole," 6 feet underneath the safehouse hut (safehut?) with two AK 47s, a pistol, and $750,000. In the cowboy vigilante style, U.S. Administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him," to cheers from Iraqi journalists at a press conference.

Monkeys grooming each other; Photo: University of Wisconsin

He was then taken to be examined (healthy) and shaved so everyone could see it was in fact Saddam Hussein that the U.S. had captured. The military also released the medical examination footage to the media, which has been replaying it nonstop, leading to Gothamist's observation that we are very much like primates. Now, the military will be interrogating him for more information about where the weapons of mass destruction are.

President Bush's remarks to the nation about the capture of Hussein, as well as the fascinating White House transcript of Press Secretary Scott McClellan, describing how Secretary Rumsfeld told President Bush, how Bush told Condoleeza Rice, etc (the White House phone tree); reporters wanted to know if President Bush was sleeping at 5:14AM. No joke (and he wasn't).

Times reporter Edward Wong, who recently moved off the aviation beat to cover the conflict in Iraq, co-wrote a few of the articles, one about the capture and the other about the Iraqi reaction.