As soon as FBI agent George Piro began to speak, Saddam knew the agent was Lebanese and Christian—a good background for the interrogation: Lebanese in the Middle East are generally neutral, and being a Christian meant that Piro didn’t have a bone in Iraq’s intense Sunni/Shiite Muslim rivalry. Saddam tried to be helpful by speaking Arabic with a Lebanese accent, even as, month after month, Piro’s Arabic acquired an Iraqi inflection.
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