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Saddam Hussein Caught Red-Handed in Santa Suit
Above: With his long beard and pointy red and white turban, "Santa" Hussein was barely recognizable when U.S. Special Forces apprehended him

ADWAR, Iraq (SP) — He may have been posing as St. Nick, but there was nothing jolly about Saddam Hussein's demeanor when he was taken into custody by U.S. Special Forces, which managed to dig up the elusive former dictator from a hole in the ground near Hussein's home town of Tigrit.

Sources in the Pentagon told Satiric Press that they believe Hussein first began disguising himself as Santa Claus several weeks ago, entertaining children in markets, bazaars and shopping malls all along the Tigress River. In order to reduce the likelihood that he would be recognized and apprehended, Hussein never spent two consecutive days working the same mall, while his legion of surgically-altered body doubles were dispatched throughout the region wearing identical Santa suits.

The break U.S. intelligence officials had been waiting for came when they received several reports about a disheveled, apparently intoxicated Santa in Karbala, urging children to take up arms against "those naughty American infidels", and insisting that he was actually a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed.

Above: His inability to stay off the sauce may have been what blew Saddam's cover

Given that the population of Iraq is almost exclusively Muslim, a person dressed as Santa Claus in that nation would have been rather conspicuous a year ago, but now it's regarded as just another sign of the profound extent to which Iraqi culture has been influenced by the American occupation, which is nearing the one year mark.

"Now that Saddam Hussein has been caught, the Iraqi people no longer have to fear being ruled by an unwelcome, imperialist regime," said L. Paul Bremer, the American Civilian Administrator in Iraq, at a press conference held in Saddam's opulent former palace in Baghdad, which was recently chosen to be the new site of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

Above: Saddam Hussein's magnificent Presidential Palace in Baghdad was fit for a king, but soon it will be the site of the new U.S. Embassy

President Bush says that Hussein will not be turned over by the United States to a specially-constituted International War Crimes Tribunal, on the basis that members of such a tribunal from countries that did not support the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq would be biased. "I think it's very reasonable to assume that countries such as Russia, Germany, and France have pre-judged the case against Saddam Hussein, and therefore would be unable to provide a fair and impartial trial for that evil, sadistic monster who tried to kill my daddy," said Bush.

As a result, the trial of Saddam Hussein, which some are already calling the 'trial of the millennium' (at least until The People vs. Kobe Bryant gets underway) will be held in Santa Barbara County, where judges and prosecutors are accustomed to handling very high-profile cases involving celebrity defendants. Hussein has retained former O.J. Simpson 'dream team' attorney Barry Sheck as his primary legal representative.

Sheck insists that his client is not Saddam Hussein, despite what the Bush administration has called 'irrefutable DNA evidence' that Hussein is the man they have in custody. "I think the prosecution has lost sight of the heavy burden which they carry in a case of this sort," said Sheck. "They have to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that my client isn't Santa Claus, and I just don't see how they're going to do that."

Above: Could this be the real Santa Claus?

Sheck suggests that the only way the prosecution might be able to meet this evidentiary burden would be to argue that Santa doesn't really exist, which legal experts believe the Santa Barbara District Attorney's office would be extremely reluctant to do. On the other hand, prosecutors may find it just as difficult to establish that the weapons of mass destruction which Saddam has been accused of developing really do exist.

The evidence linking Saddam to the Al Qaeda Terrorist Network is equally tenuous. The only direct evidence that the U.S. has been able to procure thus far is the testimony of Saddam's personal hairstylist, Elijah Al Jazerra, who claims to have also served as the hairdresser for Al Qaeda Terror Operations Chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, shortly before Mohammed's capture by U.S. Soldiers back in March.

Above: It's alleged that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Saddam Hussein share the same hairstylist

Sheck has applied for a writ of habeus corpus, arguing that the Bush administration would be creating an international incident if his client is not granted bail prior to December 25th. "I don't think President Bush wants to go down in the history books as the man who cancelled Christmas, particularly heading into an election year," said Sheck.

With Saddam Hussein apparently now in custody, the focus shifts back to the search for the FBI's other most wanted individual, Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. While bin Laden's long beard and age might also seem to fit the part of Santa Claus, it's believed that his extraordinarily slender physique would make it nearly impossible for him to pass as a plausible Mr. Claus. However, SP has learned that the U.S. military is currently investigating intelligence reports regarding a suspicious-looking individual who's recently been spotted playing bass guitar for a ZZ Top cover band on the outskirts of Karachi.

Above: Just another member of a ZZ Top cover band or Osama bin Laden incognito?
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