SKY-NEWS (UK) 04/13/03
US troops have discovered what they described as Saddam Hussein’s “love shack” in Baghdad. Reports said the secret hideaway resembled “a playboy’s fantasy straight from the 1960s”.
Troops said it reminded them of the Austin Powers spy spoofs.
They yelled Powers’ catchphrases “yeah, baaabeee” and “shagadelic” as they went from room to room.
Associated Press reporters with US forces said the split-level, one bedroom house in central Baghdad had a mirrored bedroom and lamps shaped like women.
On the walls were air-brushed paintings of a topless blonde woman and another of a moustached hero battling a crocodile.
Throughout the house were photos of Saddam and one of his known mistresses smiling at each other.
Military officials suspect they found one of the paranoid Iraqi leader’s many safe houses.
“This must have been Saddam’s love shack,” said Sergeant Spencer Willardson as he searched the house.
The house is in a Ba’ath Party enclave in an upmarket neighborhood in central Baghdad, where generals and senior party officials lived.
It was littered with beanbag chairs and had a bar stocked with 20-year old Italian red wines and expensive cognacs, brandies and Scotch whiskeys.
The kitchen contained fine china of the Kuwaiti royal family, complete with the family seal and gold and maroon trim.
Upstairs was a television room with bright blue, pink and yellow throw pillows. The bathroom included a whirlpool bath.
In the bedroom, the kingsize bed was fitted into an alcove, with mirrors on two sides and a fantasy painting on the third.
The closets and drawers were empty except for a man’s night shirt, two pairs of boxer shorts, two T-shirts and a bath robe – each item individually wrapped in plastic.
One of the air-brushed paintings depicted a topless blonde woman, with a green demon behind her, pointing a finger at a mythical hero.
From the tip of her finger came a giant serpent, which had wrapped itself around the warrior.
Another showed a buxom woman chained to a barren desert mountain ledge, with a huge dragon diving down to kill her with sharpened talons.
The mistress in the photos was Parisoula Lampsos, who has publicly told of her life as his lover.
She escaped to Lebanon in 2002 and was interviewed on US television about her relationship with Saddam.
Her current location is unknown and she was last believed to be in hiding.
In the house next door, which had its windows sealed by iron sheets, troops found thousands of weapons.
More than 6,000 Berretta pistols, 650 Sig Sauer pistols, 248 Colt Revolvers, 160 Belgian 7.65 mm pistols, 12 cases of Sterling submachine guns and four cases of anti-tank missiles all still in the unopened original boxes, were discovered.
There were also tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition mortars and cases of old handguns and heavy machine guns.
Last Updated: 22:11 UK, Saturday April 12, 2003