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Hussein Offers Himself As A Sacrifice

An Iraqi man reads about the rejection of Hussein's appeal (epa) December 27, 2006 -- Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein says he will go to the gallows as a "sacrifice," and he called on the Iraqi people to unite against their enemies.

Hussein, in a letter written from his jail cell and confirmed as genuine by his defense counsel, said God would place him among the "true men and martyrs."

The letter also calls on Iraqis "not to hate the people of the other countries that attacked us."

The former dictator is facing death by hanging within 30 days following an Iraqi appeals court decision to uphold his death sentence for crimes against humanity.

The decision must still be ratified by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, but Appeals Court Judge Arif Shaheen said the sentence must be carried out.

The Ba'ath Party today threatened to retaliate if their leader is executed, warning in an Internet posting it would target U.S. interests "with all means and everywhere."

The party was officiallly disbanded after Hussein's ouster in 2003.


Saddam Hussein In Pictures

Saddam Hussein In Pictures

A slideshow of photographs from Saddam Hussein's years ruling Iraq through his downfall.