Bush, speaking in an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service on January 16, said Hussein's execution "looked like it was kind of a revenge killing," adding that the Iraqi government "has still got some maturation to do."
"It's a confusing message," Bush said. "It basically says to people, look, you conducted a trial and gave Saddam justice that he didn't give to others. But then, when it came time to execute him, it looked like it was kind of a revenge killing. And it sent a mixed signal to the American people and the people around the world. And it just goes to show that this is a government that has still got some maturation to do."
A cell-phone video of Hussein's hanging showed the deposed Iraqi leader being taunted as he stood on the gallows with a noose around his neck. An official video of the execution of Hussein's half-brother, former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, showed that the hangman's noose decapitated him.
Both hangings provoked criticism around the world.
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