US President George Bush said the chaotic execution of Saddam Hussein looked like “kind of a revenge killing” and showed that the Iraqi government “has still got some maturation to do".
In his toughest assessment yet of the row over the Iraqi leader’s execution, Bush criticised the circumstances of Saddam’s hanging and the execution of two top aides, including Saddam’s half brother.
“I was disappointed and felt like they fumbled the – particularly the Saddam Hussein execution,” the President said last night in an interview by public television’s Jim Lehrer.
Mr Bush said he had expressed disappointment to Iraq’s prime minister Nouri Maliki about the way Saddam’s execution was handled.
“The message is that it’s a confusing message,” the president said. “It basically says to people... you conducted a trial and gave Saddam justice that he didn’t give to others. But then, when it came to executing him, it looked like it was kind of a revenge killing.”
He said it sent a mixed signal to the American people and people around the world.
“And it just goes to show that this is a government that has still got some maturation to do,” Mr Bush said.