Major General Hussam Mohammed Amin, named the "Six of Clubs" on the Bush Administration's card deck of "Iraq's Most Wanted," had, perhaps, the most impossible job in pre-war Iraq.
Reporting to Saddam Hussein's powerful deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, Amin was the man in the middle through 12 years of fractious international weapons inspections between the two American wars -- Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom -- charged with managing the cat-and-mouse between Saddam and the aggressive teams of United Nations weapons inspectors. He visited the U.N. in New York a dozen times over the years with Iraqi delegations, and his white-mustachioed face was well known to anyone following the weapons fray.
In December 2002, as the prospect of war grew increasingly inevitable, Amin coordinated Iraq's "full and final" disclosure of chemical, biological and nuclear programs to the U.N. Iraq produced a 12,000-page declaration--12 CD-ROMs and 43 spiral-bound volumes -- that would be devoid of revelations, Amin told reporters, "because Iraq is clean of weapons of mass destruction." He made one of his last public appearances at a Baghdad press conference two months later, in March 2003, as American troops massed on the Kuwaiti border.
As war rolled over the Iraqi regime, Amin disappeared from view. The only public information about him since was the announcement by U.S. Central Command that he was captured "on or around" April 27, 2003.
After the Iraqi insurgency began to dominate the news and the U.S. government figured out that Amin had essentially been telling the truth about WMD all along, the mechanical engineer was largely forgotten, except for sporadic interrogations about the Saddam regime. He was held without charges for nearly three years.