I guess this is the rest of the story...BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Saddam Hussein personally initiated an attempt to reach a last-minute deal with Washington to avoid the U.S.-led invasion that ousted his regime, a former Iraqi government official said Friday.
The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said Iraqi officials had Saddam's "full consent" when they approached the United States with the deal, offering oil contracts for U.S. companies and open access for U.N. weapons inspectors.
The aide was not part of the national leadership, but his job provided him daily contact with the dictator and insight into the regime's decision-making process during the past decade and its critical final days.
The former aide's comments to the AP came a day after a Lebanese-American businessman, Imad Hage, confirmed the last-minute offer and said he was the go-between for the Iraqis in approaching the Bush administration.
Hage said the deal fell through because the Iraqis refused to comply with a U.S. demand that Saddam step down
"But there has never been any hint that the concessions ever included Saddam leaving power, and I believe that this is the main reason why they were not accepted," he said. "The minimum the Americans wanted was for him to leave. They were not interested in any other concessions."