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Iraq's Information Minister Resurfaces

Ex-Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf speaks during a news conference in Baghdad, March 22, 2003.
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Ex-Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf speaks during a news conference in Baghdad, March 22, 2003.

Former Iraqi information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, who gained much attention during the war by proclaiming Iraqi victories in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, resurfaced Thursday with interviews on the Al-Arabiya satellite network and Abu Dhabi television. Sahhaf claimed he had turned himself into U.S. forces but was let go. U.S. commanders say he's never been in their custody.

In the Western world, Sahhaf became known for his wildly exaggerated assertions of Iraq's prospects of winning the war against the United States. Even as U.S. forces were advancing on Baghdad, Sahhaf insisted American troops would be defeated.

Sahhaf''s baseless bravado and colorful rhetoric helped inspire an array of mocking Web sites. D.J. Lachapelle, the co-creator of WelovetheIraqiInformationMinister.com, says Sahhaf's appeal lies in his "combination of absurdity and hilarity and unwavering... staying on the message."

"We think that it's totally great that he's back," Lachapelle says. "We're talking about a man who is on the cusp of being one the great spinners of all time, and we're just thrilled that he's back among us."

It seems the Web-surfing public shares his enthusiasm. Lachapelle says his Web site received more than 60,000 unique visitors Friday morning.

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