INTERVIEW: Eric Maddox: “How Saddam was captured was misunderstood.”

Eric Maddox

FOX News talked with Eric Maddox in 2008 about the capture of Saddam Hussein:

He is the man who tracked down the Ace of Spades: Saddam Hussein, the top card in the U.S. military’s deck of cards, found crouching like a mole in a darkened spider hole under a trap door at the back of a farm in Tikrit.

For the first time since the Army’s 4th Infantry Division captured Saddam in a dramatic raid on Dec. 13, 2003, the U.S. intelligence officer who hunted him down has come forward with his story.

Speaking to FOX News, Staff Sgt. Eric Maddox, who still serves as an interrogator for the Department of Defense, described how he bucked what had been the strategy to find Saddam in the first months of the war — going after the big name players in the defeated government who were on the loose in the hopes that, if caught, they would reveal Saddam’s whereabouts.

“I think the entire story of how Saddam was captured was misunderstood. It was an interrogation over four months. I interrogated over 300 people,” Maddox said.

Maddox arrived in Iraq in July 2003. He had never interrogated anyone before. He was sent to Tikrit by his commander — known simply by his nickname of BamBam because of the secret nature of his work.

He thought he was going to be there two days, and he had brought one change of clothes — a short-sleeved baby blue oxford shirt. His detainees told him later that insurgents had put a price on his head — describing him only as “the guy in the blue shirt.”

Through careful triangulation and the targeted renditions of low-level drivers and bodyguards — about 32 relatively unknown characters, none of whom ever served in prominent positions in Saddam’s government — a Special Operations Task Force unit was taken to the farm in Tikrit where Saddam was hiding.

Maddox said he never tortured anyone, mostly because he doesn’t think it works.

But he finally got his lucky break. He arrested a driver who, after eight hours of interrogation, revealed the name of the man who held the key to finding Saddam.

Click HERE to read who that man was and how it led to the capture of Hussein.