Hussein's unlikely bond with FBI agent
Mr. Piro, one of about 50 Arabic speakers among the FBI’s 10,000 agents, coaxed this information out of Hussein over the course of nearly a year – during which, he says, the dictator came increasingly to rely on him emotionally.
According to CBS, Piro listened to Hussein read poetry he’d written – a daily exercise for the former dictator, who had always carefully carved out time to read fiction when he was running Iraq. He gave Hussein the baby wipes the "clean freak" ruler loved to use to clean his cell and wipe off fresh fruit. The FBI agent celebrated Hussein’s birthday with cookies from his mother. He gave Hussein flower seeds, which he cultivated in a tiny garden with his bare hands. Slowly, the relationship began to yield fruit.
When Piro gave a lengthy interview to CBS’s 60 minutes in January 2008, his boss – FBI Assistant Director Joe Persichini – called the interviews with Hussein “one of the top accomplishments of our agency in the last 100 years.”