A Disassociated Press Report, Baghdad, December 15, 2003
By Eric Mader
Jim Morrison two years
before his "death" in Paris.
In what is likely to go down as one of the most embarrassing mishaps of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, American forces last night captured the former Doors singer Jim Morrison in a farmhouse just south Tikrit.
Initially pinpointed by American intelligence as one of the hideouts of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the farmhouse was stormed by a force of sixty armed U.S. soldiers, who pulled a confused Morrison from an eight-foot deep pit where, it was later learned, the former rock singer would normally go "to meditate."
Believing they had captured Saddam Hussein, U.S. forces conducted a medical examination and later called a press conference during which they showed videos to prove they had captured the former Iraqi leader.
Standing up and waving their arms furiously during the initial airing of the videos, a number of Iraqi journalists present at the press conference began yelling: "That's not Saddam, you idiots! That's Jim Morrison!"
Simultaneous voice translations given by CNN, however, first reported the angry journalists' words as: "Saddam! Saddam! You deserve to die! Saddam!"
More than nine hours had passed after the initial capture before the case of mistaken identity was realized.
L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, tried to make light of the mishap by recalling his initial words of elation: "Well, ladies and gentleman, we still got 'im! It's just a different him."
Jim Morrison, who was previously believed to have died in his bathtub in Paris in 1971, told reporters early today that he had faked his death in order to escape from his life of drug abuse and rock stardom. Morrison has apparently been living in Iraq since the early seventies, when he converted to Islam.
The two men captured with Morrison were indeed "loyalists," although not of the sort sought by American forces. Part of an underground Sufi poetry group that Morrison founded, the men claimed to journalists to have remained almost constantly in "the Master's" presence since the late 1980s.
"We are not merely seeking to cleanse the doors of perception," Morrison told reporters in explanation of the goals of his group. "We are out to unhinge them, you know? We seek total illumination."
Jim Morrison examined by a U.S. army doctor
after his capture in Iraq.
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