March 22, 2003

THE AUSTRALIAN'S Terry Plane reports

THE AUSTRALIAN'S Terry Plane reports on a mystery mission to Iraq involving a medico now resident in Adelaide (no link available):

Dr Aidinis had cause to look at Hussein more closely than most. As a member of a four person, US-sponsored specialist medical team in the late 70s, he flew into Baghdad on a secret mission - to fix Hussein's back.

"It was all very hush-hush," Dr Aidinis recalled yesterday. He was not told until he was about to board an aircraft at Dulles airport in Washington DC where he was going or what he was doing. "We were told that if things went wrong we were on our own - without our passports."

Dr Aidinis, then professor of anaesthesiology at George Washington University medical centre, was chosen by the US state department to accompany two other professors - of neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery - on a goodwill mission endorsed by then US president Jimmy Carter.

Aidinis and his team repaired the brute, who invited them to return to Iraq any time they liked. The doc's prized memento of Operation Fix Saddam is "a mounted citation from the White House, signed by Mr Carter."

Posted by Tim Blair at March 22, 2003 11:01 PM