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Iraqi Heir's Playboy Ways

Odai Hussein attends a session of parliament in Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 24, 2000. He was elected to parliament in 1999 with a reported 99 percent of the vote, but he rarely attended parliament sessions.
AP
While most Iraqis suffered under the burden of U.N. sanctions that drove their country into poverty, Saddam Hussein's eldest son Odai was said to live a life of fast cars, expensive liquor and easy women, and a tour through his bombed house on Monday proved it.

The walls of a gym were plastered with photographs of women downloaded from the Internet — "the biggest collection of naked women I'd ever seen," said U.S. Army Capt. Ed Ballanco. "It looked like something at the Playboy Mansion."

Among Odai's photos were shots of Jenna and Barbara Bush, the president's twin 21-year-old daughters, "dressed up very nice in evening clothes," Ballanco said, adding that soldiers took them down "to protect the president."

Odai Hussein's compound occupies the back corner of the sprawling Presidential Palace compound, a small city that boasts six-lane avenues, traffic lights and a hospital. U.S. soldiers who now occupy the grounds say they believe Odai's portion included a house, a warehouse, a gym, a harem and a zoo.

The house clearly belonged to Odai. Scattered among debris left from the recent bombing lay stationery bearing Odai's name in gold lettering, photographs of Odai and dozens of copies of his doctoral dissertation, "The World After the Cold War."

The house's contents also confirmed rumors of the sybaritic habits that long ago put Odai in the disfavor of Iraqi dissenters: a hunger for alcohol, drugs and lots and lots of women.

There were bottles of Cuervo 1800 tequila, Danska vodka and Delamain cognac, as well as Chimay, Corona and Miller Genuine Draft beers.

Bags and boxes of pills and medicines including ginseng sexual fortifiers, heartburn medication and Prozac, along with an Accu-Rite HIV Antibodies Screening Test Kit littered his offices.

Soldiers also found several handgun boxes, signed receipts for sports cars and piles of magazines including "Guns and Ammo" and "Guns" as well as Spanish car magazines and catalogues of JetSkis.

In a near-by storehouse, which soldiers dubbed the "crackhouse," were roomfuls of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. Ballanco estimated the alcohol's worth at $1 million U.S. currency.

"You had Dom Perignon, French wines — all appellation controlee (a quality guarantee), some 30-40 years old — a lot of very good brandy, a lot of good whiskey," he said. "There were boxes of Cuban cigars that said `Odai Saddam Hussein' on them, hundreds of them. My guys smoked them."

He said there were also six bags of heroin. He didn't know how much they held.

"There are UNICEF boxes in there with kids' school supplies meant for the children of Iraq, yet these jerks took it in there," said Maj. Kent Rideout.

There were signs of Odai's alleged obsession with sex throughout the house and grounds. The house held paintings of naked women, as well as bundles of Internet printouts of what appeared to be prostitutes, complete with handwritten ratings of each. One little black book listed hundreds of women's names and phone numbers.

There were posters of university graduating classes, lending some credence to accusations that Odai scoped out female graduates, then had them abducted for his sexual pleasure.

One e-mail printout showed a complaint from a woman who claimed she was having a hard time finding heterosexual men in Europe.

"Darling, babe, it's not good timing to send me sexy attachment. OH BOY where am I going to get one guy?" it read in English.

And one house apparently wasn't big enough for Odai's women. Off to one side, a gaudy house filled with bedrooms, now used as a camp for U.S. soldiers, appears to have been a harem.

It has statuettes of couples in foreplay, several couches with fluffy pillows and a swimming pool with a bar.

"The pink and the cheesiness suggest it was a concubines' house," Ballanco said.

Odai's zoo behind house had a pen holding two cheetahs, five lion cubs and a young bear.

U.S. soldiers have adopted three German Shepherd guard dogs found in the compound, and feed them military rations. For the wilder animals, soldiers have been throwing in sheep from a nearby pen, said Spc. Pete Adams.

A feeding on Sunday, he said, "looked like something from the National Geographic Channel."