Administration officials say they believe Saddam was inside the compound that was struck Wednesday by bunker-busting missiles.
Twice since the shooting started the world has been shown videotape from Baghdad of a man who looks, acts, and talks like Saddam Hussein. But, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart on 60 Minutes II, there's an ongoing debate within the Bush administration over whether this is actually the man himself or a good imposter.
Several hours after the first cruise missiles struck Baghdad late Wednesday, Iraqi TV showed a tape of Hussein allegedly answering the challenge. He even made reference to the date to prove it wasn't an old videotape.
Veteran Hussein watchers were thrown by the thick glasses, the heaviness in the face, and the uncharacteristically narrow shoulders.
"My initial reaction was, 'Gee. That does not look like him,' " says Jerrald Post, who created the CIA's psychological profile unit and has studied Hussein intensely. "Either that was a really quite drawn and stressed out, puffy-faced from not getting enough sleep Saddam, or it represented a double."
Iraqi defectors have long insisted that Hussein uses doubles to throw off his enemies and maintain an air of secrecy. The look-alikes reportedly had plastic surgery and were trained in the dictator's mannerisms, including the way he walks, even down to his facial tics.
Over the years, the CIA has kept careful watch as well - from his first Gulf War days of usually wearing a uniform to the more presidential Hussein of recent years, usually seen in business suits and matching ties.
A German forensic pathologist studied hundreds of Hussein photos and videotapes, concentrating on his mustache and eyebrow measurements. Then he used computer software to locate specific points such as the tip of his nose and the cheekbone, creating a face print which was compared to the Hussein photographs.
His conclusion: There are three Hussein impersonators, all with small, distinct differences.
Interestingly, the German pathologist reportedly has carefully examined these latest tapes from Baghdad and concluded that this is the real Hussein. The truth, obviously, is hiding somewhere in Baghdad.