'Bump him off real fast,' Bentley says of Hussein


WASHINGTON -- Representative Helen Delich Bentley, R-Md.-2nd, has come up with the most expedient way for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to surrender power: assassination.

"I'd prefer if someone could go in and bump him off real fast," the Lutherville Republican told WJZ-TV this week.

Mrs. Bentley -- who last month preferred to "nuke" Saddam Hussein -- reiterated her stand yesterday, adding, "I'm not going to say whether we ought to do it. I'm saying somebody ought to do it."

The congresswoman, who returned Sunday from a three-day trip to Kuwait with Gov. William Donald Schaefer and scores of business and political leaders, said she was told of Iraqi atrocities, including the story of one woman whose four sons were shot.

"This guy has done some very bad things," Mrs. Bentley said, referring to the Iraqi leader. "He should be brought up on charges or done away with."

An executive order signed in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter -- and backed by his successors -- bars the United States from taking part in the assassination of foreign leaders.

The congresswoman said she backs legislation introduced in January by Representative Bob McEwen, R-Ohio, that would suspend the executive order for President Hussein and other Iraqi leaders while U.S. troops are in the Persian Gulf.

The Ohio congressman said the move would not put Iraq's "topband of thugs at the same level of vulnerability that American soliders face." Later, she called back a reporter to alter her comments.

"He should be done away with hopefully by the Arabs themselves," she said, "or turned over to Kuwaiti officials for final dispensation."

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