Saddam Hussein had a secret torture chamber across from Mayor Bloomberg’s UES mansion

Posted On Thu, October 13, 2016 By

Posted On Thu, October 13, 2016 By In Celebrities, Upper East Side

14 (left) and 12 East 79th Street

Opulent Upper East Side mansions are not exactly what come to mind when one thinks of brutal dictatorships and torture chambers, but a piece in the Post reveals that Saddam Hussein kept a hidden detention room in the basement of the Mission of Iraq at 14 East 79th Street–just a block from Central Park and right across the street from former Mayor Bloomberg’s home. Two Iraqi officials, who spoke anonymously, told the paper that when Hussein rose to power in 1979, he had the prison room installed so that his military intelligence officers (the Mukhabarat) could torture local Iraqis, “using them as leverage to get their relatives back in the homeland to surrender and cooperate with the tyrannical government.”

The basement was made up of three rooms–an office for the Mukhabarat, a communications center where they shared messages with Baghdad, and the detention facility behind a giant metal door with steel bars across it. According to the officials, “It was a dark room. The doors were reinforced in a way that nobody could break in or out. You didn’t need to soundproof it. You’re not going to hear someone screaming down there.” They even went so far as to black out a skylight so the Air Force or satellites couldn’t get a look inside the five-story townhouse.

Torture tactics involved the use of copper wire, rubber hoses and wooden planks, and the Mukhabarat would also regularly pull out prisoners’ nails and beat them senseless. In some extreme cases, they’d ship dead bodies to Baghdad in Customs-exempt diplomatic boxes.

It’s believed that all evidence was destroyed in 2003, upon the American invasion of Iraq, when the U.S. government stormed the mission and cleared the space out. Saddam was, of course, executed in 2006, and in 2014 the torture chamber underwent a $120,000 renovation into (how appetizing) a kitchenette.

[Via NYP]

RELATED:

Tags : ,

Neighborhoods : Upper East Side

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Plans for SHoP’s 10-story wooden condo tower squashed

    Plans for SHoP’s 10-story wooden condo tower squashed

    SHoP’s proposed wooden tower has gotten the axe, reports The Real Deal. The wood high-rise which was slated to rise along 18th ...
  • RAH:DESIGN employed modern home-building techniques to design this cool dog house

    RAH:DESIGN employed modern home-building techniques to design this cool dog house

    While there are many doggie-abodes on the market, the designers at RAH:DESIGN found themselves struggling to find something that fit with ...
  • J.P. Morgan’s 120-year-old ‘Great Camp Uncas’ in the Adirondack wilderness reduced to $2.7M

    J.P. Morgan’s 120-year-old ‘Great Camp Uncas’ in the Adirondack wilderness reduced to $2.7M

    A standout even among the region’s Great Camps, the secluded Camp Uncas was built in 1895 by Brooklynite William West ...
  • FREE RENT: A roundup of NYC’s latest rental concessions

    FREE RENT: A roundup of NYC’s latest rental concessions

    FiDi’s 180 Water Street Announces March Opening; Now Leasing No Fee Rentals + One Month Free [link] Renovated Apartments at ...
  • A slew of new residential developments are headed for the Rockaways

    A slew of new residential developments are headed for the Rockaways

    February is too frigid to fantasize about the Rockaways’ wide white-sand beaches, but the playground peninsula is hot for a different ...
  • Every NY Times front page since 1852 in under a minute; Brooklyn’s evil eye mecca

    Every NY Times front page since 1852 in under a minute; Brooklyn’s evil eye mecca

    Disney Research created a new technology that can wirelessly power an entire room and charge devices. [Travel + Leisure] Ellen DeGeneres ...
  • Glamorous modern condo inside a historic Bed-Stuy townhouse asks $855K

    Glamorous modern condo inside a historic Bed-Stuy townhouse asks $855K

    Talk about an apartment with good bones. This modern condo was carved from the historic four-story townhouse at 347 Gates ...
  • The Urban Lens: Will Ellis explores the relics and ruins of Staten Island’s remote edges

    The Urban Lens: Will Ellis explores the relics and ruins of Staten Island’s remote edges

    6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. ...
  • Ivanka Trump’s Park Avenue starter pad, still without a buyer, gets a rental price chop to $13K a month

    Ivanka Trump’s Park Avenue starter pad, still without a buyer, gets a rental price chop to $13K a month

    As 6sqft previously reported, Ms. Trump and husband Jared Kushner, now senior adviser to President Donald Trump, first listed their apartment ...
  • South Harlem community board wants brokers to stop calling it ‘SoHa’

    South Harlem community board wants brokers to stop calling it ‘SoHa’

    Harlem’s gentrification and increasing real estate prices aren’t news at this point, but a local community board thinks certain real ...
  • $10M Upper East Side townhouse is introducing its neighbors to the future

    $10M Upper East Side townhouse is introducing its neighbors to the future

    Sleek casement windows and a minimalist grey facade are the first sign that this otherwise unassuming mid-block home at 419 East ...
  • 120 more affordable units available at the Bronx’s Compass Residences complex, from $822/month

    120 more affordable units available at the Bronx’s Compass Residences complex, from $822/month

    Back in 2011, Dattner Architects created the West Farms Redevelopment Plan, a rezoning (the largest ever in the Bronx at the ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.