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No definitive judgment on body double possibility

U.S. officials said they are uncertain that the man, left, who appeared on Iraqi TV after U.S. airstrikes, is Saddam Hussein, right.
U.S. officials said they are uncertain that the man, left, who appeared on Iraqi TV after U.S. airstrikes, is Saddam Hussein, right.

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CNN's David Ensor talks to CNN's Paula Zahn about whether Saddam Hussein or a body double appeared on a tape on Iraqi television after the U.S. strikes. (March 20)
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. officials are increasingly convinced the man seen on Iraqi TV following Wednesday's initial strikes on Baghdad was indeed Saddam Hussein, not a body double as some first suggested.

Officials say technical analysis suggests the voice and inflection and movements of the mouth may be the same as Saddam Hussein from past tapes -- though there is not yet a definitive U.S. judgment.

It has been widely reported that the Iraqi leader has a number of look-alikes who stand in for him from time to time at public events.

The taped message mentioned Thursday's date and appeared on Iraqi television after the U.S. strikes.

The White House said no one in the U.S. government has drawn any definitive conclusions about whether the man seen addressing the Iraqi public was Saddam.

Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence officials expressed optimism that strikes against Baghdad targets killed some of Iraq's senior leadership, but they said they were uncertain about Saddam's fate.

President Bush's decision to order the strikes came during a meeting Wednesday with CIA Director George Tenet and others. During that gathering, the intelligence chief told Bush the United States had a fix on some of Iraq's top leadership, possibly including Saddam, officials said.

One U.S. official said: "If Saddam did not die last night, it's got to leave him wondering about the loyalty of some of those around him that we hit the target we did."

CNN Correspondents David Ensor and John King contributed to this report.


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