American officials continue to insist that Saddam Hussein's Baghdad nights of Frank Sinatra and Johnny Walker will soon be over.
Pres. George W. Bush: We will accept nothing less than complete and final victory.
But he has not surrendered yet.
The man who loved to sip Johnny Walker black whiskey and listen with his mistress to Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night" continued today to show his resilience.
This time, a purported Saddam speech on Iraqi television. And then an extraordinary scene walking through cheering crowds on the streets of Baghdad.
Richard Clarke (Former Counterterrorism Official): Two questions. Is it him? Apparently it is. And was it recently done? Apparently it was.
Until earlier this year, the man at the White House advising the President on security and counterterrorism was Richard Clark, now an ABC News consultant.
Richard Clarke: He didn't quite hold up today's newspaper with the date on it, but enough that people will now believe that he's alive and up walking around, giving orders.
Within moments of its broadcast, this latest Saddam tape was being pored over, back and forth, back and forth.
Judith Jaffe (Former CIA Agent): Doctors looking at it look for signs of his medical conditions. Is he alert? Is he well, whatever? Other people will look for different things. What he's saying, his mannerisms? Is there anything we can determine to prove it is he or where he is? Any signs, any indicators?
Judith Jaffe was the CIA's unlikely secret weapon in trying to figure out what Saddam was up to.
Judith Jaffe: He's vain. He wouldn't want to appear on camera in his glasses normally. This is one who dyes his air.
Now retired, she was the senior political analyst for the Iraqi desk and part of the CIA team that analyzed every aspect of Saddam. His speeches, his family, his appearance. Right down to the two moles on the left side of his face and the shape of his chin.
Judith Jaffe: Everything is important. Every single thing.
Hoping to figure out if today's speech really was Saddam or one of his famous body doubles.
Judith Jaffe: I don't think Saddam ever used a double for a talking role. I think he used them for swimming roles or for public appearances where he waves his hand in passing to the people, just the way Saddam does. But speaking's a different thing.
The countdown to what American officials say will be the final days of Saddam began with that massive attack March 19 in Baghdad, on a secret bunker where the U.S. had been told Saddam would be spending the night. Information that supposedly came from two members of Saddam Hussein's inner circle, according to Jim Hoagland, who broke the story for "The Washington Post."
Jim Hoagland ("The Washington Post"): The CIA was able to establish contact with and recruit as informants two security officials who are often with Saddam Hussein. And on March 19, they gave the information to the CIA about where he would be that night.
That's why the war started early and why reports spread quickly Saddam had been killed or seriously injured.
Jim Hoagland: They were there or at least in close proximity. And they saw Saddam Hussein being carried out on a stretcher, blue in the face and sucking on an oxygen mask.
But if it is Saddam in today's tapes, he looks robust and not at all like someone recently carried out on a stretcher.
Richard Clarke: It's possible that someone could have been in a deep underground bunker that was hit by two 2,000-pound bombs and survived unscathed. It's hard to imagine, but it's possible.
But today's speech offers clear evidence of Saddam's survival, with a specific reference to the downing of a U.S. Apache helicopter, an event that happened several days after the bunker attack.
Robert Gates (Former Director of the CIA): He is someone who has, if not perfected, at least mastered the art of survival. And knows how to protect himself.
Robert Gates, a director of the CIA from 1991 to '93 and now the president of Texas A & M University, says the big question today is how to find Saddam.
Robert Gates: I think that the task of whether they can actually locate him and come up with him dead or alive is more complicated, probably, than most commentators think. Similarly, the problem we've had in trying to find Osama Bin Laden. When you have an individual who has operated in a country for a prolonged period of time, they always figure out ways to have escape routes or ways to try and save their skin. And so I think that the notion that they're just going to drive up and arrest him is pretty fanciful.
U.S. officials have spent the last year gathering intelligence on Saddam's many palaces and bunkers located throughout the country, including one bunker modeled after this one built for the former dictator of Yugoslavia.
Robert Gates: When anyone came to see Saddam, including his own family or the most senior officials of his government, he had them all strip-searched before they would come in, before he would allow them to come in and see him. And these are, these are the people that were absolutely the closest to him.
It's all made Saddam supremely confident he can survive anything, according to his former mistress Parisoula Lampsos.
The former mistress showed ABC's Claire Shipman last year the location of a palace on the outskirts of Baghdad where she said Saddam might try to hide now.
Yesterday, U.S. Special Forces raided that very palace, but there was no sign of Saddam and the hunt continues.
Robert Gates: There will have to be a real search. He'll probably be looking for a way to get out of the country or find a way to hide in some remote part of the country. I think also it's important to keep in mind that, at least as far as I'm concerned, the primary target is not just Saddam but his two sons. I think that we need a hat trick, we need all three of those people either in custody or dead in terms of the future of Iraq.
Saddam made it clear today that it's not going to be easy. Taunting the U.S., urging the people of Baghdad to rise up and fight the enemy.
Brian Ross: Is Saddam Hussein prepared to sacrifice his beloved Baghdad?
Judith Jaffe: I think so. I don't think he's someone who runs. He sees himself as Iraq. Iraq is Saddam. Saddam is Iraq. That's why I think he's there and he will stay there.