(George W. Bush Presidential Library)

In December 2003, soldiers of the U.S. Special Operations Command captured the Ace of Spades himself: Saddam Hussein.

The former Iraqi president, on the run since the capture of Baghdad, had appeared in a deck of playing cards with the profiles of other fugitive war criminals and naturally was the top card. Hussein, bedraggled and bereft, was armed with one of the rarest of handguns: the Glock 18, the full auto Glock.

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Associated Press / Hadi Mizban.

As the noose was placed around Saddam Hussein’s neck in December 2006, his masked guards yelled: “Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada!”

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Hector René

As the notorious deck turns 15, an Iraq vet reveals the untold history behind it… and its impact on the American way of war.

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