LANGLEY, VA—The CIA announced Monday that it suspects Saddam Hussein's latest televised address was pre-recorded, pointing to its suspiciously dated reference to Nelly's "Hot In Herre," a rap hit from the summer of 2002.
"For the enemy invaders of Iraq, it soon will get truly hot in here," Hussein said in the speech, which was televised worldwide Monday. "No amount of clothing removal will be sufficient to withstand the fiery inferno that awaits them on the battlefield."
Many U.S. officials have speculated that Saddam may have been killed or injured in the initial March 19 air attacks on Baghdad, suggesting that his subsequent televised speeches were recorded weeks or even months ago.
"The 'hot in here' line has definitely raised some eyebrows," CIA director George Tenet said. "However, this may not prove anything: Even though that song is nine months old, you still hear people referencing its chorus all the time. It's even in the new Chris Rock movie."
Despite the inconclusive nature of the Nelly reference, CIA analysts have found a number of other clues suggesting that the speech was not broadcast live.
"About three minutes into the speech, a man briefly walks across the screen with what appears to be a copy of Entertainment Weekly," Tenet said. "He opens the magazine and, for a split second, it's possible to faintly make out a full-page ad promoting the debut episode of The Rerun Show."
In addition to the visual evidence, Tenet cited certain tellingly dated passages from the speech.
"In one section, Saddam vowed that he would crush Bush 'like Kelly Clarkson crushing the inferior Nikki McKibbin,'" Tenet said. "He then went on to praise his elite Republican Guard, saying that they 'will leave the Americans as bewildered as Ozzy Osbourne trying to operate a television remote control.'"
The Saddam speech, CIA analysts noted, seems intentionally vague, conspicuously lacking in any specific details about the current conflict.
"Victory will soon be ours," a defiant Hussein said. "Unlike the [Major League Baseball] All-Star Game, this will not end in a tie."