Bowden's article definitely required extensive reporting and researching. To be able to get some of the information he was able to acquire is mind boggling. Much of the information is/was state secrets. Its impressive that he was able to track down so many expatriates all across the globe. I was also impressed with his ability, through extensive research, to tell the story of Saddam as if he were there. It allowed the reader to get inside the psyche of the man - how he thought, why he thought that way, his personality, etc. This is much different than the conventional media portrayal of him. The story did not make him a sympathetic character, but it did make him a real person.
Bowden was able to say things about Saddam authoritatively, as if he had actually interviewed him. I'm not sure about this technique; I would have liked to know how he obtained all this information. Bowden gave us a few excerpts of interviews with former confidants, but at other times I wasn't sure where the information was from. When is it alright to speak authoritatively about a subject? How much reporting must be done before it is acceptable?