Damn, I wish I knew shorthand. I've been trying unsuccessfully to transcribe the streaming-audio report by reporter Anthony Shadid on this washingtonpost.com page, but I've given up.
The gist is: Villagers tell Shadid that the convoy that was attacked by U.S. forces last Wednesday was -- get this -- a group of sheep smugglers. Maybe Saddam was there, maybe not, but villagers say the trucks were carrying smuggled sheep. (Shadid also said this on ABC's newscast tonight -- you can stream that from this page.)
Incidently, the BBC notes this:
The reported American attack on a convoy thought to be carrying Saddam Hussein and/or his sons last week would have been legal only if there was substantial evidence indicating their presence, according to Amnesty International.
But if there had just been a hope and there was the risk of killing innocent civilians instead, then it would not be justified, said Amnesty International's Legal Director Claudio Cordone.
Mr Cordone told BBC News Online: "If the convoy really involved Saddam Hussein or other military leaders, it would have been a legitimate target. The war has not ended. President Bush announced the end of 'major combat operations' only. The laws of war still apply.
"But the point is that you have to take all precautions. You are allowed to attack a military target even if civilians are there. But you have to use the principle of proportionality and weigh the value of the target against the risk to civilians. And you have to show that you checked that the target was a military one.
"If Saddam was known to be there, the target would probably have been legitimate, whoever else was. It is a difficult calculation. If you are in doubt, you are required to hold back under the precautionary principle."