The moon was fading from the purple sky over Baghdad, a sign that the time had finally come. This was the day in August 1994 that I was leaving my family, slipping out of the country over the mountains in the north, and heading for the United States, where I could tell the West about Iraq's nuclear bomb.
My wife, Souham, was weeping softly in the kitchen as she cooked breakfast. For weeks she had kept up a brave front, assuring me I was doing the right thing. But now that the moment had come, I knew what she was thinking: If my plan failed, she faced a future alone, a terrifying prospect for any woman in...