Remember Curveball?

Let’s go back in history. Let’s go back to those dark days of 2001 and 2002. These were days after an airliner crashed in Pennsylvania, an airliner crashed into the Pentagon and, of course, the twin towers fell. America wanted revenge. We wanted blood. Sure, the attacks were launched from Afghanistan but as Donald Rumsfeld said, there aren’t any good targets in Afghanistan. So, the administration decided to go after a long-time nemesis, Iraq. The administration decided that we needed overwhelming evidence that Iraq was not only a threat to its neighbors but a threat to us, here in America. They need to convince us that Iraq was an immediate threat. The Bush administration went after us in a multiple different ways in a coordinated media blitz. First of all, and most scary, they needed a nuclear threat. Iraq was trying to obtain yellowcake uranium from Niger. Secondly, and this dovetails into the uranium story, Iraq was buying these high-grade aluminum tubes which “could only be used to centrifuge high-grade uranium.” Thirdly, an Iraqi official met with Al Qaeda in Prague. This was the Al Qaeda connection. This connected Iraq to our source of rage, the attacks on September 11th. Finally, we had the mobile biological labs. These were all lies, but that’s the beauty of the Bush administration. It wasn’t just one lie, but several lies, which took us years to unravel.

This brings us to Curveball. The first time I remember reading about Curveball was in Richard Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies. Richard Clarke described curveball as a pathological liar. He was an Iraqi citizen in German custody. The Germans didn’t trust his information. The Americans did not have the ability to directly question Curveball. Yet, somehow, this guy’s wild fantasies were uttered as fact by the Bush administration. It appears that Curveball has surfaced. He has admitted, his lies but it is too late now. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people have died. We’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars and have really nothing to show for it. Saddam Hussein is dead. The sons of Saddam Hussein are also dead. Now, all of this destruction isn’t Curveball’s fault. The Bush administration is to blame for ginned up lies. If it hadn’t been Curveball they would have found someone else’s lies to push onto a gullible American public.

From TPM:

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed “Curveball” by German and American intelligence officials, now admits he made up tales of mobile biological weapons trucks and clandestine weapons factories in Iraq, information that was used by the Bush White House to press the case for war. He also says he’d do it again.

“Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” Janabi told The Guardian. “They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”

In a series of meetings with the Guardian in Germany where he has been granted asylum, he said he had told a German official, who he identified as Dr Paul, about mobile bioweapons trucks throughout 2000. He said the BND had identified him as a Baghdad-trained chemical engineer and approached him shortly after 13 March of that year, looking for inside information about Saddam’s Iraq.”I had a problem with the Saddam regime,” he said. “I wanted to get rid of him and now I had this chance.”

In his crucial speech to the U.N. in the run-up to the war in 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell quoted intelligence information supplied by Janabi as justification for the Bush administration’s case against Iraq. Years later, reports would show that many within the CIA were expressing serious doubts about Curveball’s credibility at the time.