Iraqi Says He Made Up Tale of Biological Weapons Before War
By James Risen | New York Times | Feb. 15, 2011
with an Afterword by Michael Hoffman
WASHINGTON — The Iraqi defector whose claims that Saddam Hussein’s government had biological weapons became part of the Bush administration’s justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq has admitted that he fabricated his story.
The defector, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who was code-named “Curveball” by the Central Intelligence Agency and German intelligence officials, told the British newspaper The Guardian on Tuesday (Feb. 14) that he had concocted his tale that Iraq was hiding mobile bioweapons laboratories. He did so, he said, in hopes that his lies would lead to the eventual overthrow of the Iraqi ruler.
“I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime,” Mr. Janabi told the newspaper. “I and my sons are proud of that, and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”
Mr. Janabi, who lives in Germany, has given several interviews in the past, but until now has always denied that he had lied to his intelligence handlers before the war in Iraq, even though his information had long been discredited.
The strange case of “Curveball” has become one of the most infamous episodes in the Bush administration’s case for war. Mr. Janabi’s claim about the mobile laboratories was featured prominently in Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s address to the United Nations in February 2003, when he laid out the administration’s case that Mr. Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction.
The United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, and eventually determined that Iraq did not have any such weapons. It later became clear that the Bush administration had relied heavily on bogus information from unreliable exiles like Mr. Janabi.
Even before the invasion, there was strong evidence that Mr. Janabi was an unreliable source, evidence which critics now say the Bush White House and the C.I.A.’s top leadership ignored.
Mr. Janabi, who defected to Germany in the 1990s, met repeatedly with German intelligence officials beginning in 2000. They refused to allow C.I.A. officials to meet directly with him, instead providing the Americans only with reports of what he had said. Eventually, though, the Germans grew doubtful of their informer and passed on their suspicions to American intelligence officials. Mr. Janabi said in his interview with The Guardian that he still believed that it was right for him to lie, because it was the only way to rid Iraq of Mr. Hussein. In an interview conducted in German and translated by The Guardian, he said: “Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq. There were no other possibilities.” (End quote; emphasis supplied)
Hoffman’s Afterword: Bush and Powell are laughing all the way to the bank. Their cushy retirements are not under any kind of prosecutorial threat as a result of the cascade of revelations concerning the lies they (and Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the neocon cabal from William Kristol to Jeffrey Goldberg), retailed to the American people to persuade us to approve the American war on a sovereign nation.
The Cryptocracy uses what James Shelby Downard termed "cryonic revelation" — freeze the truth at the time of the crime and then thaw it later, when the “hurly-burly’s done” and the “battle’s lost and won.”
From the admission by Alwan al-Janabi, and other testimony, we now know that the George W. Bush administration fabricated the story of weapons of mass destruction. America was not threatened by Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of dead people and more than a trillion dollars in US taxpayer funds later, and Mr. Bush is at his ease; his father just having received the “Medal of Freedom” from President Obama. It is this kind of immunity, accompanied by the occult nose-thumbing at the American people, about to lose their Social Security and Medicaid due to needless, wastrel foreign wars, that is the hallmark of the pharaohs who lord it over us without fear of being brought to justice. Where are the mass protests in the streets? The Republicans chatter about "fidelity to the Constitution.” What was Constitutional about the undeclared war on Iraq?...My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of felony.