Colin Powell wants answers over fake Iraq intelligence

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi

Alwan al-Janabi

Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised by recent news that the Iraqi defector whose information helped build the Bush Administration’s case for invading Iraq in 2003, has admitted he lied about Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, known in intelligence circles as ‘Curveball’, arrived in Germany in 1999, where he applied for asylum, saying he had been employed as a senior scientist in Iraq’s biological weapons program. Serious doubts about al-Janabi’s reliability were expressed at the time by Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, the BND, and by some in the CIA. Yet his testimony became a major source of US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 2003 speech before the United Nations Security Council, in which he layed out Washington’s case for war. A year later, both the BND and the CIA concluded that al-Janabi had been lying about his alleged biological weapons role, and that he was in reality a taxi driver from Baghdad, who had used his undergraduate knowledge of engineering to fool Western intelligence. Now al-Janabi, who still lives in Germany, has spoken to British newspaper The Guardian, and openly admitted that his story was completely fabricated. He told the paper that he was an “opposition activist” and that he lied to his German and American intelligence handlers in order to help “topple” the regime of Saddam Hussein. The newspaper also contacted Colin Powell with news of al-Janabi’s admission, prompting the former US Secretary of State to publicly call on the CIA and the US Department of Defense “to explain why they failed to alert him to the unreliability of a key source behind the claims”. George Tenet, who in 2003 was the Director of the CIA, has also responded to al-Janabi’s admission through a statement, in which he describes the intelligence handling of ‘Curveball’ as “a textbook case of how not to deal with defector-provided material”. But he describes as “misinformation” all attempts to put the blame on the CIA for the erroneous intelligence about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

6 Responses to Colin Powell wants answers over fake Iraq intelligence

  1. davidfulton3 says:

    I agree,the blame lies with at the top level of the BUSH CABAL,CARTEL.Cheney,being the most guilty.

  2. tunde says:

    neo-cons and guilt/remorse don’t mix. chalabi is alive, rich , influential and surrounded by a phalanx of hired mercs. compare and contrast with the thousands of vets disfigured as a result of this charade that was ‘curveball’.
    i have noticed you’ve no comment on the raymond davis situation in pakistan. be interested to find out your thoughts and possibly how this will affect US-pakistan relations.

  3. intelNews says:

    @tunde: You are right about Davis. Currently there are too many gaps in the story, and we are collecting clues that will allow us to do something more than simply speculate. We will post a comment on the story in due course. Thanks for your comment. [IA]

  4. jonathan says:

    thanks for the reply.
    the folks over at longwarjournal (is that allowed ?) have noticed a correlation between the last predator strike and davis’ detention. again, speculation.
    keep up the good work !

  5. Lee says:

    I believe Bush knew this from the beginning; all he wanted was an excuse to invade Iraq. A competent leader does not order the invasion of a sovereign nation on the word of just one person, unless he has already decided to do it. And actually, this invasion was planned before Bush took office. It was laid out in a blueprint, calling for the creation of a “global Pax Americana,” which was created for Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush (George W’s younger brother) and Lewis Libby. The document, entitled Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century , was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The plan clearly states their intention to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It’s a very interesting document, and just because Bush is out of office does not mean it has no validity.

  6. intelNews says:

    Check our top article today, about Raymond Davis. [JF]

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