US misused our intel to justify Iraq War, says German ex-spy chief

August Hanning

August Hanning

The former Director of Germany’s foreign intelligence service has accused the Bush administration of consciously falsifying intelligence supplied by Germany in order to justify going to war in Iraq. August Hanning, who served as Director of Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (known as BND) from 1998 to 2005, said that the BND had no part in the deception, and that “the responsibility for the war lies solely with the Americans”. In an interview to the Sunday edition of German national newspaper Die Welt, Hanning explained that the administration of US President George W. Bush was especially interested in intelligence collected by the BND from an Iraqi defector codenamed ‘Curveball’. The defector, whose real name is Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, arrived in Germany in 1999 and applied for political asylum, saying he had been employed as a senior scientist in Iraq’s biological weapons program. Among other things, he told his BND debriefing team that Saddam Hussein had built a fleet of biological weapons labs on wheels, in order to avoid detection from America and other countries. After consulting with biological weapons experts, the BND expressed serious doubts about Curveball’s reliability, but kept him in Germany nonetheless. Several years later, al-Janabi confirmed the BND’s suspicions, by admitting that he had invented his allegations in order to help bring down the regime of Saddam Hussein. He also admitted that he was in reality a taxi driver from Baghdad, who had used his undergraduate knowledge of engineering to get asylum in Germany. At the time, said Hanning, the BND strongly and repeatedly communicated to the CIA its doubts about Curveball’s claims, something which is known. What is not known, however, is that Hanning personally wrote to then CIA Director George Tenet and urged him to adopt a skeptical approach to the defector’s allegations. The former BND chief told Die Welt that he was “assured by the Americans that our intelligence would not be used in Powell’s speech”. He was referring to the February 5, 2003, speech by then US Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations Security Council meeting, in which he urged the Council to approve Washington’s call to war against Iraq. Hanning told the paper he was amazed when he heard Powell refer to Iraq’s “mobile biological weapons laboratories” in his speech, citing intelligence from Germany. He said that he immediately issued a formal complaint to CIA Director George Tenet. He failed to explain, however, why the BND did not go public with the complaint, nor why Curveball was allowed to remain in Germany, and even offered a monthly stipend, provided by the German taxpayer, even after he admitted concocting his story about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Die Welt contacted the CIA for a response to Hanning’s accusatios, but the Agency refused comment.

6 Responses to US misused our intel to justify Iraq War, says German ex-spy chief

  1. drmonkey says:

    This news should shock no one.

  2. Kidd says:

    i hope gwb and all his criminal gang spend their eternity in hell — all those needless deaths and injuries to civilians and good stand up american military — what they should have done was make peace with iraq, pay them small billions to place military bases in iraq and therefore keep a military presence butt up against syria & iran and any other people who had terrorist thoughts in mind. but that would have been to easy. this is the planet of the apes and we would rather lock horns that figure out a simple solution .

  3. AlbertE. says:

    It was not merely Curveball. The FBI interrogation of Saddam was able to determine that for years Saddam had engaged in a purposeful deception via many outlets a campaign the target of which was Iran. Make the Iranians think that Iraq DID HAVE the WMD. They did not have the WMD but had tried to convince the Iranians they DID have them. A goodly portion of these defectors were what is called in the business a “doomed spy”. Had been fed the bad bill of goods by Saddam and when going over to the other side told their tale which was false [they did not know it was a tall tale]. Saddam was shrewd enough to determine who and who was not capable of defection and fed out the bad info in a calculated manner. I had often thought Chalabi was the culprit in this manner being fed bad info by the IRANIANS but I guess this was not the case!

  4. Concur with Kidd on a few points (Not the eternity stufff). Alot more to the story than was presented. In the early [nascent] Gulf War 2 opening (Ground Offensive), WMD’s were being reported as deployed (Not Nuclear Species). Very, very dangerous things and US Army Brigades (with Special Groups) charging head first into them. Do not know outcome (Effects on Army troops ???). (Apparently something made it into Hollywood film Green Zone). Had nuclear species been used, I would have seen it and co-workers would have reported it. Unfortunately, so much to do with so little time in life. If you wish to know more, please contact. Have a great day.

  5. intelNews says:

    I don’t think there is any debate among experts about the real target of Saddam’s WMD deception operation –namely Iran, as you correctly suggest. My view is that to see Saddam as the mastermind behind elaborate ‘dangling’ operations –including Curveball’s– is to over-inflate his abilities, both as a tactician and as a strategist. At the end of the day, if the ‘dangling’ theory is valid, could we suppose that Saddam was he the only person who was not aware of the PNAC’s agenda, and did he not foresee that some of these ‘doomed spies’ would defect to America, or –even worse– Israel? [JF]

  6. GW says:

    Hanning is full of **** and covering his tracks getting his views out in the press, as the Americans are losing patience with German intelligence cover-ups and support of terrorism, relationship with Iran, protecting their asset Gaddafi and abstaining, not sharing terror intel where German nationals are concerned (because modern terror is run by German intel to attack the west).
    Note the only terror attacks in Germany are on Americans or Brits, the same as the IRA in the 1980s, as the IRA were also working with the Germans.

    Before the BND, Hanning was formerly based in HAMBURG (9/11).

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