For those who still believe that the 'neo cons', in the Bush/Cheney administration, have a shred of objectivity or responsibility to their constitutional oaths', not to deceive the nation as to the reasons for going to war, a new book 'Curveball' offers evidence to the contrary. Much of the story was sensationally reported two years ago, in the 'Los Angeles Times' and excerpted in 'Common Dreams', by two journalists, Bob Drogin and John Goetz, one of whom, Drogin has written the book.
It is hard to know where to begin to describe this opera bouffe tale. Perhaps, only Graham Greene's 'Our man in Havana' might do it justice, except for the tragic consequences; the deadly and catastrophic war in Iraq.
From the Independent
The Iraqi defector whose claims regarding Saddam Hussein's biological warfare capabilities were central to the US government's case for the 2003 invasion, despite repeated warnings that they were dubious, has been unmasked by a television documentary. ('60 Minutes' which will be shown Sunday tonight)
The informer, codenamed Curveball was Rafid Ahmed Alwan who, in 1999, turned up at a refugee centre in Germany seeking political asylum. He went on to convince the Pentagon, without interviewing him, he was a brilliant chemist who had helped develop mobile biological warfare laboratories.
(Actually), he had been a low-level trainee engineer and not the project chief as the CIA had claimed.
He had been sacked in 1995, which was when he claimed to have started work on the mobile germ labs. He had also been jailed for a sex offence and had worked as a Baghdad taxi driver. His marks for his university course in chemical engineering were low.
Drogin describes why the CIA felt they had to believe him. From a LA Times Review:
He makes clear that the CIA and the Germans allowed their mission to be corrupted by ego and an inability to admit mistakes. The Germans failed to act, Drogin writes, because doing so would have put "[c]areers and pensions" at stake. CIA leaders worried that "backtracking" would throw into doubt "two years of classified reports and threat assessments" and briefings given to the White House and Congress. It would also "embarrass the CIA," writes Drogin, and mean that the agency "didn't back a crucial part of the White House case for war."
Had doubters decided to "burn" Curveball as a source and retract the tainted intelligence trail he spawned, the Bush administration would have had a much harder time making its public case for war. Instead, his assertions became the centerpiece for the administration's push (for war)
And those few from the Agency who resisted, even when they found out, after interviewing sixty of Curveball's Iraqi friends and associates, that he was congenital liar and total fraud, they were either transferred out of the CIA weapons center in DC, or 'read the riot act' and accused of 'making waves' and told to remain silent.
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