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Rafid Alwan - Curveball

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I am not sure what to make of this story. No doubt many of you long time blogsphere members will remember Judith Miller and her now debunked reporting on Iraq's WMD which lead to our invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Well, it seems CNN has interviewed "Curveball" and damn if I am not amazed at the stupidity of using this man as a source.

As slides depicting drawings of the supposed germ labs flashed on a big screen in the Security Council's chamber, Powell drove his point home:

"The source is an eyewitness, an Iraqi chemical engineer, who supervised one of these facilities."

Just days after Powell's presentation, U.N. weapons inspectors presented evidence they said disproved those claims. But six weeks later, on March 20, 2003, the United States launched its invasion, toppling Hussein's government in three weeks but locking itself in a war against an insurgency that has cost more than 4,000 American lives.

No biological weapons, no germ labs, no weapons of mass destruction of any kind were found in Iraq after the invasion. Curveball -- Rafid Alwan -- remained in hiding in Germany, where he had been interviewed by the German intelligence service, the BND.

Subsequent U.S. investigations into the intelligence failure around the claims found that German intelligence considered the defector "crazy" and "out of control," while friends said he was a "liar."

Here's the kicker; not only did the CIA not talk to him, but simply relied on the word of the German intelligence agency.

And, it turned out, the CIA not only never spoke with him, it never even saw transcripts of the German interviews, only the Germans' analysis of the interviews.


Norbert Juretzko, a former BND officer who is familiar with the Curveball case, now criticizes the German intelligence service for its handling of the matter. The BND wanted so badly to believe Alwan, Juretzko said, that the case officers didn't notice inconsistencies in his story.

"He was put under pressure by the BND: 'Tell us something,'" Juretzko said. "They were desperate for something. They gave him money, privileges, a visa and the like. And so this man used his imagination to get all these things."

No wonder Colin Powell's honest response to the information was "bullshit."

My God. BushCo™ was so desperate for any reason to invade Iraq, they ignored all the obvious signs back then of this guy simply being out of his element and scared to death. Hell, from what I can see, he is still out of his element and scared to death.

Another kicker; he has a lawyer keeping him from going to far.

Alwan brought with him to our meeting documents to prove his identity, certificates saying he has a degree in chemical engineering from Technical University in Baghdad and a student ID card from a German college. Multiple intelligence sources told CNN that the man we spoke with was, indeed, Curveball.


Alwan had brought with him a second man, introduced only as "Mr. Ali." Mr. Ali was also wearing a flashy suit with a peach-colored shirt, and he seemed to be coaching Alwan, making strange signals behind my back.

As I talked to Alwan, I could feel the wind from Mr. Ali frantically waving his arms. Whenever Alwan began to offer details, Mr. Ali made a time out signal with his hands, and Alwan stopped talking.

When he wasn't prevented from talking by Mr. Ali, Alwan answered questions in a roundabout manner, sometimes backtracking and correcting himself, sometimes telling completely different stories in the same sentence.

And some people wonder why the reputation of the United States is in the shitter.

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Guy Andrew Hall

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.


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