Remember “Curveball,” the Iraqi defector who claimed that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s? Well, guess what.
Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.
“Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” he said. “They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”
The admission comes just after the eighth anniversary of Colin Powell’s speech to the United Nations in which the then-US secretary of state relied heavily on lies that Janabi had told the German secret service, the BND. It also follows the release of former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s memoirs, in which he admitted Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction programme.
Just curious; how many lives were lost or damaged, how many trillions of dollars were wasted, because people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld went for this guy’s story, which was about on the same level of “Hey, your shoe’s untied”?
They believed him because they wanted to believe him. If it hadn’t been Curveball, it would have been someone else or some other collection of fabrications to convince themselves and the rest of us that there was a need to attack a sovereign country. And this story won’t go anywhere. It will be forgotten in a week; Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi will tell his story, Mr. Rumsfeld will continue to enjoy his retirement in Taos and make a pile on his book, and Mr. Cheney will occasionally emerge from the shadows — after getting the bolts in his neck tightened — to grumble at a crowd of adoring wingers at some convention. What’s the harm in a little white lie if it gets you what you want?