Behind the curveball: did lies lead the U.S. to war with Iraq?

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>> some of us knew there wasn’t any evidence or enough evidence before the iraq war. but others claimed it was, quote, a slam dunk. one of the most questionable sources was a man so shady they called him curveball. he said that saddam hussein had secret biological weapons program. and guess what? he’s finally admitted he made it all up. here’s what curveball told “the guardi guardian.” they gave me this chance, a chance to fabricate something to topple saddam’s regime. curveball originally told his story to german intelligence officials well before the iraq war started. and they knew he was full of it and they didn’t care what he had to say until someone in washington wanted information, bogus or not. listen to what curveball said about that. quote, the german intelligence knew in 2000 that i was lying. after they talked to my former boss, dr. bassil latif, who told him there were no mobile bioweapons factories. and all of a sudden in the run-up to the 2003 invasion, they came back to me and started asking for more details about what i had told them. i still don’t know why they then passed on my information to the cia, and it ended up in powell’s speech. oh, oh, i know, i know. it’s because they needed manufactured efds right before the war. that wasn’t hard to figure out. here’s powell in 2003 explaining how the u.s. knew saddam hussein had mobile production facility that made biological agents.

>> the source was an i indians, an iraqi chemical engineer who supervised one of these facility. he actually was present during biological agent production runs. th .

>> oops. that would be curveball. here’s what colin powell says now, the question should be put to the cia and the defense intelligence agency as to why this was into the president’s state of the union and my speech to the u.n. who knew curveball was lying and who didn’t? to held me answer that important question, we’re going to talk to a man who was there. he served as chief of staff to colin pow pem i want to start with this. look, everybody wants to know. did colin powell know or did he not know when he made that presentation that there was questionable evidence in there?

>> i live cheek and jowl with the deputy for five days and five nights. i never heard a single word of doubt expressed about what we were told were four separate sources independently cob rating one another that proved the existence of mobile biological labs, one of which was an iraqi chemical engineer who worked in the labs and had seen an accident occurred that killed 12 people, confirming the ingredients in the labs that were lethal. that’s all we were told. and what i’ve found out since, much of which you reiterated makes me very angry.

>> do you think you were flat-out lied to?

>> i cannot come to any other conclusion, especially when no other u.s. personnel were present, that we accepted that, that we even had a head of european division who at the last minute during powell’s preparation, during my preparation of the secretary had told both tenant and mclaughlin that curveball right not be reliable. i have some serious doubts about it now. i think there was some manipulation of this material and there was some outright lying. who do you think lied to you?

>> that’s an interesting question. we also had two of the very most integral to the intelligence people who knew all about weapons of mass destruction, not just in iraq, but elsewhere. we had two of those people with us. i have since learned that one of those people may have been talking directly to the vice president’s office, to dick cheney’s office. so he was working for two masters. these people were very convincing. they were, after all, the experts. they were, after all, the people whom dr. rice and rich armitage and colin powell and others pestered to get the right answers out of. and these people gave the information, some of which you’ve reiterated tonight. so who was lying? who was lying in this whole process? or who was caught up in a colossal group think? there’s got to be some duplicity, though. the secretary of state was not told the complete truth.

>> do you think the vice president’s office manipulated you and secretary power into giving the speech?

>> absolutely.

>> knowing colin powell had the credibility and that he was the most resistant to the war. then they set powell up to take the fall. do you think that’s what happened?

>> before i went to langley, i got my team together and one of the things we talked about was the speech during the cue man missile crisis. one of my team said why is powell doing this? stevensson was the ambassador to the u.n. why isn’t he doing that. and i looked at him and i said you asked me that question? the only member of this administration with any credibility is colin powell. they’re using him.

>> wow. knowing what you know now what you would you have said we should not go to war in iraq?

>> that’s a different question all together. had curveball not even existed, had we not had the intelligence picture we had, we still would have gone to war with iraq because george w. bush and dick cheney were absolutely intent on doing so.

>> thanks for having me.

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About Connecticut Politics

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, who operates a public accounting firm, Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC. Bill began his career in public accounting over thirty years ago. He provides a variety of accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting services to individuals and business across a wide spectrum of industries. Bill writes an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks blog under the penname, "The Barefoot Accountant". William Brighenti created the blog, Connecticut Politics, because of the need for a voice to cry out loud--Vox Clamantis--explaining the reasons for the terrible state of the economy in the United States as well as urging change and reform before the United States becomes a third world country.
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