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US Government

Iraqi Defector ‘Curveball’ Admits to WMD Lies that Led to War

This "Curveball" fooled just about everyone. (Photo: CNN)

An Iraqi defector who told German intelligence officials that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction has admitted that he was lying. According to Britain’s Guardian, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials, “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.”

Janabi fooled not only German intelligence, but also US intelligence officials, who used his lies as justification for invading and occupying Iraq. The defector’s fallacious assertions formed the backbone of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s landmark United Nations speech on February 5, 2003 in which he tried– and failed spectacularly– to convince the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Despite failing to win broad-based international support, the United States and a “coalition of the willing” invaded Iraq in March 2003. Over 100,000 innocent civilians have died since then as the country has descended into chaotic violence from which it still has not recovered.

Janabi does not seem to regret his actions. “Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” he told the Guardian. “They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I… am proud of that and… proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy… I tell you something when I hear anybody– not just in Iraq but in any war– [is] killed, I am very sad. But give me another solution. Can you give me another solution? Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq. There were no other possibilities.”

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