Iraqi Defector Admits He Lied About WMD in Lead Up to War

posted at 9:30 am on February 16, 2011 by John Sexton

His name is Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi but he was given the codename “Curveball” prior to the Iraq War. He played a significant role in convincing US authorities, including Colin Powell, that Saddam had biological weapons capabilities. Of course we’ve known since 2005 that claim wasn’t true, but now Curveball is admitting he made up claims of mobile weapons labs in order to get the US to topple Saddam. The Guardian has produced an exclusive video, here is a bit of the English transcript:

I did that for a number of reasons. Firstly because of my people, the Iraq people…Saddam did not allow freedom in our land. There were no other political parties. You had to believe what Saddam said, do what Saddam wanted. And I didn’t accept that.

Asked if he would do the same thing again if he could go back, Curveball doesn’t hesitate:

Yes, yes definitely. I would do something against Saddam, against the old regime.

I can’t begin to unpack the entire history of this debate in this brief post. Whether you supported the decision to go to war (and recall that at the time many Democrats did in 2003) or not, there is no doubt that this revelation fills in some important blanks.

We’ve known for six years that the weapons weren’t there. That isn’t news. But the reaction to the lack of any WMD’s in Iraq has polarized the nation into two basic camps since then. The right has seen it as an embarrassing and costly failure to get good intelligence, which nevertheless resulted in a freer and, for the time being, stable Iraq. The left has frequently claimed it was something more insidious, a lie based on some ulterior motive.

Now we know that the justification for the war really was based in part on a lie. The left can find some vindication in this fact. That said, the details presented do not support the idea that some dark cabal within the Bush administration organized our entrance into Iraq. On the contrary, we now know who the liar was and he wasn’t part of the administration. We also know why he lied, and it wasn’t to get rich off Iraqi oil, to finish what Bush 41 started or any of the other explanations the left has offered over the years. Curveball wanted to see Saddam toppled for the good of the Iraqi people.

Of course that doesn’t mean American soldiers and taxpayers should have had to go along for the ride. Conspiracies aside, there’s plenty to be upset about here. Numerous intelligence agencies failed, starting with the German BND which interviewed Curveball over a period of six months. British and American intelligence agencies failed to detect the fraud as well. The result is that we were led to war, in part, by a lie. Even if you believe the US is better off without Saddam in Iraq, you can’t be pleased about taking such a big swing on a curveball.


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Comments

throw his ass in jail. I supported Democracy in Iraq too, but no foreigner should be able to lie and put out troops in harms way.

Daemonocracy on February 16, 2011 at 9:33 AM

A summary execution would be appropriate.

Shy Guy on February 16, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Sure, the US and its allies went to war over the testimony of one source. This should be a hot topic on The View and other primary sources of deep thinking.

Hening on February 16, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Hening on February 16, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I really hope we didn’t go to war because of one source, that would be beyond pathetic.

This guy still belongs in jail though. Oh, and Alan Colmes is on Fox right now blaming our entire deficit problem on curveball and the Iraq War.

Daemonocracy on February 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Caliphate!

YYZ on February 16, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Janabi is also heavily responsible for keeping the USMC from crushing Fallujah in early 2004 when it should have been, rather than later after the terrorists had 6 months to fortify the city.

Bishop on February 16, 2011 at 9:42 AM

He has blood on his hands. Not that he cares.

Amadeus on February 16, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Nothing like buying the BLM’s narrative totally. “We went to war over WMD that weren’t there.”

SurferDoc on February 16, 2011 at 9:43 AM

We would have gone to war eventually with Iraq; regime change was official US policy since 1998 …..can you imagine what the region would be like now with Saddam still in power?

thebrokenrattle on February 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Jeebus. Wonder what the wackadoodles will say about this….

ladyingray on February 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Bust a cap in him.

Ward Cleaver on February 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM

There is no law to charge him with.

Other than in sworn testemony or when a US Military officer is talking with US press, there are no laws against lying.

And his was not sworn testamony, it was an interrogation by intelligence personnel – law enforcement rules do not apply.
Those that call it testimony are lying or in error…

DJ Elliott on February 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM

This isn’t “news.” Everybody knew the Curveball source was bogus since at least 2005. See this LA Times report from April, 2005.

All al-Janabi did yesterday was admit the obvious.

rcpjr on February 16, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Wait a minute-

I reaad that they found remnants of WMD or CBW factories in Iraq. I also heard they moved the WMDs to Syria. Besides that Saddam was playing a shell game with Nuclear inspectors (and Sean Penn), by not allowing access to all of the facilities . That suspicious behavior would lead me to believe they had WMDs.

They couldn’t have gone to war simply on the word of one man. Could the entire free world (including the countries that sent troops ) have been duped by one guy???

It sounds like he wantsd a Nobel Prize a la Wikileaks. (It is that time of year isn’t it?)

Lothar on February 16, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Tingles getting another thrill…..

cmsinaz on February 16, 2011 at 9:45 AM

IF this is true, IF this was the only source on WMD, then there should be mass sackings from amongst the Western intelligence agencies. What idiot would go to war on one piece of intel, from a suspect source?

OldEnglish on February 16, 2011 at 9:45 AM

So a culture of acceptable lies sends off a liar to lie about lieing and we are suppose to stop in our tracks and scourge ourselves?

Limerick on February 16, 2011 at 9:46 AM

By the way, for those of you advocating killing him:

Incitment to commit murder is a crime.
Lying is not.

Who are the felons here?

DJ Elliott on February 16, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Agree brokenrattle

cmsinaz on February 16, 2011 at 9:49 AM

On the contrary, we now know who the liar was and he wasn’t part of the administration.

Yes, how convenient for you. What you fail to address is that the Germans would not verify his claims and in fact cast doubts on them.

There were also members of our own intelligence community who treated this informant as a non-credible source, going so far as removing any claim based on his intell from speeches, only to see them reappear later.

The claim against the Bush administration is that they were going to war in Iraq because they wanted war with Iraq for a number of reasons — Saddam potentially having WMDs, his tortuous and murderous record, the idea that Iraq would be ground zero for democratic reform in the Middle East, etc…

This idea is backed up by the fact that the administration was talking about invading Iraq mere days after 9/11. They had a hardon for Saddam.

Now, everyone says we invade Iraq for multiple reasons, and I agree to a certain extent (see above), BUT you take away the threat of WMDs and nukes (Saddam was building drones that could reach the US with chemical weapons… we couldn’t wait for the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud, etc…) and we don’t go to war with Iraq. There would not have been support for it. There was barely support for it with all the false evidence that was provided and needed a completely fabricated UN speech by Powell to finally get the country semi-behind the invasion.

Did Bush know the intell was BS? Probably not, but only because he didn’t want to know. The intell community got the intell he needed (despite it be very shaky and internally and internationally questioned).

If Bush didn’t lie, he helped create a lie that led to the death of thousands of US soldiers and countless more Iraqis.

People lie to intell agents all the time. It’s our government’s job to have a healthy skepticism that ensures we know who is lying and who is not. That was lacking in the push to war with Iraq.

Tom_Shipley on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Incitment to commit murder is a crime.
Lying is not.
Who are the felons here?
DJ Elliott on February 16, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Concern noted and added to files.

Bishop on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

But the reaction to the lack of any WMD’s in Iraq

Um, what?
Sure, we didn’t find large stock piles, but there were chemical WMD’s in small numbers all over the place, and a hidden nuclear program.

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Jeebus. Wonder what the wackadoodles will say about this….

ladyingray on February 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Well, here’s what Larry Johnson said:

Why does this matter?

Because a senior intelligence officer, Tyler Drumheller, warned CIA Director Tenet and Deputy CIA Director McLaughlin that Curveball was a fabricator. Drumheller told the Deputy Director for Operations (i.e., the guy in charge of all the spies overseas) Jim Pavitt and his Assistant, Steve Kappes. Tyler lays everything out in detail in his book, On The Brink.

This is important stuff. Senior Intelligence Officers and Cabinet Officials had enough information to know that the case for going to war in Iraq was bullshit, but very few had the courage to speak up and challenge authority.

flyfisher on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

We didn’t go to war based on one source. There were other sources who also said Iraq had WMDs, including Saddam himself. In his testimony to the CIA, he said he kept up the pretense he had WMDs as a check on Iran. Only problem being, that idea of having WMDs was banned under UN resolutions.

And regardless of this guys lies, we would still have had to have thousands of troops in the ME as a check on Saddam and then which ever of his vicious, vile sons took over. There were no good alternatives with Iraq, only which alternative was less bad.

rbj on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

He was confirming what INTEL we had on Iraq through the 1990’s. The stuff that Congress wrote bi-partisan resolutions on… so if he was lying, it was a lie to confirm bad knowledge we had for over a decade.

What is really fun is that Saddam’s own generals didn’t know there were no WMDs, and when they wanted chemical weapons to use on the US there were none to be sent to be used… so how did Curveball know that it was a lie, then? He was not the sole source of information on WMDs and Saddam played games to indicate he was still seeking them, as well as advanced rocketry which he DID have also in contravention to the cease fire agreement.

Going into Iraq had 23 articles attached to it, and only a couple dealt with WMDs. Iraq was not sold just on WMDs but on the wider-scale contravention of the cease fire agreement after Desert Storm. He had proven unreliable and unwilling to keep his word on those agreements. There is no way that anyone could trust a leader unwilling to keep a cease fire agreement as it is binding on his Nation and himself. He wanted to play games instead of going the open compliance route: there is a price to be paid for that.

ajacksonian on February 16, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Ha. I agree Limerick. I can’t get worked up about this. What I’m more worked up about is why are we still there? Obama is like a little boy playing with toy soldiers. Everyday changing his mind about the latest chaos in the ME, in the meantime our soldiers are dying with a limp wristed idiot in the WH with very blurry loyalities.
In the meantime the stupid leftists are still screaming BUSH!
Well, at least this takes some of the pressure off the DOJ and the weapons in Mexico. Is this part of Cloward Piven? I’m starting to think it is. Total chaos in the number of important stories so no one is looking at the destruction from within.

ORconservative on February 16, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Now we know that the justification for the war really was based in part on a lie.

No, the US was set to go to war without the WMD issue — it’s just that Britain in particular needed the cover of UN approval to join in, and illegal WMDs were the easiest way to get that (due to the fact that the UN is horribly broken).

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Just a thought.

The Germans should extridite him to a Saddam free Iraq.

Why should he stay in Deutchlund?

FOWG1 on February 16, 2011 at 10:01 AM

So I guess the Kurd deaths, were merely a mass suicide?

capejasmine on February 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Hash and rehash. Who cares? Everyone has made up their mind on Iraq and nothing will change that.

Our intelligence outfit is an old boys club of self important quacks and won’t get any better until true patriots are in office.

Vince on February 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM

It wasn’t just him, Russia, Saudi, Italy, Egypt, China, most every nation was convinced.
It is to simpleton to place this on one man, the world leaders, not associated with him, felt and believed the same.
This wasn’t “one man’s opinion”, it was backed up with convincing indictments from most every world leader, friend and foe.

right2bright on February 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM

rbj on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

I should have read yours before posting…everyone forgets that Saddam fed the “mystery” by being obstinate, and the U.N. by being ineffective.

right2bright on February 16, 2011 at 10:06 AM

I really hope we didn’t go to war because of one source, that would be beyond pathetic.

This guy still belongs in jail though. Oh, and Alan Colmes is on Fox right now blaming our entire deficit problem on curveball and the Iraq War.

Daemonocracy on February 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM

I meant that in the negative sense. Some primary reasons we went to war when we did were based on a decade of UN resolutions being broken, the fact that Iraq was trying to connect the dots to hit the USA as hard as possible through terrorism and that they did have a nuclear and biological weapons organization with a history of using WMD against their own people. This egomaniac might have provided a drop of information in the ocean of intelligence that was gleaned, but that hardly makes him the source for the invasion. This is just being reported as another backhand to the Bush administration, and serves as a meal of Fruit Loops to those that don’t let facts get in their process of regurgitating the “progressive” truth.

Hening on February 16, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Numerous intelligence agencies failed, starting with the German BND which interviewed Curveball over a period of six months. British and American intelligence agencies failed to detect the fraud as well.

…This is a major point.
It was not like we went to war because some guy started telling stories about Saddam and WMDs.

…the UN,Britain,France,Germany,Australia,American,Egyptian,Israeli, intelligence all stated that Saddam had an extensive WMD program.

1. Saddam had defied inspections all through the 90’s and into Bush’s Presidency

2.
Saddam had been caught subverting sanctions many times through the 90’s and into Bush’s Presidency.

3. Saddam was said to have a WMD program by many Republicans and democrats all through the 90’s.Clinton stated the same thing in addresses to the Nation and even sent bombing raids against “WMD” facilities.The Clinton administration (Richard Clark being the main player) still maintains that their intel on Saddam’s WMD program and ties to al-qaeda were correct and that bombing the “aspirin” factory was warranted.

4. Saddam himself stated that he lied about the level of his WMD program so as not to look weak to Iran and look strong to the Arab world in defiance of the West.


5.
The Duelfur report stated that Saddam may not have had stockpiles of WMD…but Saddam still possessed the dual use machinery to have his stockpiles built up within a year.Saddam himself stated that he was waiting for the UN pressure to wear down before he re-instituted this program.

6. Due to the continued cat and mouse game Saddam played with inspections,and his defiance to hold up his end of the surrender agreement with the US from the Gulf War,and Saddam’s defiance of UN sanctions (primarily the Oil for Food fraud)…..
………….Nobody had any idea what Saddam had or didn’t have until 130,000 sets of boots were on the ground.

Curve ball here was just one piece to the puzzle.It was not just Bush…but the entire international community was trying to figure out how to deal with a genocidal mad man,responsible for starting several wars,and deemed a major threat to the security of other free nations.

David Kay:

“It was reasonable to conclude that Iraq posed an imminent threat. What we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place potentially than in fact we thought it was even before the war.” (interview on NPR).

Baxter Greene on February 16, 2011 at 10:08 AM

He is obviously just a plain liar and again here to. There are things never in print and some right here in the U.S. foiled and sponsored by Saddam

One in particular I am very aware of right near San Francisco and it was to be a chemical weapon from a R&D lab/pilot plant in between Concord & Antioch, CA

Kermit on February 16, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Good point ajacksonian

cmsinaz on February 16, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Lessons to learn in all of this:

–Sometimes, waiting to make sure beyond sure when you want to deploy a military isn’t such a bad idea.
–Not involving ourselves in the political battles of other nations is really a good idea.
–Had Bush tried to justify his decision with less reasons (say, just using cease-fire violations as the reason), we could have been in and out sooner, and far less cost in both money and more importantly, lives spent.

If this isn’t a hint we REALLY, REALLY need to re-evaluate our current philosophy in regards to foreign policy, then I don’t know what more to say.

Badger State Dave on February 16, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Oh, and Alan Colmes is on Fox right now blaming our entire deficit problem on curveball and the Iraq War.

Daemonocracy on February 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM

He is parroting what Bill O and Stephanopoulos were blathering on about Monday night. Idiots. Oh yeah, that and the Bush tax cuts.

csdeven on February 16, 2011 at 10:11 AM

ORconservative on February 16, 2011 at 9:54 AM:

We are still there for the same reason I expect a handfull of USAF “Training” Fighter Squadrons will still be in Iraq after 2012. Probably under OSC-I or NTM-I cover.

Iraq’s military was never planned to be ready in 2012, that date was picked out of a hat by politicians ignoring both Iraqi and US military recommendations.

IMoD’s plan since 2006 always has looked to 2020 for strategic independence.

Right now the IA is capable of internal security but, is in no way capable of defending against external invasion. If we abandon them now, then Persia [Iran] gets its Mesopotainian Provinces back.

This article outlines the 5 biggest weaknesses in the IA

Thoughts on ISF Development and Iraq’s Ability to Defend Itself

DJ Elliott on February 16, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Well, here’s what Larry Johnson said:

flyfisher on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

…Let us all remember that this very same Johnson is the one who wrote an op-ed in the New York Times just days before 9/11….that Osama did not have the resources or the means to stage a major attack on the United States.

…If you get a chance to talk to this “expert”….ask him what happened to the “Michelle Obama” tapes……

Baxter Greene on February 16, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Jeebus. Wonder what the wackadoodles will say about this….

ladyingray on February 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Bush paid him to lie.

Rod on February 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM

I can understand why he did it. It was not the right thing to do, but I can understand it.

Also, I cannot imagine how Saddam still being alive is a good thing. The world is better off with him dead. The new nation will continue to have issues, but in the end the world will be better off.

jeffn21 on February 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM

There is no way that anyone could trust a leader unwilling to keep a cease fire agreement as it is binding on his Nation and himself.

ajacksonian on February 16, 2011 at 9:53 AM

And after 9/11, could we afford to take a chance that he didn’t have WMD’s? He had already proven he was more than willing to use them on the Kurds.

Gassing the Kurds, the dmerats supporting the invasion, Hillary confirming it, and the horror of 9/11….all FACTS that the traitorous left conveniently forget/ignore.

csdeven on February 16, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Oh, and Alan Colmes is on Fox right now blaming our entire deficit problem on curveball and the Iraq War.

Daemonocracy on February 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM

He is parroting what Bill O and Stephanopoulos were blathering on about Monday night. Idiots. Oh yeah, that and the Bush tax cuts.

csdeven on February 16, 2011 at 10:11 AM

I guess it does not occur to these liberal idiots that Obama spent more on the failed stimulus than Bush did on BOTH wars…..

raq: The War That Broke Us — Not
By Randall Hoven
http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/iraq_the_war_that_broke_us_not.html

The correct answer to my question, according to the Congressional Budget Office, is $709 billion. The Iraq War cost $709 billion. Why Carville, Bilmes, and Nobel-winning economist Stiglitz thought the answer was $3 trillion is anybody’s guess. But what’s a 323% error among friends?
The CBO breaks that cost down over the eight calendar years of 2003-2010. Below is a picture of federal deficits over those years with and without Iraq War spending.

Liberals never let facts or reality get in the way of there idiotic talking points.

Baxter Greene on February 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Okay so Code Pink has a friend in Mr. alJanabi, if he were the only source (which he wasn’t)for going to war with Iraq then why did the majority of the ME countries want Saddam eliminated?

fourdeucer on February 16, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Curveball? More like material for Hardball.

“We’ve known for six years that the weapons weren’t there. That isn’t news. But the reaction to the lack of any WMD’s in Iraq has polarized the nation into two basic camps since then……”

“…….. Of course that doesn’t mean American soldiers and taxpayers should have had to go along for the ride. Conspiracies aside, there’s plenty to be upset about here. Numerous intelligence agencies failed…..”

Who really failed? Does the term “regime change” and the flood of WMD rhetoric from the Democrats as far back as 1996 ring any bells? Where’s the conspiracy theories here Mr. Sexton? Isn’t it a bit disingenuous to submit that only the right were at fault while the anti-war left, (with the Lamestream media’s assistance) spouted the “no WMD’s mantra” while re-writing history by omitting years of the same intelligence? Why leave out of this story the calls from Democrats for displacing the dictator under the exact same information? I would submit Mr. Curveball may have played a small part in the deception of WMD’s, but both political parties, and their leadership, were complicit in the events that unfolded.

Rovin on February 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM

By the way.

Saddam’s own Generals thought they would have chem weapons for the defense of Iraq and were told no they would not 2 months prior to the US invasion.

The deception in Iraq from Saddam was widespread and convincing enough that the old-IA’s defense plans in 2003 called for the employment of chem weapons against US up until 1 month prior to the start of hostilities…

DJ Elliott on February 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM

From the Guardian means another piece of propaganda. I don’t believe anything from this Red Rag.

el Vaquero on February 16, 2011 at 10:33 AM

…..can you imagine what the region would be like now with Saddam still in power?

safer?

triple on February 16, 2011 at 10:37 AM

authoritarian dictatorship or a democracy descended into anarchy. take your pick.

triple on February 16, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Saddam Hussein is dead.

Perfect.

pugwriter on February 16, 2011 at 10:43 AM

But the reaction to the lack of any WMD’s in Iraq has polarized the nation into two basic camps since then.

False. Plenty of WMDs were found. Just not stockpiles.

Aquateen Hungerforce on February 16, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Of course that doesn’t mean American soldiers and taxpayers should have had to go along for the ride.

True. This guy should spend the rest of his life in one of our prisons. But there is no vindication for the anti-war crowd. They were not arguing we shouldn’t go to war because there were no WMDs. They were arguing we shouldn’t go to war because 1) War is never the answer 2)ChimpyMcHaliburton!!11! 3) Communism is good etc…

I don’t know of a single person/group that was claiming Saddam didn’t have WMD. If there was one/a few, I stand corrected. If they exist, they are vindicated. Not the anti-war communist buttwipes.

Aquateen Hungerforce on February 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM


If Bush didn’t lie, he helped create a lie that led to the death of thousands of US soldiers and countless more Iraqis.

People lie to intell agents all the time. It’s our government’s job to have a healthy skepticism that ensures we know who is lying and who is not. That was lacking in the push to war with Iraq.

Tom_Shipley on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

A great example as to why you are not taken seriously Tom.
What an absurd statement……

“Bush helped lie”…..

Intelligence is never “foolproof”….especially when dealing with terrorist regimes.

Your cherry picking information to suit your agenda is pathetic.The fact that someone had “doubts” is this case is in every scenario.If we do not act because somebody had “doubts” ..then nothing would be done.

Once again….Bush relied on a mass of intelligence from the Clinton Administration,,,,Intelligence from the UN….France….Britain….Germany….Australia….Egypt….Israel…..

Even Nancy Pelosi believed Saddam was armed with WMD.

The overwhelming majority of major intelligence agencies stated that Saddam was armed with WMD’s and defying all Sanctions and international outreach.

death of thousands of US soldiers and countless more Iraqis

Yea I remember when liberals like you were out in the streets yelling and screaming about all the deaths of Soldiers and civilians…….
…….Now that a democrat is the one running the war machine and committing what liberals called “war crimes” when Bush was President….

……..you have run off to the coffee shops and now call it “smart power”……

What is disgusting is knowing that democrats exploited the difficulties of war and the sacrifice of our Soldiers for political gain…….
……….democrats screamed and yelled for years about how dangerous Saddam was and his WMD program….clamored over and over about his “imminent threat”,voted for war,funded war….and then when it became politically expedient……turned their backs and sold out the country for seats on the Hill.

How Progressive!!!!!!!!!!

Baxter Greene on February 16, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Sure the bastard was a liar.

But I have it on good authority that his sources were George Bush, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin.

(Looking into Chris Christie’s involvement as well…)

Bruno Strozek on February 16, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Hmm, He made up things that the CIA actually found: https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraqi_mobile_plants/index.html#

Funny thing about liars, you don’t when exactly they are lying.

PoeMangonel on February 16, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Saddam played games to indicate he was still seeking them, as well as advanced rocketry which he DID have also in contravention to the cease fire agreement.

Don’t forget that Saddam did actually try to get uranium from Kenya, but Kenya wouldn’t sell it to him. If he was trying to get uranium, what did he want it for? Hmmm?

There was plenty of evidence that Saddam had some sort of WMD program, either chemical/biological, or nuclear. Whether or not he actually had a bomb doesn’t make a difference – he had them at one time in violation of UN resolutions, and we couldn’t wait around for him to get nukes (like we are with Iran). The MSM keeps repeating the Big Lie that there were no WMD’s and WMD’s are the only thing we went into Iraq for, and eventually everyone believed it. It’s simply not true, and probably the biggest cqase of media malpractice ever… well until the election of Giggles, that is.

crazy_legs on February 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM

So were all of those UN declarations against Saddam based on the same lies?

I have it on good authority that Curveball got his bad intel from Sarah Palin.

hawksruleva on February 16, 2011 at 11:17 AM

and we couldn’t wait around for him to get nukes (like we are with Iran).

crazy_legs on February 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM

We’re doing more than waiting on Iran. We’re also actively slowing them down, with help from Israel. Stuxnet was awesome.

hawksruleva on February 16, 2011 at 11:19 AM

When we went into Iraq the first time to free Kuwait, we left a dagger poised at the heart of the Middle East. We had, however, shown massive superiority when it came to conventional warfare — so if someone were thinking of rolling tanks into Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, they’d likely think again.

Saddam’s response to the cease-fire was to “go cheap”. He wasn’t rolling tanks anywhere — instead he’d perform provocations, he’d play games, he’d cause trouble…..his actions were tending to become increasingly asymmetric.

9/11 showed us that we couldn’t assume that tanks and infantry were the only threats to the region. 19 men with boxcutters could kill thousands of people and inflict serious damage in a major US city.

When we felt we couldn’t rely on the superiority of our conventional forces, Saddam’s games went from “annoying” to “intolerable”.

This can be dressed up with 23 citations, or fixated on WMD’s, or ignored completely. But it’s what it is. We had a problem that had used conventional forces, we had a conventional force solution, the problem was tilting toward less conventional tactics, and we were hit by an unconventional attack — which threw the conventional force solution into doubt.

cthulhu on February 16, 2011 at 11:27 AM

The decision to go to war in Iraq was not based on what ONLY one man was saying. In late 2002 and early 2003, not only American but British, French, and Italian intelligence services were warning about WMD’s in Iraq, and the Iraqi armed forces (then under Saddam) were continuously rejecting UN inspectors. Even the UN’s Hans Blix wrote a blistering report about thousands of tons of chemical weapons that were known to exist, and Saddam’s Iraq never provided any evidence of their destruction to the UN or anyone else.

If Saddam wanted to come clean and avoid a war, over the 12 years between 1991 and 2003 he could have destroyed his chemical weapons and provided evidence of their destruction to the UN. But he chose not to, so the West was forced to conclude that they had NOT been destroyed but were hidden, or could have been shipped to other countries.

Then there’s the 1800 kg of uranium ore that US Marines found and confiscated in Iraq–what would Saddam have done with that had we not invaded?

As for Curveball, did he lie to us in 2002 or is he lying now? Did anyone give him a polygraph test?

Steve Z on February 16, 2011 at 11:39 AM

If you are interested in reading some knee jerk reaction to this information I suggest a visit to Outside the Beltway blog. Doug Mataconis leading an group of echo chamber devotees explore just how fooling the left can sound.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on February 16, 2011 at 11:52 AM

so we base a momentous decision to invade another country on one liar?

interesting.

rickyricardo on February 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Can I just say that no President has asked troops to go to war based on a single source of intelligence. Look at this guy more, I bet you’ll find a network which dedicated itself to setting up the scenario for allied intelligence. Saddam put himself in this trap, by pretending to have more weapons than he really did, by always threatening to use them against Israel, Western Europe, and the U.S. So the dictator who cried wolf couldn’t even declare al-Janabi’s claims to be fabricated, since he was using the same ploy for a different end.

At the end of the day, the left will still blame Bush, no matter how much truth is pushed into their faces.

Freelancer on February 16, 2011 at 12:06 PM

And, Saddam did not already use gas on his own people? Tell that to those who died at the hands of Saddam.

SC.Charlie on February 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Wait, are you telling me that Iraq was based on lies?

Ron Paul was right?

Oh my goodness. Goodbye neoconservatism. Hello Taft conservatism.

iamse7en on February 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Other than in sworn testemony or when a US Military officer is talking with US press, there are no laws against lying.

DJ Elliott on February 16, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Uh, no that’s not correct. Ever here of “making false statements?” There are similar state statutes as well.

crr6 on February 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM

*hear

crr6 on February 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM

A lot of outstanding and fascinating points in this thread.

There are numerous complex overlapping factors and events that led to this war, to the point where it seems war was inevitable at some point. Curveball was just one of those factors, but a very significant one.

But the bottom line is: It’s done. Saddam is gone, and good riddance. Mourn the dead. Learn from the mistakes. Move on.

The historians will be unraveling the fog of this war for decades. Centuries. But still, Saddam is gone. The question is: Now what do we do?

ZenDraken on February 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Wait, are you telling me that Iraq was based on lies?

Ron Paul was right?

Oh my goodness. Goodbye neoconservatism. Hello Taft conservatism.

iamse7en on February 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM

We can only hope…

Dark-Star on February 16, 2011 at 12:46 PM

so we base a momentous decision to invade another country on one liar?

interesting.

rickyricardo on February 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Not quite that simple…we were looking for scapegoats and Bush was looking for ways to scare the sheeple (“OMG! WMD!”) into another oil-occupation.

Dark-Star on February 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM

By the way, for those of you advocating killing him:

Incitment to commit murder is a crime.
Lying is not.

Who are the felons here?

DJ Elliott on February 16, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Advocating an execution, an act of the state, is perfectly lawful, regardless of whether the execution itself would be.

RINO in Name Only on February 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I was for the invasion as were most Americans. Hindsight is a bitch.
If the neocons endgame was a Wilsonian flowering of democracy through nation building they should have left Sadam contained and toppled the mullahs in Iran, what with that young majority who crave democracy, hate the clerics and like Americans.
Never understood Bush derangement from the left. No child left behind, senior prescription drug plan, nation building through force, open borders…..ALL progressive ideals.
The neocons were just disgruntled liberals left over from the Nixon era. Now the ultimate kick in the groin with this news.

crashman on February 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Not quite that simple…we were looking for scapegoats and Bush was looking for ways to scare the sheeple (“OMG! WMD!”) into another oil-occupation.

Dark-Star on February 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Read the Authorization from 2002 that most of your Party signed off on. It shows you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Oh, and please lose the “oil occupation” BS. It’s so 9/10.

Del Dolemonte on February 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Did Bush know the intell was BS? Probably not, but only because he didn’t want to know. The intell community got the intell he needed (despite it be very shaky and internally and internationally questioned).

If Bush didn’t lie, he helped create a lie that led to the death of thousands of US soldiers and countless more Iraqis.

People lie to intell agents all the time. It’s our government’s job to have a healthy skepticism that ensures we know who is lying and who is not. That was lacking in the push to war with Iraq.

Tom_Shipley on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 AM

And you have a psychic hot line business? How do you know ” he didn’t want to know?”
Intell were skeptical of this guy but they had other info as well as Saddam’s own statements. But you know all that and simply like to get on that soap box again.
Presidents do not do their own digging into anything, I don’t care what it is. They rely on the people around them and who work for the government. They have to assume these people know what they are doing. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case but most of the time we can be grateful it is.
Just as with all wars there will be recriminations over what was or wasn’t done. But I don’t believe that any President from Lincoln to Wilson to FDR to Truman to Kennedy to LBJ to Bush1 and Bush2 takes sending Americans into harm’s way lightly, no matter their political agendas or personal beliefs. But you believe what you will.

Deanna on February 16, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Deanna on February 16, 2011 at 2:16 PM

In liberal-world, like in the movies, the President would go down to CIA Headquarters and interrogate Curveball himself, just to make sure.

slickwillie2001 on February 16, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Read the Authorization from 2002 that most of your Party signed off on.

1. They ain’t my party, peabrains.

2. Dumbocrats latching on to a stupid/half-baked plan is NOTHING new.

Oh, and please lose the “oil occupation” BS. It’s so 9/10.

Del Dolemonte on February 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

So sorry the truth is annoying to you.

Dark-Star on February 16, 2011 at 3:26 PM

This idea is backed up by the fact that the administration was talking about invading Iraq mere days after 9/11. They had a hardon for Saddam.

Tom “the Moron” Shipley

Not really, at least not in the context you imply, but thanks for playing.

xblade on February 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Read the Authorization from 2002 that most of your Party signed off on.

1. They ain’t my party, peabrains.

2. Dumbocrats latching on to a stupid/half-baked plan is NOTHING new.

Oh, and please lose the “oil occupation” BS. It’s so 9/10.

Del Dolemonte on February 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

So sorry the truth is annoying to you.

Dark-Star on February 16, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Translated: “Del nailed me dead to rights on the authorization to use force, which has well over a dozen specific reasons to go into Iraq, so I better change the subject and call him names”.

As for the laughable “oil occupation” meme, you really need to stop reading truthout.org; after all they still think Karl Rove was indicted 5 years ago.

F-

Del Dolemonte on February 16, 2011 at 4:09 PM

So sorry the truth is annoying to you.

Dark-Star

You wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you in the azz.

xblade on February 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

I don’t know of a single person/group that was claiming Saddam didn’t have WMD.

Aquateen Hungerforce on February 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I recall arguing with one or two people making this claim on a different forum.

Of course, they chose to define WMD as “nuclear weapons only”, rather than as NBC.

malclave on February 16, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Of course, they chose to define WMD as “nuclear weapons only”, rather than as NBC.

malclave on February 16, 2011 at 4:12 PM

That is what is known as “moving the goalpost”.

Heck, Saddam and his two sons were WMDs too.

Del Dolemonte on February 16, 2011 at 6:13 PM

So I guess the Kurd deaths, were merely a mass suicide?

capejasmine on February 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Those weren’t the kind of WMD’s the media wanted us to find.

And shells with poisonous egents in them found after the war began were considered OLD.

As was confiscated yellowcake.

WMD’s, to please the MSM, had to be NEW, for some magical reason.

Even though you’d be just as dead from either.

profitsbeard on February 16, 2011 at 6:27 PM

And shells with poisonous egents in them found after the war began were considered OLD…

profitsbeard on February 16, 2011 at 6:27 PM

How long did it take us to use up all those OLD iron bombs from World War II?

slickwillie2001 on February 16, 2011 at 7:26 PM

If I was an Iraqi patriot faced with the same circumstances–the Hussein family–I would have done the same thing. I’m amazed he pulled it off.

He didn’t care about your sense of ethics. He realized there was only one country that could end the nightmare–the US. He pulled it off.

100 years from now there will be statues in several squares treating him as a national hero–and rightly so from an Iraqi perspective. How can I blame them when he helped remove a dictator and his family that killed 150,000 a year for sport.

patrick neid on February 16, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Old news, intelligence agencies been saying he was a liar for years now.

V-rod on February 16, 2011 at 8:49 PM