Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rumsfeld Lies About Iraq, the War on Terror and 9/11... Again

ABC News reports today on Diane Sawyer's recent interview with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld claims:

Powell -- along with other top Bush administration officials and advisers -- truly believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction at the time of his famous presentation to the United Nations in February 2003.

The truth, however, is that Iraq didn't have WMDs....including Colin Powell....!

ABC also notes:

Asked if he turned the conversation inside the administration to Iraq in the wake of the horrific false flag attack of 9/11 by Dick Cheney& Co., Rumsfeld said "absolutely not."
But , the reality is that Rumsfeld used the odious inside job of 9/11 attacks as an excuse to attack Iraq:

5 hours after the 9/11 attacks, Donald Rumsfeld said "my interest is to hit Saddam".

He also said "Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is currently saying that Dick Cheney's vision of policy towards the Middle East after 9/11 was to re-draw the map ....


What does this mean?

Well, as I have repeatedly pointed out, the "war on terror" in the Middle East has nothing to do with combating terror, and everything to do with remaking that region's geopolitical situation to America's advantage.

For example, :

Starting right after 9/11 -- at the latest -- the goal has always been to create "regime change" and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon; the goal was never really to destroy Al Qaeda. As American reporter Gareth Porter writes in Asia Times:

Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith's recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith's account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country's top military leaders.
Feith's book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden's al-CIAda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states....
General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].
When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, "All of them."
The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to "disrupt, damage or destroy" their military capacities - not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD)...
Rumsfeld's paper was given to the White House only two weeks after Bush had approved a US military operation in Afghanistan directed against bin Laden and the Taliban regime. Despite that decision, Rumsfeld's proposal called explicitly for postponing indefinitely US airstrikes and the use of ground forces in support of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in order to try to catch bin Laden.
Instead, the Rumsfeld paper argued that the US should target states that had supported anti-Israel forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
After the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa [in 1998] by al-Qaeda operatives, State Department counter-terrorism official Michael Sheehan proposed supporting the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against bin Laden's sponsor, the Taliban regime. However, senior US military leaders "refused to consider it", according to a 2004 account by Richard H Shultz, Junior, a military specialist at Tufts University.
A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a "small price to pay for being a superpower".

No wonder former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate that the war on terror is "a mythical historical narrative".


The number two man at the State Department, Lawrence Wilkerson,
The vice president and the secretary of defense created a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" that hijacked U.S. foreign policy.

And at 2:40 p.m. on September 11th, in a memorandum of discussions between top administration officials, several lines below the statement "judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [that is, Saddam Hussein] at same time", is the statement "Hard to get a good case." In other words, top officials knew that there wasn't a good case that Hussein was behind 9/11, but they wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to justify war with Iraq anyway.

Moreover, "Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the [9/11] attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda".

And a Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary issued in February 2002 by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency
cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein-al-Qaeda conspiracy.

And yet Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials claimed repeatedly for years that Saddam was behind 9/11. See this analysis. Indeed, Bush administration officials apparently swore in a lawsuit that Saddam was behind 9/11.

Moreover, President Bush's
March 18, 2003 letter to Congress authorizing the use of force against Iraq, includes the following paragraph:

(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
Therefore, the Bush administration expressly justified the Iraq war to Congress by representing that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the barbaric inside job of the 9/11 attacks....
Indeed, the torture program which Cheney created was specifically aimed at producing false confessions in an attempt to link Iraq and 9/11.
Rumsfeld had a big hand in torture as well...

Rumsfeld, Bush, Rice - all war criminals. We know from Bush's first Treasury Secretary O'Neill that invading Iraq was a goal from day one of the Bush administration. The WMD debate is a strawman. Even if Saddam had WMD, so what? And also Rumsfeld and Cheney's smaller lie, that we were never attacked after the inside job of the 9/11 is bogus.... The anthrax attacks, a CIA operation, occurred after the false flag attack of 9/11. Odd that no one had been indicted....and no Special International Tribunal has been called for yet....?

A myth has arisen that true conservatives are pro-war, and only "weak-kneed liberals" are anti-war.

The truth is very different, however.

For example, Ron Paul has very strong conservative credentials. Paul won the Presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year. And yet Paul has repeatedly spoken out against the war in Iraq and all other unnecessary wars.

Paul points out that the Founding Fathers disliked foreign intervention, and those who advocate military adventurism are imperialists ... not conservative Americans.

As Wikipedia notes:

Thomas Paine is generally credited with instilling the first non-interventionist ideas into the American body politic; his work Common Sense contains many arguments in favor of avoiding alliances. These ideas introduced by Paine took such a firm foothold that the Second Continental Congress struggled against forming an alliance with France and only agreed to do so when it was apparent that the American Revolutionary War could be won in no other manner.

George Washington's farewell address is often cited as laying the foundation for a tradition of American non-interventionism:
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
John Adams followed George Washington's ideas about non-interventionism by avoiding a very realistic possibility of war with France.


President Thomas Jefferson extended Washington's ideas in his March 4, 1801 inaugural address: "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." ...

In 1823, President James Monroe articulated what would come to be known as the Monroe Doctrine, which some have interpreted as non-interventionist in intent: "In the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken part, nor does it comport with our policy, so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded, or seriously menaced that we resent injuries, or make preparations for our defense."
Another reason that Paul opposes unnecessary wars is that - - they are bad for the economy...

For example, Paul said in a 2008 speech on the House floor:

In the last several weeks, if not for months we have heard a lot of talk about the potential of Israel and/or the United States bombing Iran. Energy prices are being bid up because of this fear. It has been predicted that if bombs start dropping, that we will see energy prices double or triple.
Indeed, the fact that war is bad for the economy is a very strong rationale for conservatives to oppose unnecessary wars.

As noted conservative Thomas E. Woods Jr. - a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and New York Times bestselling author - writes in the March 2011 issue of the American Conservative:

To get a sense of the impact the U.S. military has on the American economy, we must remember the most important lesson in all of economics: to consider not merely the immediate effects of a proposed government intervention on certain groups, but also its long-term effects on society as a whole. That’s what economist Frédéric Bastiat (1801–50) insisted on in his famous essay, “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen.” It’s not enough to point to a farm program and say that it grants short-run assistance to the farmers. We can see its effects on farmers. But what does it do to everyone else in the long run?

Seymour Melman (1917–2004), a professor of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia University, focused much of his energy on the economics of the military-oriented state. Melman’s work amounted to an extended analysis of the true costs not only of war but also of the military establishment itself. As he observed,

Industrial productivity, the foundation of every nation’s economic growth, is eroded by the relentlessly predatory effects of the military economy. …Traditional economic competence of every sort is being eroded by the state capitalist directorate that elevates inefficiency into a national purpose, that disables the market system, that destroys the value of the currency, and that diminishes the decision power of all institutions other than its own.


Yet these politicians and intellectuals [who warned against a cut in military spending as being bad for the economy] were focusing on the direct effects of discontinuing a particular spending stream without considering the indirect effects—all the business ventures, jobs, and wealth that those funds would create when steered away from military use and toward the service of the public as expressed in their voluntary spending patterns. The full cost of the military establishment, as with all other forms of government spending, includes all the consumer goods, services, and technological discoveries that never came into existence because the resources to provide them had been diverted by government.


Measurements of “economic growth” can be misleading if they do not differentiate between productive growth and parasitic growth. Productive growth improves people’s standard of living and/or contributes to future production. Parasitic growth merely depletes manpower and existing stocks of goods without accomplishing either of these ends.

Military spending constitutes the classic example of parasitic growth. Melman believed that military spending, up to a point, could be not only legitimate but also economically valuable. But astronomical military budgets, surpassing the combined military spending of the rest of the world, and exceeding many times over the amount of destructive power needed to annihilate every enemy city, were clearly parasitic. Melman used the term “overkill” to describe that portion of the military budget that constituted this kind of excess.


The scale of the resources siphoned off from the civilian sector becomes more vivid in light of specific examples of military programs, equipment, and personnel. To train a single combat pilot, for instance, costs between $5 million and $7 million. Over a period of two years, the average U.S. motorist uses about as much fuel as does a single F-16 training jet in less than an hour. The Abrams tank uses up 3.8 gallons of fuel in traveling one mile. Between 2 and 11 percent of the world’s use of 14 important minerals, from copper to aluminum to zinc, is consumed by the military, as is about 6 percent of the world’s consumption of petroleum. The Pentagon’s energy use in a single year could power all U.S. mass transit systems for nearly 14 years.

Still other statistics illuminate the scope of the resources consumed by the military. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, during the period from 1947 through 1987 it used (in 1982 dollars) $7.62 trillion in capital resources. In 1985, the Department of Commerce estimated the value of the nation’s plants, equipment, and infrastructure (capital stock) at just over $7.29 trillion. In other words, the amount spent over that period could have doubled the American capital stock or modernized and replaced its existing stock.

Then there are the damaging effects on the private sector. Since World War II, between one-third and two-thirds of all technical researchers in the United States have been working for the military at any given time. The result, Melman points out, has been “a short supply of comparable talent to serve civilian industry and civilian activities of every sort.”


Meanwhile, firms servicing Pentagon needs have grown almost indifferent to cost. They operate outside the market framework and the price system: the prices of the goods they produce are not determined by the voluntary buying and selling by property owners that comprise the market, but through a negotiation process with the Pentagon in isolation from market exchange.

Beginning in the 1960s, the Department of Defense required the military-oriented firms with which it did business to engage in “historical costing,” a method by which past prices are employed in order to estimate future costs. Superficially plausible, this approach builds into the procurement process a bias in favor of ever-higher prices since it does not scrutinize these past prices or the firm’s previously incurred costs, or make provision for the possibility that work done in the future might be carried out at a lower cost than related work done in the past.

This is not nit-picking: advancing technology has often made it possible to carry out important tasks at ever-lower costs, yet rising costs are a built-in assumption of the historical-cost method. Moreover, if some piece of military equipment—a helicopter, plane, or tank, for example—winds up costing much more than initial estimates indicated, that inflated price then becomes the baseline for the cost estimates for new projects belonging to the same genus. The Pentagon, in turn, uses the resulting cost hikes to justify higher budget proposals submitted to Congress.

Melman also found administrative overhead ratios in the defense industry to be double those for civilian firms, where such a crushing burden simply could not be absorbed. He concluded:

From the personal accounts of ‘refugees’ from military-industry firms, from former Pentagon staffers, from informants still engaged in military-industrial work, from the Pentagon’s publications, and from data disclosed in Congressional hearings, I have found consistent evidence pointing to the inference that the primary, internal, economic dynamics of military industry are cost- and subsidy-maximization.


“In one major enterprise,” Melman reported, “the product-development staffs engaged in contests for designing the most complex, Rube Goldberg-types of devices. Why bother putting brakes on such professional games as long as they can be labeled ‘research,’ charged to ‘cost growth’ and billed to the Pentagon?”


The American machine-tool industry can tell a sorry tale of its own. Once highly competitive and committed to cost-containment and innovation, the machine-tool industry suffered a sustained decline in the decades following World War II. During the wartime period, from 1939 to 1947, machine-tool prices increased by only 39 percent at a time when the average hourly earnings of American industrial workers rose by 95 percent. Since machine tools increase an economy’s productivity, making it possible to produce a greater quantity of output with a smaller input, the industry’s conscientious cost-cutting had a disproportionately positive effect on the American industrial system as a whole.

But between 1971 and 1978, machine-tool prices rose 85 percent while U.S. industrial workers’ average hourly earnings increased only 72 percent. The corresponding figures in Japan were 51 percent and 177 percent, respectively.

These problems can be accounted for in part by the American machine-tool industry’s relationship with the Defense Department. Once the Pentagon became the American machine-tool industry’s largest customer, the industry felt far less pressure to hold prices down than it had in the past.


In the short run, the American machine-tool industry’s woes affected U.S. productivity at large. Firms were now much more likely to maintain their existing stock of machines rather than to purchase additional equipment or upgrade what they already possessed. By 1968, nearly two-thirds of all metalworking machinery in American factories was at least ten years old. The aging stock of production equipment contributed to a decline in manufacturing productivity growth after 1965.


Another factor is at work as well: the more an industry caters to the Pentagon, the less it makes production decisions with the civilian economy in mind. Thus in the late 1950s the Air Force teamed up with the machine-tool industry to produce numerical-control machine-tool technology, a technique for the programmable automation of machine tools that yields fast, efficient, and accurate results. The resulting technology was so costly that private metalworking firms could not even consider using it. The machine-tool firms involved in this research thereby placed themselves in a situation in which their only real customer was the aerospace industry.

Some 20 years later, only 2 percent of all American machine tools belonged to the numerical-control line. It was Western European and Japanese firms, which operated without these incentives, that finally managed to produce numerical-control machine tools at affordable prices for smaller businesses.


Economist Robert Higgs wonders: “Why can’t the Department of Defense today defend the country for a smaller annual amount than it needed to defend the country during the Cold War, when we faced an enemy with large, modern armed forces and thousands of accurate, nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles?”

In fact, a great many military experts have begun to conclude that the enormously expensive and complicated equipment and programs that the Pentagon has been calling for would be of limited help even in fighting the Second Generation Warfare with which the American military seems most comfortable, and a positive detriment to waging the kind of Fourth Generation Warfare of which the war on terror consists. William Lind, a key theorist of Fourth Generation Warfare, says the U.S. Navy in the 21st century is “still structured to fight the Imperial Japanese Navy.”


The Department of Defense is the only federal agency not subject to audit.


It is not uncommon for the Pentagon not to know whether contractors have been paid twice, or not at all. It does not even know how many contractors it has. Meanwhile, so-called fiscal conservatives, who know nothing of this, continue to think the problem is excessively low military budgets. This, no doubt, is just the way the establishment likes it: exploit the people’s patriotism in order to keep the gravy train rolling.


Higgs suggests that the real defense budget is closer to $1 trillion.

Winslow Wheeler reaches a comparable figure. To the $518.3 billion, he adds the military-related activities assigned to the Department of Energy ($17.1 billion), the security component of the State Department budget ($38.4 billion), the Department of Veterans Affairs ($91.3 billion), non-Department of Defense military retirement ($28.3 billion), miscellaneous defense activities spread around various agencies ($5.7 billion), and the share of the interest payments on the national debt attributable to military expenditure ($54.5 billion). When we add the roughly $155 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to Wheeler’s tabulation, we arrive at a grand total of $948.7 billion for 2009.

And we’re worried about trivialities like “earmarks,” which comprise such a small portion of spending that they barely amount to a rounding error in the federal budget?

Meanwhile, $250 billion is spent every year maintaining a global military presence that includes 865 facilities in more than 40 countries, and 190,000 troops stationed in 46 countries and territories. It is not “liberal” to find something wrong with this.


Out with the phony conservatives, the Tea Party movement says. We want the real thing. But the real thing, far from endorsing global military intervention, recoils from it. The conservative cannot endorse a policy that is at once utopian, destructive, impoverishing, counterproductive, propaganda-driven, contrary to republican values, and sure to increase the power of government, especially the executive branch.


As Patrick Henry said, “Those nations who have gone in search of grandeur, power and splendor, have always fallen a sacrifice and been the victims of their own folly. While they acquired those visionary blessings, they lost their freedom.”

Note: While many civilians believe the myth that conservatives are pro-war, the truth is that many of the most highly-decorated military men in history - including conservatives - became opposed to war after seeing what really goes on.

Indeed, I have spoken with some very high-level former military and intelligence officers. They are true patriots, who dedicated their life to protecting our country. They are also very passionate about not starting unnecessary wars, because they reduce America's national security and cause many more problems than they could possibly solve.

Those who call themselves "conservative" but advocate military adventurism are really "neoliberals" ... and they are not really conservatives at all.

Obviously, I am not advocating complete disarmament. We should be ready to defend ourselves if we are attacked. But I am opposed to attacking other nations unless it is urgently and absolutely needed or engaging in endless war. See this, .

The US and British governments willfully manipulated the WMD files of IRAQ.
Everyone knew that there was absolutely No WMDs in Iraq....

The Guardian just interviewed the the infamous "Curveball" who provided false evidence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Curveball admitted that he knowingly lied about WMDs, in order to topple Saddam Hussein. The Guardian has a series notes in a series of articles out today on the issue which reinforce the conclusion that the American and British governments deliberately manipulated the evidence to justify the Iraqi invasion.

In one article, the Guardian notes :

The former head of the CIA in Europe ... Tyler Drumheller, who says he warned the head of the US intelligence agency before the 2003 invasion of Iraq that Curveball might be a liar ....


"My impression was always that his reporting was done in January and February," said Drumheller, adding that he had been warned well before 2003 by his counterparts in the German secret service (BND) that Curveball might not be reliable. "We didn't know if it was true. We knew there were real problems with it and there were inconsistencies."

He passed on this information to the head of the CIA, George Tenet, he said, and yet Curveball's testimony still made it into Colin Powell's famous February 2003 speech justifying an invasion. "Right up to the night of Powell's speech, I said, don't use that German reporting because there's a problem with that," said Drumheller.


He recalled a conversation he had with John McLaughlin, then the CIA's deputy director. "The week before the speech, I talked to the Deputy McLaughlin, and someone says to him, 'Tyler's worried that Curveball might be a fabricator.

"And McLaughlin said, 'Oh, I hope not, because this is really all we have.' And I said, and I've got to be honest with you, I said: 'You've got to be kidding? his is all we have!'"

In a second article, the Guardian reports:

A senior aide to Colin Powell at the time of his pivotal speech to the United Nations said on Tuesday that Curveball's admission raised questions about the CIA's role.

Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to the then US secretary of state Powell in the build-up to the invasion, said the lies of Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, also known by the codename Curveball, raised questions about how the CIA had briefed Powell ahead of his crucial speech to the UN security council presenting the case for war.

In particular, why did the CIA's then director George Tenet and his deputy John McLaughlin believe the claim by Curveball, "and convey that to Powell even though the CIA's own European chief Tyler Drumheller had already raised serious doubts.

"And why did Tenet and McLaughlin portray the presence of mobile biological labs in Iraq to the secretary of state with a degree of conviction bordering on passionate, soul-felt certainty?"


"This is very damning testimony and an indictment of the work the US put into the pre-war intelligence. The decision to go to war, to spend billions on sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers to the region, was in large part taken on the basis of an admitted liar," said Ashwin Madia, head of an organisation of progressive US military veterans, VoteVets.


Judith Yaphe, a former CIA analyst on Iraq now at the National Defence University in Washington, said ... "There were people at the time who doubted what Curveball was saying, but if the administration doesn't want to believe it, it doesn't make much difference."

In a third piece, Carne Ross - Britain's former Iraq expert at the UN security council, and the person responsible for liaison with the weapons inspectors - writes:

Again, we will be confronted with the "not my fault!" excuse from those who manufactured the case for an avoidable war.

But once again, they are trying to mislead. Here's why.

As I learned in my work on Iraq's WMD in the late 90s and early 2000s, when I was Britain's Iraq expert at the UN security council and responsible for liaison with the weapons inspectors, intelligence on WMD is a confusing and complicated issue. There was a great deal of data, much of it contradictory, from an array of different sources – intercepts of communications, aerial and satellite imagery and "humint" from defectors or agents inside Iraq. Our task in the government was to try to make sense of all this, and interpret from the data a reasonably plausible and coherent picture of what was actually going on.


Given the complexity of the data, no single source could ever be taken as authoritative. And the least convincing sources – by their very nature – were defectors. We knew full well that, for very understandable reasons, defectors had a powerful incentive to exaggerate the nature of Iraq's development of WMD. They hated Saddam and wanted him gone. Long before Curveball, there were other defectors who made sometimes wild claims about Iraq's weapons programmes. I remember one report that suggested Iraq had armed its Scud missiles (none of which, in fact, existed, it later emerged) with nuclear warheads, ready to be launched at Israel and other targets. Defector intelligence was, therefore, lowest in the hierarchy of evidence; photographic or signals intercepts were, for obvious reasons, treated as more plausible.


All evidence had to be tested by the simple method of seeking corroboration from other sources. This method was used across Whitehall, and in the Ministry of Defence and the Cabinet Office in particular, and was the basis for the Joint Intelligence Committee assessments of the WMD threat, several of which I contributed to. In the years I worked on the subject (1997-2002), the picture produced by this method was very clear: there was no credible evidence of substantial stocks of WMD in Iraq.

And it was this method – clearly – that was abandoned in advance of the war. Instead of a careful cross-checking of evidence, reports that suited the story of an imminent Iraqi threat were picked out, polished and formed the basis of public claims like Colin Powell's presentation to the UN security council, or the No 10 dossier. This was exactly how a false case for war was constructed: not by the deliberate creation of a falsehood, but by willfully and secretly manipulating the evidence to exaggerate the importance of reports like Curveball's, and to ignore contradictory evidence.


Others of my former colleagues in the MOD and Foreign Office have freely admitted to me that this is precisely what took place. Yet, for all its subtlety and secrecy, we should name this process for what it was: the manufacture of a lie.

And in a fourth report, Guardian reporters Martin Chulov and Helen Pidd - who interviewed Curveball and have been reporting for years on the run up to the Iraq war - provide additional details in a question and answer format:

Is this one of those rare occasions when we should have shot the messenger?

Answer: At the very least he should have been treated with far more skepticism. He told us that all the technical discussion he had with the German spooks could have been managed by any first year chemical engineering student. He even had with him a chemical engineering dictionary that he said was given him by a scientist to help 'him. Coaching, or assisting. A very fine line ...

Did the BND or CIA attempt to corroborate his intelligence? Why was he believable as an intelligence source? I'd tell you David Cameron is from outer space if you offered me a chocolate bar - but me saying it doesn't make it true though does it? Was there any attempt to verify his information or did the BND and CIA swallow the lie because it was convenient to them? Did he give them any evidence of his claims?


He gave them names, dates, locations and the basics of a story that seemed plausible. Trouble is, it was checked out - before the war - and did not stack up. The key location of the supposed bioweapons factory, was meant to have a fake wall that allowed mobile weapons trucks to drive-in, reload, and leave to loaded up with biotoxins. The site was visited in 2002. The wall didn't exist. His boss was visited late that year. He told the BND and British intelligence officers that Curvevall was a fabulist. The CIA did not speak with him until well after the invasion. [The Iraq war started on March 20, 2003]


If the Source was effectively discredited prior to his intelligence being used as a pretext for Iraq, do you think this will have any bearing on the investigation in the Iraq war inquiry?

If it was clear to intelligence agencies that the information provided by Curveball was at best unreliable, then presumably this would have been communicated to Tony Blair and others responsible for pedaling it to a public skeptical about going war.

If the unreliability of the intelligence wasn't communicated to Tony Blair / George Bush, then those in the intelligence community responsible for not doing so surly need to be prosecuted.

If that was passed on, then Blair / Bush etc should be prosecuted.

What British intel knew, and when they knew it is something that still eludes me after two years of looking at this story. Tyler Drumheller, the CIA's former main man in Europe says the Brits were more skeptical about Curveball than the BND. We believe at least two British spooks were at a meeting with Curveball's boss in Dubai in 2002, at which he refuted his underlink's key claim about bioweapons. However, as my colleague Peter Beaumont points out, the late-Dr David Kelly was tasked with trying to find these mysterious weapons trucks. He said the trucks that had been found were to launch weather balloons (which is correct). However, the news was not received well in Downing St.


Anyone who read Bob Drogin's 'Curveball' which came out in 2007 would already have been aware of all this and the fact he was a paranoid alcoholic and there was a huge battle in US intelligence services as to whether to take his info seriously or not- with those naysayers being severely ostracized.


This is true.


Is [Curveball] saying that he told BND that his earlier allegations were not accurate when he was questioned about the information given to them by his boss in 2002? ...

[Answer] He says that after he told them about the mobile trucks they sought out his boss, Dr Latif, who was then in Dubai. The BND went to see him there, along with two British intelligence officers. When they returned to Germany they told Curveball that Dr Latif had said he was a liar. He says he told them to believe his boss, instead of him. He claims he thought the game was up at that point.


It should be re-emphasized that there were many people in the intelligence communities in the US and Germany who were hugely skeptical about his evidence but were simply not listened too as it did not fit the required narrative- which is as a big a scandal in its own right.

[Answer] Agreed. Tyler Drumheller speaks convincingly about this. As does Powel's former chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson who now describes the UN speech as the lowest point of his career.


[Answer] Curveball says he was as surprised as you that the BND came back for more at the end of 2002 and in 2003 in the run-up to the invasion. I can only assume that the BND were under a lot of pressure from the CIA to give them more "evidence" to back the case for war. Tyler Drumheller says the Germans always put a safety warning on their Curveball reporting - they never said "this guy is lying", but they said "we cannot corroborate this". He says he passed that up to G. Tenet, the assassin in Chief of the Infamous White House Murder INC,....