9/11 Truth Organiser
Joined: 25 Feb 2006
|Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:31 pm Post subject: Curveball: BND Spy Rafed Al Janabi's Prewar WMD 'Intel'
|Robert Scheer: Top Spy’s Story on Prewar Intel Is Finally Told
Posted on Apr. 25, 2006
By Robert Scheer
“The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy.”
—Tyler Drumheller, formerly CIA’s top spy in Europe
Confession time: In fall 2004, during a crucial presidential election campaign, I made the mistake of playing by corporate media rules that amount to self-censorship.
Specifically, I joined other journalists in denying the public the right to learn of a definitive investigative report by CBS’ “60 Minutes” on President Bush’s disregard for the truth concerning the weapons-of-mass-destruction threat allegedly posed to the United States by Iraq. Having received an advance copy of the devastating segment, I honored CBS’ proprietary request not to write about the news it carried until after it aired.
Only, it never aired. CBS got cold feet, probably because of Dan Rather’s troubles over an unrelated story critical of the president. The suppressed story was solidly reported and, by exposing the Bush administration’s utter disregard for the truth concerning Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, should have been made available to the public before the November election. Now, no one seems to care.
The segment finally aired this past Sunday, in a more robust form. Unfortunately, the response has been tepid; it seems the media, at least, have become jaded with all the endless examples of the president’s perfidy. But the CBS story remains very important as further evidence of the depths of the Bush administration’s deception.
Perhaps most damning is an interview, added for the broadcast version, with Tyler Drumheller, a CIA veteran of 26 years’ service who was the agency’s top spy in Europe until his retirement a year ago. According to him, before the war Hussein’s foreign minister had been “turned” and was talking secretly to U.S. intelligence. At first excited by this rare inside look at Hussein’s regime, the top dogs at the White House dropped the issue like a hot rock as soon as his information contradicted their overheated rationale for “preemptive” war. “The policy was set,” Drumheller told CBS correspondent Ed Bradley. “The war in Iraq was coming. And they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy, to justify the policy.”
That’s how more than three years later, after at least two major governmental investigations into prewar intelligence on Iraq and countless journalistic post-mortems, we are only just now finding out that a highly placed double agent in Iraq was poking a huge hole in the Hussein-as-WMD-bogeyman story.
“They were enthusiastic” at first, said Drumheller, “that we had a high-level penetration of Iraqis.” CIA Director George Tenet reported the news that Hussein’s foreign minister, Naji Sabri, was working covertly for the United States to a White House meeting attended by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Their initial enthusiasm, Drumheller says, quickly turned to cold indifference when Sabri told them the opposite of what they wanted to hear.
“He told us that they had no active weapons-of-mass-destruction program,” said the ex-CIA official. “The [White House] group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they were no longer interested. And we said ‘Well, what about the intel?’ And they said ‘Well, this isn’t about intel anymore. This is about regime change.’ ”
The White House refused to comment for the “60 Minutes” report, but CBS noted that Rice has said Sabri was just one source, and therefore not reliable. It was ironic, considering how heavily the Bush administration relied on the now infamous Iraqi defector “Curveball,” whose statements so informed the main administration allegations concerning Iraq’s biochemical weapons.
Drumheller was in contact with the German intelligence agency CIS, which had detained the man with the apt code name, and says he himself informed the top CIA officials that Curveball was an outright fraud.
“They certainly took information that came from single sources on the yellowcake story and on several other stories with no corroboration at all,” Drumheller said.
No wonder this man, who risked his life gathering intelligence for our country, has become a critic of the Bush administration. He is clearly unwilling to allow what the president has described as a permanent war to destroy our democracy. True patriotism is not the blind acceptance of presidential deceit.
Imperial ambition turns truth-tellers into enemies, by default, because their goal is not the exaltation of the leader’s power. No wonder so many national security professionals, be they top generals or intelligence officials, have gone public recently to denounce how the Iraq war has been sold and fought: The Bush administration’s willful ignorance and buck-passing mock their dedicated service to the nation.
“It just sticks in my craw every time I hear them say it’s an intelligence failure,” Drumheller said. “This was a policy failure.”
A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. Editor, Robert Scheer. Publisher, Zuade Kaufman.
Copyright © 2006 Truthdig, L.L.C. All rights reserved.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing - Edmund Burke.
Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem Americanam appellant - Tacitus Redactus.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:02 am Post subject:
|well they didn't quite fool the world - 3 million marched in London because they didn't believe the lie
The Spies Who Fooled the World
On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, Panorama reveals how key aspects of the secret intelligence used by Downing Street and the White House to justify the invasion were based on fabrication, wishful thinking and lies. Peter Taylor tracks down some of those responsible and reports on the remarkable story of how, in the months before the war, two highly-placed sources - close to Saddam Hussein - talked secretly to the CIA and MI6. Their intelligence said Iraq did not have an active WMD programme - but it was simply dismissed.
Iraq anniversary: war intelligence 'was a lie', BBC Panorama documentary says
Key intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq ten years ago was based on "fabrication" and "wishful thinking", a documentary is to claim.
Soldiers from the Kings own Scottish Borderers patrolling a camel train near the Tigres river outside Al Amara in Northern Iraq in 2003. Photo: PA
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/9936180/Iraq -anniversary-war-intelligence-was-a-lie-BBC-Panorama-documentary-to-sa y.html
By Tom Whitehead, and Duncan Gardham - 11:42PM GMT 17 Mar 2013
The US and UK are accused of relying on questionable information that suggested Saddam Hussein was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), despite warnings over its authenticity.
At the same time, other foreign intelligence that suggested no such programme existed was dismissed, according to a BBC Panorama investigation.
One Iraqi spy – codenamed "Curveball" – whose claims to have witnessed the manufacture of WMD were seized upon by the Americans told the programme the invasion had been based on his "lie".
Lord Butler, who, a year after the invasion, carried out a British review of the intelligence used, admitted that he was unaware that two senior members of Saddam's regime had secretly told the CIA and MI6 that WMD did not exist.
The documentary will reignite questions over the legality and justification of the Iraq war. One source told the programme the conflict was borne out of "choice" rather than "necessity".
The war, which started on March 20, 2003, lasted more than six years, claimed the lives of 179 UK personnel, more than 100,000 Iraqis, and cost more than £9 billion. Britain ended combat operations there in 2009, but the war remains unfinished business, with questions remaining about the legality of the invasion and the conduct of British troops.
Tonight's Panorama: The Spies Who Fooled The World, reports how claims from a few sources that Iraq was manufacturing WMD spiralled into apparently sound intelligence that was used to justify the war. In his first TV interview on the subject, August Hanning, the former head of German intelligence, said that Curveball, whose real name is Rafed Al Janabi, told the German secret services that he had witnessed the manufacture of chemical and biological weapons.
The information was passed by the Germans to American and British intelligence, along with concerns about its reliability, he said.
Tyler Drumheller, the former head of the CIA in Europe, also claimed that he passed warnings about Curveball's claims up the chain of command, while Mr Hanning said he sent a cable to George Tenet, who was then director of the CIA. Mr Tenet denies receiving the warnings, the programme said.
Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister, said US colleagues were warned about the information. However, he told Panorama: "They were not in a state, or a mindset to be warned."
Peter Taylor, a Panorama reporter, asked Curveball: "The fact is we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie." "Yes," he replied, smiling.
A claim from another source given to French security services, which suggested that Iraq was buying large amounts of uranium ore, is said to have spread like "contagion" through the intelligence community. Pierre Brochand, the former head of France's foreign intelligence agency, told the programme: "We felt that intelligence was used to justify a war, which was a war of choice, of pure choice. But the intelligence was used to disguise that as a war of necessity."
Panorama heard how Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, and head of intelligence, Tahir Habbush al-Tikriti, separately revealed to the CIA and MI6 that there was no active WMD programme, but that information was not given the same credence.
Lord Butler said he did not know about Habbush's evidence until after the inquiry and never knew about Sabri's comments.
The Real Story of 'Curveball': How German Intelligence Helped Justify the US Invasion of Iraq
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-real-story-of-curveball- how-german-intelligence-helped-justify-the-us-invasion-of-iraq-a-54284 0.html
By Erich Follath, John Goetz, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark
Five years ago, the US government presented what it said was proof that Iraq harbored biological weapons. The information came from a source developed by German intelligence -- and it turned out to be disastrously wrong. But to this day, Germany denies any responsibility.
If you're looking to hide out from the rest of the world, the grayish white residential block in this southern German city would be a good place to be. Six families live here, most of them with children, and the building blends inconspicuously into the dull suburban skyline. A green toy tractor is parked out front, the bicycles have baby trailers, one of them complete with an American flag fluttering in the breeze. On a mailbox hanging outside the building's entrance, the name Rafed has been scrawled in pale green handwriting -- difficult to read, but decipherable from up close.
There are many the world over who would love a chance to chat with the man whose mail lands in this post box. The US Congress is desperately interested in him, and the White House once even expressed an interest in trotting him out on primetime television. A book has been written about him and Hollywood is currently working on a motion picture documenting his life.
The man's codename is "Curveball." And in an earlier life, he played a crucial role in the geo-politics at the beginning of this decade: He was the man who provided vital "evidence" that ultimately contributed to the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies. But that role has since turned into his greatest problem: Everything he claimed to know about Iraq's weapons program, all the proof he presented, was fabricated. His lifeline, though, has yet to be cut: Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), remains loyal to their source. They keep him under cover and protect him from uncomfortable questions -- here in southern Germany.
At first, there are no signs of life from "Curveball's" ground-floor dwelling in the drab apartment building. The doorbell has a bad contact, the neighbors said; you have to hold the button down for a long time. Children’s shoes and men’s sandals are arrayed in front of the door; a German forest landscape hangs on the wall. And then, after a long wait, the door swings open. A stocky man with a full shock of black hair and a stubbly beard stands in the doorway. He is wearing an orange T-shirt and pajama bottoms. Still groggy from sleep, he blinks out at his unexpected visitor. “Rafed?” -- “Yeah, that’s me," he says. It is the moment when Rafed knows his cover has been blown.
In baseball, a curveball is pure deception. It spins quickly, and changes direction, making it very difficult for the batter to make contact. A curveball lures the batter to swing at a ball that is no longer there.
Rafed's deceptions unleashed their full power on Feb. 5, 2003 at the United Nations building in New York City. It was the day that US Secretary of State Colin Powell went before the UN Security Council in an effort to convince the world that an invasion of Iraq was an absolute necessity.
It was 10:30 a.m. local time, when Powell launched into his lecture, and it immediately became clear that he was playing to an audience larger than the UN representatives gathered before him. He was speaking to the world. “Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources," he said. "These are not assertions. What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.” As Powell moved through his 76-minute-long presentation, a horror scenario unfolded. Baghdad, he said, was still in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, including atomic, chemical and biological devices. That pursuit, Powell made clear, was in violation of UN sanctions.
The climax of the lecture came when he told his audience about the mobile biological weapons laboratories -- mini factories mounted on the back of trucks churning out some of the most dangerous diseases known to mankind. That was the "most dramatic" part of the presentation Powell says today.
But there was drama right from the beginning. Early on, the Secretary of State held up a small vial containing white powder -- meant to represent anthrax spores. Saddam Hussein, he said, “could have produced 25,000 liters” of the stuff. Saddam Hussein spins a “web of lies" Powell said and spoke of “one last chance” which Iraq had chosen not to take advantage of. The country harbors a "deadly network of terrorism," he said, and as a result, the world "must not shrink from whatever is ahead."
The response to the speech, broadcast as it was to the entire world, was overwhelming. On the following day, the US Secretary of State could be seen with the anthrax vial on the front page of newspapers from Sydney to Sao Paolo, from Paris to Beijing. “We love him,” rejoiced the Jerusalem Post, hardly a Powell-friendly paper until then. Everyone was suddenly talking about biological weapons -- about the “trailers of death” and “hell on wheels.”
Above all, however, Powell was able to convince many of his fellow Americans who had harbored doubts about the need to go to war in the Middle East. Following Powell's appearance, surveys revealed that half of all US citizens supported a war on Iraq. And the Secretary of State himself was delighted with his performance. He had small plaques made for everyone who had helped prepare the speech. But those he convinced that winter day in 2003 would come to regret it. As the world came to discover, nothing of what he said was truthful. There were no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction at the time Powell made his presentation. There were no mobile biological weapons laboratories. And there were no connections between Iraq and the terrorist organization al-Qaida.
An 'Invaluable Asset'
The reactions around the UN Security Council table on that day just over five years ago were primarily characterized by diplomatic reserve -- including that of the man who chaired the fateful session: Joschka Fischer, Germany's foreign minister at the time. The German delegation had set up a secure line from New York directly to the BND intelligence offices in Berlin, where the agents followed Powell's speech on a big screen.
Like Powell, who made certain that then-CIA Director George Tenet was visible behind him on the world's TV screens, Fischer had also brought along an important intelligence official. But Hans Dieter H., the BND's proliferation expert, was not seated near the foreign minister. Rather, he was positioned diagonally behind Tenet and Powell. The seating was little more than chance; the UN had to set up several additional rows of chairs to accommodate the large audience. The result, though, was that Germany's intelligence representative was seated together with those who supported the war.
As is now clear, the seating was auspicious. The German secret service actually had more to do with providing justification for the US invasion of Iraq than it would now like to admit. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder -- like his colleagues in Paris and Moscow -- was a vehement opponent of the war. But of all people, his own agents provided Washington with the key bit of “evidence” which helped fuel the war hysteria: the story about the mobile biological weapons laboratories. It was information that helped justify a war that has cost more than 500,000 lives and plunged the Middle East into chaos. And this information came from just one man: “Curveball.”
He was, as Tenet said then, an "invaluable asset." Today, it is clear that "Curveball" is an imposter, a fabulist, a man who, in the US, is referred to as the "con man who caused the war." "Curveball," writes spy-thriller author Frederick Forsyth, is responsible for the "biggest fiasco in the history of secret intelligence."
Germany's BND is the agency responsible for this man. And the most important question surrounding "Curveball" still hasn't been answered to this day. Why does German intelligence remain loyal to its source?
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Last edited by TonyGosling on Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total