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November 06, 2007

Intelligence Non-Asset "Curve Ball's" Identity Revealed; Had Nothing At All To Do With Chalabi

This CBSNews/60 Minutes story is interesting, though very slanted. The story seeks to pin blame for Curve Ball on the Bush Administration, though a fair reading would note he was 1) a German source who 2) the Germans believed and 3) the CIA never even got to directly interrogate, at least until long after the war.

The story also mentions that another defector to Germany, a Dr. Basil, told German intelligence that pretty much everything Curve Ball was saying about biological weapons was a lie. CBSNews rather stupidly lets this hang:

"Rafid Alwan ["Curve Ball"] told German intelligence that you personally were fully involved in the project to use Djerf al Nadaf for mobile biological weapons," Simon tells Dr. Basil.

"Big lie," the doctor replies.

If something were going on there, Dr. Basil says he would "definitely" have known about it.

"There are people in the American intelligence community…who believe that seed purification is a cover for biological weapons production," Simon remarks.

"No. It was, it was really seed purification," the doctor replies.

Dr. Basil pointed out that if he had been working on something top secret, why did Saddam let him emigrate from Iraq in 1999?

That's CBSNews playing stupid, of course. There is an easy answer to that question: Saddam let Dr. Basil emigrate precisely so he could tell German intelligence that nothing funky was going on in Iraq's laboratories. Of course that does not seem to have been what actually happened -- Curve Ball was lying, and Dr. Basil was on the level -- but CBSNews, in order to make the case against the case for WMDs stronger, is reduced to childishly pretending they can imagine no reasons whatsoever that Saddam Hussein might allow a defector to leave Iraq in order to begin telling foreign intelligence agencies that Iraq had no active WMD program.

Almost as absurdly slanted is CBSNews not noting that liberals and leakers at the CIA have long claimed that Curve Ball was fed to the US by Chalabi's INC, in order to lie us into war. CBS' own reportage indicates that's completely wrong, but only implicitly; Curve Ball wasn't fed to anyone by anyone, he was a guy, they conclude, just looking to get a Green Card from Germany, and telling whatever lie he thought he needed to tell to get it.

And yet it's the INC which has to issue a press release stating that this age-old slander -- "the INC gave us the liar Curve Ball" -- is apparently 100% untrue.

Simon's report had fresh information there; it was news that the INC had nothing to do with Curve Ball. And yet Simon deliberately un-scoops himself by not reporting it. Why?

Overall it's a good read, once you get past the typical amount of heavy liberal breathing, if only to realize just how little our intelligence (ahem) agencies actually know, and how much they "know" is based merely on the say-so of a single dubious source.


Thanks to CJ.


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posted by Ace at 03:12 PM

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