Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 28, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

"CURVEBALL"....Even for those of us who already accept that our prewar intelligence was wildly wrong and that Ahmed Chalabi bears a lot of the blame, this story in Sunday's LA Times is still incredibly disheartening:

The Bush administration's prewar claims that Saddam Hussein had built a fleet of trucks and railroad cars to produce anthrax and other deadly germs were based chiefly on information from a now-discredited Iraqi defector code-named "Curveball," according to current and former intelligence officials.

....U.N. weapons inspectors hypothesized that such trucks might exist, officials said. They then asked former exile leader Ahmad Chalabi, a bitter enemy of Hussein, to help search for intelligence supporting their theory.

Soon after, a young chemical engineer emerged in a German refugee camp and claimed that he had been hired out of Baghdad University to design and build biological warfare trucks for the Iraqi army.

....Only later, U.S. officials said, did the CIA learn that the defector was the brother of one of Chalabi's top aides, and begin to suspect that he might have been coached to provide false information. In part because of that, some U.S. intelligence officials and congressional investigators fear that the CIA may have inadvertently conjured up and then chased a phantom weapons system.

It's actually even worse than it sounds just from this excerpt. You really need the read the whole story to appreciate the full magnitude of what happened here. David Kay is the only person who comes out of it looking good.

Ahmed Chalabi deserves to be strung up by his thumbs and left for the vultures to feast on. It is simply unbelievable that we still have anything to do with him.

Kevin Drum 2:48 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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