Sunday, November 20, 2005

Intelligence Had Nothing To Do With It

Today's LA Times on "Curveball", the Bush administration's chief source on Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction:
Curveball was last in his engineering class, not first, as he had claimed. He was a low-level trainee engineer, not a project chief or site manager, as the CIA had insisted.

Most important, records showed Curveball had been fired in 1995, at the very time he said he had begun working on bio-warfare trucks. A former CIA official said Curveball also apparently was jailed for a sex crime and then drove a Baghdad taxi.

[The CIA] interviewed 60 of Curveball's family, friends and co-workers. They all denied working on germ weapons trucks. Curveball's former bosses at the engineering center said the CIA had fallen for "water cooler gossip" and "corridor conversations."

"The Iraqis were all laughing," recalled a former member of the survey group. "They were saying, 'This guy? You've got to be kidding.' "
The report goes on to say that the German intelligence officials who interrogated Curveball repeatedly warned U.S. officials that the information he was providing was "vague, mostly secondhand and impossible to confirm" and that the Iraqi informant was "not a stable, psychologically stable guy."

So let me see if I have this right -- we went to war based on information from some guy whose history and psychological background wouldn't have even allowed him to be a contestant on "elimiDate"?

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