When All Else Fails, The Press Can Always Count On Bashing Bush

Oh Lord, here we go again!  The press is out there dredging up the same “Bush lied and led us into war,” horse crap that launched the careers of several moonbat liberals in the last decade.

Let’s do a little analysis, shall we?

Consider the recent stories being bandied about.  I saw this one on Yahoo.com:

Colin Powell dramatically made the Bush administration’s case for invading Iraq at the United Nations just over eight years ago. During that presentation, Powell claimed that Saddam Hussein was hiding a secret biological weapons program, relying on information that came from an Iraqi defector code-named “Curveball.”

The U.S news media barely challenged Powell’s claims that day, with political pundits and columnists largely praising the former secretary of state’s methodical performance. Of course, Powell’s weapons evidence has been proven bogus in the years since the invasion.

But until now, the man who made the false claims to German intelligence officials–later seized upon by the Bush administration–hasn’t admitted what seemed apparent after WMDs weren’t found in Iraq: he lied.

CBS News first identified Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi as “Curveball” in a 2007 investigation of “one of the deadliest con jobs of our time.” Although U.N. inspectors found no evidence to back up al-Janabi’s claims of a biological weapons program, the Bush administration still relied on the bogus evidence to start a war that’s led to over 100,000 deaths.

So why did al-Janabi do it?

Of course, there is UK’s The Guardian:

The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

“Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” he said. “They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”

The admission comes just after the eighth anniversary of Colin Powell’s speech to the United Nations in which the then-US secretary of state relied heavily on lies that Janabi had told the German secret service, the BND. It also follows the release of former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s memoirs, in which he admitted Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction programme.

The careers of both men were seriously damaged by their use of Janabi’s claims, which he now says could have been – and were – discredited well before Powell’s landmark speech to the UN on 5 February 2003.

And, of course, those stellar intellects at ABC news:

The Iraqi defector codenamed Curveball, who falsely claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, admitted to the lies today and said he is proud he was able to trick the U.S. and its allies into launching the Iraq War.

“They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime,” Rafid al-Janabi told the British newspaper The Guardian in a report published today. “I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”

Al-Janabi had defected from Iraq to Germany in 1999 and told the German intelligence service, the BND, that Iraq possessed a mobile biological weapons program. That information was passed on to U.S. intelligence services and became the cornerstone of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s infamous 2003 speech before the United Nations in which he made the case for going to war.

You know, it would be nice, for once, if some of so-called “journalists” actually did a little bit of research before they write their brainless pap.  It took me a sum-total of about five minutes to look up some pretty glaring errors in their “reporting.”  The most agregious is the fact that the defector – code-named “Curveball” – wasn’t the “defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme.”

Committee staff found several areas of concern regarding the HUMINT sources upon which the IC relied to build its assessments concerning Iraq’s mobile BW production program. Those sources were CURVE BALL, {redacted}, the INC source, and {redacted}.

In short, it wasn’t Curveball from which all this information sprang, but four separate sources.  This is restated later on in the report:

…and he was one of the four HUMINT sources specifically referred to in the part of Secretary Powell’s February 2003 speech before the UN Security Council that discussed the mobile BW production units.

(Emphasis added by yours truly.)

But that’s not all.  Apparently, these four sources were not the only people reporting that Iraq was attempting to make mobile biological weapons platforms and facilities:

A CIA Directorate of Operations (CIA/DO) officer told the Committee that when he began serving as the Deputy Chief of the CIA Iraq WMD Task Force in the summer of 2002, the Iraqi BW program was not the focus of the Iraq WMD Task Force’s efforts because, while many questions existed about other issues such as Iraq’s nuclear weapons program, analysts felt fairly certain that they knew what the BW program looked like and believed the issue was largely “wrapped up.” He noted that although there was always a lot of ambiguity with these sources, the CIA’S lead analyst on Iraq’s BW program was adamant about the existence of the Iraqi mobile BW platforms. He noted that {redacted} was “a bull dog with these sources.” The CIA/DO officer told Committee staff that the CIA BW analyst and the Department of Defense detailee who was assigned to CIA/DO had “locked horns” over the reliability of the mobile BW HUMINT sources. The CIA/DO officer noted that he had several conversations with the CIA BW analyst about the detailee’s concerns over the reliability of the mobile BW HUMINT sources. In one of these conversations, the CIA BW analyst discounted the detailee’s concerns by stating that the Weapons Intelligence Non-proliferation and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) had multiple sources reporting on the program, and that the detailee was not aware of all of this reporting.

What’s most important to remember is that Curveball had been providing this information as far back as 2000, when Clinton was still in office.  So it’s not like he was the first guy they found to give them the information they were looking for.  And as the report notes:

A CIA BW analyst told Committee staff that a Department of Defense (DOD) detailee who provided technical advice on CURVE BALL “…thought that the guy might be an alcoholic and that bothered him a lot.” The detailee who provided technical advice to the CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) on BW matters, met CURVE BALL in May 2000 in order to administer {redacted}. The detailee is the only American intelligence official to have met CURVE BALL before Operation Iraqi Freedom.

[…]

The DOD detailee raised several concerns about CURVE BALL’S reliability in an electronic mail (e-mail) he wrote to the Deputy Chief of the CIA’S {redacted} Iraqi WMD Task Force after reading a draft of Secretary Powell’s speech to the U.N. The detailee noted that “I believe I am still the only [United States Government] USG person to have had direct access to him. There are a few issues associated with that contact that warrant further explanation, in my opinion, before using him as the backbone for the Iraqi mobile program.” The detailee explained,

I do have a concern with the validity of the information based on “CURVE BALL” having a terrible hangover the morning {redacted}. I agree, it was only a one time interaction, however, he knew he was to have a {redacted} on that particular morning but tied one on anyway. What underlying issues could this be a problem with and how in depth has he been {redacted}?

The DOD detailee also expressed concern in his e-mail that,

During the {redacted} meeting a couple of months ago when I was allowed to request {redacted} that “we/USG’ wanted direct access to CURVE BALL, {redacted} replied that in fact that was not possible, {redacted} were having major handling issues with him and were attempting to determine, if in fact, CURVE BALL was who he said he was. These issues, in my opinion, warrant further inquiry, before we use the information as the backbone of one of our major findings of the existence of a continuing Iraqi BW program!

So, in short, there were concerns almost from the outset that something was fishy about Curveball.

But what’s the most infuriating is that the mobile biological weapons facilities were NOT the only reasons why we went to war.  There were concerns over the rebuilding of Iraqi castor oil facilities in 2000, of which the unused pulp can be utilized to make ricin gas.  And then there were all of the chemical weapons concerns and undeclared / unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical weapons munitions – discovered after the war was over, I might add, and verified by a few WikiLeaks postings (much to my amusement) – that posed an ever-increasing risk of dissemination to terrorist groups.  Then again, there were links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, as the 9/11 Commission Report detailed:

In mid-1998, the situation reversed; it was Iraq that reportedly took the initiative.  In March 1998, after Bin Ladin’s public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence.  In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin.

[…]

Similar meetings between Iraqi officials and Bin Ladin or his aides may have occurred in 1999 during a period of some reported strains with the Taliban.  According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq.  Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative.  The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides’ hatred of the United States.

And then this little, overlooked portion of the report from the Clinton years:

Though intelligence gave no clear indication of what might be afoot, some intelligence reports mentioned chemical weapons pointing towards work at a camp in southern Afghanistan called Derunta.  On November 4th, the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment of Bin Laden charging him with conspiracy to attack U.S. installations.  The indictment also charged that al Qaeda had allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah.  The original sealed indictment had added that al Qaeda had “reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.” This passage led Clarke, who for years had read intelligence reports on the Iraqi- Sudanese cooperation on chemical weapons, to speculate to Berger that a large Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was “probably a direct result of the Iraq-al Qaeda agreement.” Clarke added that VX precursor traces found near al Shifa were the “exact formula used by Iraq.”

But hey, it was all because Bush and his buddies were snowed under by Curveball’s personal charm.

 Too bad so many journalists – who actually get paid to do what I did for free – didn’t bother to look any of this up.  Or maybe the couldn’t as, after all, their kind usually isn’t the brightest bulbs in the box.  That’s why they’re “journalists,” and not a member of the society of productive people.

Or maybe this is just a discrete distraction to play the Bash Bush game…as a way to deflect attention away from Baby Doc Obama’s less than stellar performance as President?

It wouldn’t be as hard to swallow as Curveball being the guy who tricked us all into war with Iraq.

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