Archive for March 13th, 2007


Curveball Sounds About Right, Actually

March 13, 2007

I’ve expressed my feelings about the whole Curveball- Drumheller- Powell- Whittaker -U.N. story in the past on quite a few sites, but I thought it was interesting to see that ABC had a little more on the mystery man:  Exclusive: Curveball, the Defector Whose Lies Led to War

The Iraqi defector known as Curveball, whose fabricated stories of “mobile biological weapons labs” helped lead the U.S. to war four years ago, is still being protected by the German intelligence service, an ABC News investigation has found.

Intelligence sources, who provided with the first known photo of the man, say he has been resettled in a small town near the Munich headquarters of the German service, which has continued to honor its original commitment made when he fled Iraq in 1999.

That’s about it for new info on this guy (aside from a fuzzy alleged picture that looks like it’s from the ’70’s).  The rest of the post pretty much covers Tyler Drumheller again.  For my part, I’ll expand on it a bit by posting a link to his PBS interview

 So what was the NIE? What were those, basically just sales documents?

An NIE is a summary of supposedly all the intelligence. I didn’t even know they had drafted the NIE. See, Curveball wasn’t our source; he was a DHS source — Defense HUMINT Service source. So we were not involved with Curveball at all until they came up. They wanted us to vet him.

Who asks you to vet him?

Tenet asked me. He started.

And what does he say?

This is all in the Silberman-Robb report. Late September, he asked me to see the guys who were handling [Curveball]. … In fact, he said to Jim [Pavitt] — Jim said it to me. He said, “Ask him about that defector, the biological weapons defector.” I didn’t know who he was, but I didn’t want to say, “Well, I don’t know who that is.” So I went back, and I asked my executive officers, “Who’s that guy who defected in ’99, and Curveball?”

How did the name Curveball come up?

Curveball is a German term. It had nothing to do with him being —

It’s not a baseball terminology?

No. They use “-ball” a lot for code names.

We did some research on it and found that as early as, I think it was September of 2000, the chief of the German service was warning that they couldn’t confirm what this guy was saying. In the meantime, DIA had put out over 100 intel reports from this reporting. Now, these went to the concerned analysts and people in the community and became part of the war of Iraq, but were forgotten specifically in detail.

As it turns out, the name seems to fit.  More on Curveball from Larry Wilkerson (same PBS program)

Would we have done that with Curveball? Would we have done that with the connection between Al Qaeda and Baghdad? I can’t say, but we never had the opportunity to decide, because we never were presented with those dissents.

As they say, the rest is history.

Others blogging:  The American Street, Political Animal, The Daily Dish, Liberty Street and Think Progress


Note To Iran: It’s Just A Damn Movie

March 13, 2007

I haven’t even seen this movie yet, but I thought I’d comment on this one because it seems that everyone takes movies a bit too seriously.  Iranians included:  Iran outraged by Hollywood war epic

War epic “300”, a smash hit in the United States for its gory portrayal of the Greco-Persian wars, has drawn the wrath of Iranians for showing their ancestors as bloodthirsty “savages”.

The press, officials and bloggers have united in denouncing the film as another example of “psychological warfare” against Tehran by its American arch enemy at a time of mounting tension over its nuclear programme.

Can’t I go to a movie without having to contemplate what hidden message about someone’s ancestors may be contained within?   I suppose the ironic thing is that your average moviegoer probably wouldn’t have made the Iranian/Persian connection if this ‘outrage’ hadn’t made the news.

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