Iraqi Defector Admits He Lied About WMD in Lead-Up to War

John Sexton

His name is Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi but he was given the codename “Curveball” prior to the Iraq War. He played a significant role in convincing US authorities, including Colin Powell, that Saddam had biological weapons capabilities. Of course we’ve known since 2005 that claim wasn’t true, but now Curveball is admitting he made up claims of mobile weapons labs in order to get the US to topple Saddam. The Guardian has produced an exclusive video, here is a bit of the English transcript:

I did that for a number of reasons. Firstly because of my people, the Iraq people…Saddam did not allow freedom in our land. There were no other political parties. You had to believe what Saddam said, do what Saddam wanted. And I didn’t accept that.

Asked if he would do the same thing again if he could go back, Curveball doesn’t hesitate:

Yes, yes definitely. I would do something against Saddam, against the old regime.

I can’t begin to unpack the entire history of this debate in this brief post. Whether you supported the decision to go to war (and recall that at the time many Democrats did in 2003) or not, there is no doubt that this revelation fills in some important blanks…

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