November 2, 2007

So now we know what the Iraq War was for -- a Green Card!

"It was a guy ["Curveball"] trying to get his green card essentially, in Germany, and playing the system for what it was worth" -- Tyler Drumheller, former CIA official quoted by CBS

The BBC Reports:

Iraq war source's name revealed

A US TV network has revealed the name of "Curveball" - an Iraqi man whose information was central to the US government's argument to invade Iraq.

The CBS show 60 Minutes identifies him as Iraqi defector Rafid Ahmed Alwan. The programme says he arrived in a German refugee centre in 1999 where he lied to win asylum and was not the chemical expert he said he was.

His claims of mobile bio-weapons labs in Saddam Hussein's Iraq were backed until well after the 2003 invasion.

The CBS 60 Minutes programme airs on Sunday but material released on its web site says Curveball was "not only a liar, but also a thief and a poor student instead of the chemical engineering whiz he claimed to be".

It also says it assumes Mr Alwan is now living in Germany under a different name.

The programme says he claimed to be a star chemical engineer at a plant that made mobile biological weapons in Djerf al-Nadaf. However, its investigation showed he received only low marks in chemical engineering at university and was the subject of an arrest warrant for alleged theft from a TV production company he worked for in Baghdad.

The programme also includes footage of his wedding in 1993 in the Iraqi capital.

It quotes former CIA senior official Tyler Drumheller as saying: "It was a guy trying to get his green card essentially, in Germany, and playing the system for what it was worth."

German intelligence agents warned the US in a letter that there was no way to verify Mr Alwan's claims. However, his information was used in a speech by then Secretary of State Colin Powell at the UN to back military action in Iraq.

The 60 Minutes report says the information was passed on by then CIA director George Tenet, who denies ever seeing the German intelligence letter. The programme says Mr Alwan's story unravelled once CIA agents finally confronted him with evidence contradicting his claims.

Back in November 2005, Col Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to Mr Powell, told the BBC's Carolyn Quinn he was aware the Germans had said that they had told the CIA of the unreliability. "And then you begin to speculate, you begin to wonder was this intelligence spun; was it politicised; was it cherry-picked; did in fact the American people get fooled?," Col Wilkerson said.

A presidential intelligence commission into the matter found that Curveball was a liar and an alcoholic.

I can't wait to hear libertarian Open Borders advocates explain that this just shows that we wouldn't have to fight pointless wars based on misinformation if we just gave Green Cards to all the alcoholic liars in the world.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Evil Neocon said...

Steve -- the Curveball debacle is far more serious than Open Borders and symptomatic of a profoundly broken political and governing class.

We had NO human intel sources in Iraq. Period. The CIA had been consistently wrong on EVERY instance of Saddam's regime: predicting no war with Iran, predicting no invasion of Kuwait, predicting no WMDs found in 1991 (there were some), predicting all had been found (when THOUSANDS of gas centrifuges were found by accident in 1994). Predicting that there were no extant bioweapons programs (when Saddam's ill-fated sons-in-law disclosed them during their brief defection).

The CIA clearly just guessed, and every time they guessed wrong. [That's unacceptable in a dangerous world.] They had as mentioned no human source inside Saddam's secretive regime. It's natural they glommed onto Curveball as the answer to their prayers and went the other way (overestimating Saddam's WMD capacity after decades of underestimating and being proved wrong).

As Wretchard at Belmont Club points out, they did not do any risk assessment (how likely was it that Curveball was wrong or lying?). Largely I suspect because they did not WANT TO.

State Dept is refusing to go to Iraq. They say it's too dangerous. Too dirty and primitive. And that they don't support Iraq anyway, they signed up to go to Paris or London. We have a very spoiled, pampered, unable to handle hardship political/elite class. Their solution to violent dangerous men who want to kill us is be "nice" to them (Obama) or pretend they don't exist.

Meanwhile, we don't have eyes and ears (the Curveball problem went back to Clinton's Admin) because fundamentally we don't have people in the CIA willing to go to places like Diyala and troll for a decade to create agents inside nasty-dangerous regimes.

Anonymous said...

Curveball was just an excuse for a premeditated invasion – albeit a laughably flimsy excuse. From his profile, any handler would know he was not legitimate and any background or fact checking by experts would quickly expose him as a laughable fraud.

The reason we invaded Iraq? By Whom, To Whom? The big winners from this debacle were undoubtedly the big drivers and the connections are easy to see if not exactly easy to find in the MSM:

- Israel / Neocons
- Big Oil
- Military Industrial Complex

gcochran said...

2 centrifuges, actually.

You could have a promising future at the CIA, oh evil one. Wretchard as well.

dumb-dumb said...

Maybe he was in league with Wolfowitz's girlfriend.

Brian said...

We had NO human intel sources in Iraq. Period.

Wrong. Wrong Wrong.

Tyler Drumheller was able to get someone in Saddam's top inner circle to talk, several months before we invaded Iraq.

At first the Bush admin was very interested, but when he told them that there was no program, they became completely interested.

Also, Drumheller et al. said many times that "curve ball" was not credible. The said the same for the Niger forgeries and for Chalabi.

The CIA was right time after time in the build-up to the war on Iraq. It was only after Bush put the heat on Tenent that the NIE was completely revised to include the unreliable data being pushed by Feith et al., and even that NIE contained huge numbers of footnotes and caveats essentially disclaiming what was contained in the front part.

If you have even read one of the many books available on this topic you would now this. If you were really interested in the truth you would educate yourself, but most likely you just to put forth more squid ink and misinformation.

Mark said...

Refugee programs are a world class fraud and everyone with a brain knows it. The fact is that there are hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Africa and Latin America willing to lie, cheat, or steal to get into the West. For example, France recently passed a law requiring DNA tests for family reunification visas, and sending countries like Senegal put up a big stink, because, they said, the definition of family in Senegal is "different."

But my favorite story was the one that happened in Egypt a year or so ago. Several thousand Sudanese "refugees" living there had decided to occupy a neighborhood park not far from a UN office. They were demanding resettlement in Britain or the US, even though Egypt had offered them asylum status. BUT...they didn't want asylum status in Egypt, because life in Egypt was "too hard," said one "refugee."

When the Egyptian government finally decided to force the "refugees" out of the park, and a couple of peple died (being stampeded by other refufgees), the media coverage paid all it's attention to the alleged cruelties of the Egyptian police and none to the asylum fraud taking place right before our eyes.

It is quite simply impossible for Western nations to have an immigration or asylum program that won't be subject to massive amounts of fraud. These immigrants will bring in their family, friends, or even paying strangers one way or another. During the proposed amnesty this summer one leader of an Asian ethnic group was quite blunt. The proposed law was going to reduce family visas, and this lady effectively said "we immigrants will bring in our damn families legally or illegally, whether you want us to or not." She did not seem to have a problem with that - her statement was basically a threat, and an assertion of the rights of foreigners and immigrants to dictate the immigration laws of the US.

And as it relates to fraud, the reality is that the more immigrants we take in from these places the more difficult it becomes to enforce our laws. Immigrants and minorities become camouflage for anyone wanting to move here illegally. It will be worse if (when) we grant amnesty to those already here. Right now, there's about a 30% chance that someone with an accent or who can't speak English at all is here illegally. It's a good way for the cops or ICE to identify illegals. Give them amnesty and there's that many more people to hide amongst.

As for refugees, my suggestion would be for the United States to carve out a few "refugee states" from countries like Iraq, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, etc. and then hand them over to the UN for management. Then when someone comes applying for refugee status we can send them there.

If that's too aggressive then we can just make foreign aid dependent on acceptance of refugees from nearby states. We give Israel about $5 billion a year. I wonder how many Sudanese they can take in?

Either way, I have a hunch asylum claims would fall off precipitously.

Brian said...

From Tyler Drumheller's* book On the Brink, page 87:

But the warnings about Curveball weren't the only important pieces of information the Bush administration ignored. Perhaps the simgle most important opportunity we had to avoid a full-blown war ... [was a contact we had] with a senior Iraqi source. The public has always been led to believe that all the intelligence available, however poor, suggested Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. The public was mislead.

EN is nothing but a kook who want to continue to mislead. He has zero credibility.

*ex-CIA European Bureau Chief

hey steve said...

In related news:

Law & order in nuclear-armed Pakistan is apparently breaking down and Musharraf has cut the phone lines etc.

Now, consumers of American mainstream media are really confused. They were carefully taught to believe that Iran was the nuclear rogue on the horizon.

Every propaganda organ in the land has been carefully salted with anti-Iran tidbits for months and then WAM! BAM! here comes Pakistan -- right out of nowhere. "Nowhere" being a location our elites deem not a threat to Israel.

How inconvenient.

tommy said...

Curveball: the most appropriate codename ever for an intelligence source that didn't pan out.

Jack said...

I doubt the Cheney-Bush Admin took anything Curveball said seriously. He simply told convenient lies that they were more than willing to propagate for their own purposes.

As for green cards, I'm waiting for the flood of Iraqi "refugees" to come to the US. It's only a matter of time. The fedgov has already pledged to allow 7,000 of them in. That number will grow by a couple orders of magnitude in the next few years, mark my words. The State Dept has already said the US can absorb 25,000. Why not 250,000, or 2.5 million? The Dems are eager to make it happen---I'm sure President Hillary will facilitate the flood.

This has been a Vietnam rerun since day one. Can we change the channel already?

Jikes said...

Shouldn't we send Curveball on a home run back to Iraq?

none of the above said...

jikes: I suggest shipping him to Iran. That way, when he tries to get asylum in the West the next time, we can get enough "actionable intelligence" to justify our next Middle Eastern adventure.

Let's! said...

Wait, I thought the Iraq war was for Shaha Riza.

As Steve Sailer said in 3/2005, using his best War Nerd-lite voice:
"So, in case you were wondering what this crazy war was all about, I guess you can say, 'It was all for love.'"

Or as Steve Sailer quasi-repeated in 5/2007:
"So, in case you were wondering what this crazy Iraq war was all about, maybe you could say, 'It was all for love.'"

But never fear; another denouncer of neo-cons, John Fogerty, has made it safe for IP creators to recycle their greatest hits.

David said...

I suggest shipping him to Iran. That way, when he tries to get asylum in the West the next time, we can get enough "actionable intelligence" to justify our next Middle Eastern adventure.

This is already taken care of, using fresher plants. Whence else notions like the following BS? Pipe bombs are sophisticated military weapons, made by Iran, and sneaked into Iraq by the cream of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and other outside agitators. Strictly "beam me up Scotty" stuff. Thatz the neocon!