Iraqi Defector 'Curveball' Says He Lied About WMD
Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi told The Guardian newspaper he made up the stories about Saddam's arsenal because he wanted to hurt the Iraqi regime.
"I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime," al-Janabi told The Guardian in a series of interviews. "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 claims were a key part of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech to the U.N. Security Council in 2003. Powell mentioned an Iraqi engineer who described "biological weapons factories on wheels."
In fact, al-Janabi said he was never involved in any such program. He said he used his chemical engineering knowledge to make up the reports.
Al-Janabi told the stories to the German intelligence agency, BND, which passed them to the CIA. Germany gave al-Janabi asylum in 2000.
Al-Janabi, who was codenamed Curveball by the intelligence agencies, says that removing Saddam from office justified the invasion of Iraq, even after more than 100,000 civilian deaths.
"Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq," al-Janabi said. "There were no other possibilities."