From January 2000 to September 2001, an Iraqi ex-pat named Rafid Ahmed Alwan detailed Sadaam Hussein‘s efforts to construct biological weapons of mass destruction in conversations with German intelligence (BND). This information was passed on to the CIA which, despite the skepticism voiced by Alwan’s BND handlers and never having interviewed Alwan directly, relayed the intelligence provided by the man codenamed Curveball to the Bush administration in the months leading up to the war in Iraq. This testimony made up the backbone of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell‘s March 2003 speech at the United Nations citing “eyewitness accounts” of Iraq’s WMD capabilities in making the American case for invasion.
Today in the Guardian, Alwan confirms for the first time what many have suspected for years: he made the whole thing up. “I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime,” an unrepentant Alwan told the paper. “I and my sons are proud of that, and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”
On the one hand, Alwan’s admission is hardly surprising. Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Study Group, wrote that search for WMDs had “gone as far as feasible” back in 2005. In August of 2006, President Bush himself conceded in this White House press conference that Iraq did not possess WMDs.