The Iraqi who lied about WMD

“The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.”

This is the opening of an exclusive in today’s “Guardian” which explains how Western intelligence agencies and their political bosses convinced themselves that one man’s uncorroborated testimony was a sufficient basis for invading Iraq. They wanted to believe the ‘evidence’ and so they did believe it in a huge act of ‘groupthink’.

Of course, the one man who knew beyond doubt that there were no weapons of mass destruction was Saddam Hussein. When US and UK forces massed on his border and it was clear that his regime was about to be overthrown, why did he not announced and implement full compliance with the UN weapons inspectors and therefore remove the basis for invasion?

This has always perplexed me. I can only assume that, since almost everyone (including his Arab neighbours) assumed he did possess WMD, he was constrained by his pride against revealing that he was much less powerful than he pretended.


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