Former senior US officials admit Iraqi WMD source was unreliable

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has lashed out at the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon’s Defence Intelliegence Agency, for failing to inform him that a key source behind the decision to go to war in Iraq was unreliable.

Iraqi defector Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, known as ‘Curveball’ to his western handlers, has admitted fabricating evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, al-Janabi said he saw the fabricated evidence as a chance to get rid of Saddam Hussein.

“I wanted to get rid of him and now I had this chance,” he said. “I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that.”

“Saddam did not (allow) freedom in our land. There are no other political parties. You have to believe what Saddam says, and do what Saddam wants. And I don’t accept that. I have to do something for my country. So I did this and I am satisfied, because there is no dictator in Iraq any more.”

Powell told British media this week that it had been known for several years that al-Janabi was unreliable.

“The question should be put to the CIA and the DIA as to why this wasn’t known before the false information was put into the NIE sent to Congress, the president’s state of the union address and my February 5 presentation to the UN,” he said.

Former Head of the CIA, George Tenet, put out a statement on his website acknowledging that “the handling of this matter is certainly a textbook case of how not to deal with defector provided material. But the latest reporting of the subject repeats and amplifies a great deal of misinformation.”

Tenet claims he only became aware of al-Janabi two years after the invasion, and by then it was “too late to do a damn thing about it.”