The Record on CURVEBALL (Phony Iraq War Intel)

Posted: September 8, 2008 in 2007, Articles
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Declassified Documents and Key Participants Show the Importance of Phony Intelligence in the Origins of the Iraq War



U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a model vial of anthrax during his historic presentation before the United Nations Security Council, February 5, 2003. (Image extracted from a video available from the White House Web site.)

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 234
Edited by John Prados
Posted – November 5, 2007
For more information contact:
John Prados – 202/994-7000

Washington, DC, November 5, 2007 – CBS News’ 60 Minutes exposure last night of the Iraqi agent known as CURVEBALL has put a major aspect of the Bush administration’s case for war against Iraq back under the spotlight.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan’s charges that Iraq possessed stockpiles of biological weapons and the mobile plants to produce them formed a critical part of the U.S. justification for the invasion in Spring 2003. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s celebrated and globally televised briefing to the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003, relied on CURVEBALL as the main source of intelligence on the biological issue.

Today the National Security Archive posts the available public record on CURVEBALL’s information derived from declassified sources and former officials’ accounts.

While most of the documentary record on the issue remains classified, the materials published here today underscore the precarious nature of the intelligence gathering and analytical process, and point to the existence of doubts about CURVEBALL’s authenticity before his charges were featured in the Bush administration’s public claims about Iraq.



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