Colin Powell dramatically made the Bush administration’s case for invading Iraq at United Nations just over eight years ago. During that presentation, Powell claimed that Saddam Hussein was hiding a secret biological weapons program, relying on information that came from an Iraqi defector code-named “Curveball.”The U.S news media barely challenged Powell’s claims that day, with political pundits and columnists largely praising the former secretary of state’s methodical performance. Of course, Powell’s weapons evidence has been proven bogus in the years since the invasion.
But until now, the man who made the false claims to German intelligence officials–later seized upon by the Bush administration–hasn’t admitted what seemed apparent after WMDs weren’t found in Iraq: he lied.
CBS News first identified Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi as “Curveball” in a 2007 investigation of “one of the deadliest con jobs of our time.” Although U.N. inspectors found no evidence to back up al-Janabi’s claims of a biological weapons program, the Bush administration still relied on the bogus evidence to start a war that’s led to over 100,000 deaths.
So why did al-Janabi do it?
In interviews with the Guardian newspaper, al-Janabi spoke about how he sought asylum in Germany and wanted to see an end to Hussein’s brutal regime in his homeland.
“Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” al-Janabi said in his exclusive interview with The Guardian newspaper. “They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”
Al-Janabi said he gets sad when hearing about anyone killed in Iraq, but questions whether there was another solution to ending the Hussein regime.
“Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq,” he told The Guardian. “There were no other possibilities.”