Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed “Curveball” by German and American intelligence officials, now admits he made up tales of mobile biological weapons trucks and clandestine weapons factories in Iraq, information that was used by the Bush White House to press the case for war. He also says he’d do it again.
“Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” Janabi told The Guardian. “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.”
And if it turns out conservatives are deliberately lying about bond vigilantes now, I’m sure when they get caught, they’ll say they’d do it again, because it warded off soshulism, the same way Irving Kristol had no shame about lying about supply side economics.
Not that I should lump this “Curveball” guy in with those sociopaths. He wanted his government overthrown and was willing to dupe Americans into doing it, and at least he didn’t do it on Charlie Rose, on David Bradley’s and Pinch Sulzberger’s dime.
I think he’s lumpable. He had to have known that hundreds of thousands of his countrymen would die in the war. If that’s not sociopathic, I don’t know what is.
You think he’ll try to return to Iraq someday? That’ll be funny. Maybe not for him, but for someone.
I think everyone’s missing an important point: if it hadn’t been Curveball, they would have just used something else to justify the invasion.
@Scott: I dunno, I think that the idea that we could do things competently was still in place at the time. I mean yes, hoocouldanode? But this guy gets more of a pass on that front than say, the Donald.
When I saw Steven Hadley as the first guest on Andrea Mitchell’s show yesterday (to comment on Obama’s speech of the budget), I was just shocked that she didn’t ask him about all of the WMD lies.
How much can you lie and deceive and still get paid to come on national TV and sit there as an “expert”?
The media and these fucking liars are a match made in heaven. It’s like hiring Charles Manson to teach sensitivity training.
Was Curveball cited in a Bobo column? I’m too lazy to look it up but if he was you are fine.
It’s getting so that watching any of these cable news bloviators pretend to be oblivious to their own perfidy is like being present at the dinosaur extinction event, hopefully.
Cause bombs only kill bad people, right?
On a similar vein. In all the talk about Madoff’s NYT’s interview, does the guy ever mention his son who committed suicider?
Curveball isn’t any less of a heartless bastard however you classify him. There’s no way the change he wanted to bring to Iraq was worth a war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen. That he’d to it again only means that he’s an unrepentant heartless bastard.
RE: Bond Vigilantes — I really can’t decide whether I’m cautiously optimistic or utterly despondent about where we’re headed. It’s exhausting.
If you are going to believe Bush’s pet mystery informant over the hundreds of weapons inspectors that were combing Iraq and turning up bupkiss, I guess this is a shock.
But announcing “I lied” 8 years after the start of the war strikes me as about as significantly as hearing Bernie Madoff announcing “I embezzled”.
if it turns outsince conservatives are deliberately lying about bond vigilantes now
I’m 99% confident that they are lying, and past history says that’s a safe bet.
I rather wondered if this whole “I lied” tour wasn’t his gravy train 2.0.
First, not knowing anything about the guy, I don’t know what he or his family suffered at the hands of Saddam that could make what he did at least somewhat understandable, if not excusable.
However, even if he IS a ruthless sociopath, he is absolutely NOT in the same category as “our”, ugh, “people” who (1) could easily have found out he was lying, if our intelligence capabilities are worth a shit, and (2) WANTED the fucking war, such that they would have found — or bribed — someone else to tell the same lies he did, if he’d never existed.
Maybe he’ll get a book deal.
Holy Oliver North, Batman!
If this guy was savagely tortured, then it’s a whole different story. Just imagine the insane lies Khalid Sheik Mohammed must’ve told the CIA after they waterboarded him 168 times.
Dumbass Chris Hitchens column @ Slate defending Curveball in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Queue the Colin Powell Wurlitzer. I wuz lied too! Hoocoodanode? Clueless Maximus for My Lai, Contra war, Iran Contra. What a disgrace to his uniform and nation.
BTW, Pooh, welcome back as a regular.
The bond vigilantes retired Monday October 19th 1987, Black Monday at about 9AM. That is when new Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan announced he would provide as much credit and thus liquidity as necessary to insure there would be no defaults among the Wall Street giants.
It’s a complicated story but the interest rate on Treasury bonds was never again as high as they were before Al uttered the first of his 18 year string of sacred words.
The trend down in rates had begun in 1980-81 however so now the trend is 30 years old. 30 years is about as long as trends in interest rates last. So maybe the story about the bond vigilantes is just that, a story. A story to explain a trend. A trend that had already ended. That is how things go. Everyone looks in the rear view mirror and projects this and that based upon some story that is already obsolete.
I could tell all sorts of stories about how great wealth and power accured on the back of the interest rate decline and those would be satisfying stories for liberals. I would defend them as true, as far as they went but past is past.
Bond vigilantes are not necessary for interest rates to rise for decades to come.
The yield on the three-month T-bill is a whopping 0.13 percent. That’s DOWN two basis points from last week, and investors bought $30 billion worth at that yield.
And yes, it’s a sure bet that at this very moment, somewhere, someone is busily writing, for some right-wing publication, an impassioned defense of Mr. al-Janabi: and almost certainly sure to rely on the same old “Saddam was EEEEVVILLLLL!” “defense”, defying all criticism.
Thousands of military casualties? Hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties? Millions of refugees? Billions upon billions of dollars
wastedspent? Chump change. That the “Bush Doctrine” and “American Exceptionalism” be vindicated? No contest…..
Why not? Every functioning adult in the world knew that initiating hostilities in Iraq would result in great numbers of men, women, and children being killed. Or are you saying that “Curveball” is worse than Kristol et al?
Villago Delenda Est
It seems to be a central tenet of the Straussian outlook that telling lies is a necessary and good thing in the pursuit and exercising of power over the peasants.
In today’s political dialogue between the two major parties, there is no such thing as lying. Which is to say, there is no such thing as truth.
Defend perception; defend the status quo. That is the whole point of each party’s being.
Correct me if I’m wrong.
More to the point: Dupe Americans? It’s as if you were to credit a 3 year old with duping adults about some missing candy on a coffee table.
Believe me- if I knew the score way back when, it was common knowledge.
Why am I not surprised?
There were no WMB. All the rest is commentary.
Look, it was his decision to make whether or not some nation would overthrow his government.
Surely his people would agree with him; in any case, it was better not to ask them anyway.
The need for democracy is not a matter to be left to an imprisoned people to decide. If they are not in a position to decide how much additional death and misery they wish to suffer so that some set of people and military forces can do what they say is bringing democracy, then some people just have to step up and not ask them.
And he may have managed to cause the global hegemon to implode.
Hey Maybe he can focus on bringing democracy back to our Plutocratic republic.
I think there’s something being missed here as far as the ‘noble’ intention of Mr al-Janabi is concerned: What was the probability for al-Janabi that the US would use his false information about the existence of WMD in Iraq as the context for starting Iraq II when he made those statements?
Most likely, the best he could hope at that point was that he would be one source among many with some information, which, if not corroborated by other sources wouldn’t amount to much more than the usual fog in the gathering of intelligence, especially since al-Janabi knew that there was nothing to his information. So unless al-Janabi was specifically recruited as the source for these false claims, the probability is that he was just simply trying to make some fast bucks by selling what he knew Western spooks would be interested to hear.
I’ll admit my first thought was a suspicion that he’s being paid by the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy to run around publicly taking the blame, so that they can use the “Last time that filthy towelhead lied to us, but this time it’s different!” defence for their next assault on the tattered remnants of America’s resources. But then, I am not a serious person, since my historical memory extends further than the last business quarter / sweeps month.
The article cited, however, makes it sound like Curveball needs a new source of income, and maybe also another hidey-hole as well:
Democracy at the Margin would be a good name for a glibertarian treatise.
I disagree with the consensus. I don’t know if Curveball’s motives were as honorable as just “removing Saddam,” but I can easily see how an Iraqi who’d lived under him would be ready to do anything to get rid of the bastard. Much for the same reason that I can imagine plenty of people living under Nazi rule (including some Germans), if there’d been some way to do it, would’ve been happy to trick America into World War Two.
Whether Curveball’s motives were what he claims they are, I of course have no idea. Just saying that if they are, then I do lump him into a different category than our neocons.
Paul in KY
@different church-lady: I agree that they would have whipped up something else. Bush/Cheney were going to war, no matter what.
I’d still like to strangle the guy, though.
OK, a reasonable test of this would be to run a historical experiment: the German guy goes back to Germany in the alternate universe, and Curveball goes back to Iraq in ours. And they have to be publicly visible.
I’d bet very generous odds that the German guy is fine, and Curveball gets a bullet in the head from a fellow Iraqi.