CBS is reporting that after a two year investigation they have found the one source that led to both the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration to believe that Saddam had an active WMD program going:
Curve Ball is an Iraqi defector named Rafid Ahmed Alwan, who arrived at a German refugee center in 1999. To bolster his asylum case and increase his importance, he told officials he was a star chemical engineer who had been in charge of a facility at Djerf al Nadaf that was making mobile biological weapons.~~~
He eventually wound up in the care of German intelligence officials to whom he continued to spin his tale of biological weapons. His plan succeeded partially because he had worked briefly at the plant outside Baghdad and his descriptions of it were mostly accurate. He embellished his account by saying 12 workers had been killed by biological agents in an accident at the plant.
More than a hundred summaries of his debriefings were sent to the CIA, which then became a pillar – along with the now-disproved Iraqi quest for uranium for nuclear weapons – for the U.S. decision to bomb and then invade Iraq. The CIA-director George Tenet gave Alwan’s information to Secretary of State Colin Powell to use at the U.N. in his speech justifying military action against Iraq.
Interesting stuff, and I’m sure his tall tales had something to do with bolstering the case against Saddam but even before 1999 the United States had other intelligence that led members of the Democrat party and the Clinton Administration to tell the world that Saddam was dangerous, and either had or was working to get WMD’s:
“Saddam’s goal … is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.”
— Madeline Albright, 1998
“(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983”
— National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998
“The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.”
— Bill Clinton in 1998
“Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people.”
— Tom Daschle in 1998
“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
— Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998
“Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. Based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM [the U.N. weapons inspectors] suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production.”
— Ex-UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter in 1998
But the one thing about this report that is even more interesting to contemplate is the fact that because of this defector can we finally put to rest the Bush lied meme? The Anchoress:
You’d think this story – which goes to the root of the “lies” that brought us into Iraq after 9/11, and puts to rest the “Bush lied” mantra – would be grabbing headlines all over the place. Oh, I forgot, it puts to rest the “Bush lied” mantra.
The narrative is so ingrained, and so many have so much invested in it, that it would be remarkable – and inspiring – to see a few folk in the press and congress suggest (even if they do it grudgingly) that “maybe Bush didn’t ‘lie,’ maybe the rhetoric has been too harsh,” but I won’t hold my breath for it. And I know the Bush WH won’t do anything to correct the narrative because they never do.
While I disagree with The Anchoress that the Bush Administration never attempts to correct the liberal narratives, he does in his speeches all the time but no one in the media is listening, I will agree that this report will not get the kind of splash it deserves. For the very same reason our MSM doesn’t listen to Bush when he tries to correct them. Because the narrative they spin, in which Bush is the all-knowing, all-seeing, brilliant idiot who is so dumb he can’t get anything right but was able to fool the world on Iraq, is the narrative they believe will carry a Democrat into the White House.
And we all know the MSM wants a Democrat in there bad.