Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi - A name quite hard to remember, but his codename, Curveball, will be remembered in infamy as the man who supplied the lies that enabled the Bush administration to invade Iraq. But is this Bush's fault? As the head of state, Bush is responsible, but I strongly believe that Bush acted upon what he thought was honest intel, and that he was betrayed by those who had a plan for a Pax-Americana, since the Soviet Union had dissolved, and a power vacuum existed at that time. The Neocon scheme was harebrained, but was attempted nonetheless.He claims officials implied that his cooperation would make it easier for his Moroccan-born wife and child to join him in Germany.
"Curveball" initially told his tales to the German secret service, and the information wound up in Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech in 2003 to the United Nations stating the case against Saddam Hussein.
"Curveball" tells The Guardian that when he complained to his German handlers that they had violated an agreement not to pass his information to a third country, he was told not to speak and was placed in lockdown for about 90 days.
Bush was played, and given false information. I do not fault him for the decisions he made. In his shoes, I may have done the same. And Bush was highly pissed at being lied to, which is evidenced by the way he kicked the Neocons to the curb during the latter part of his second administration.
IMHO, I believe that people are judging Bush too harshly. Yes, he is ultimately responsible for our going to war based on a lie, but we need to look at the larger picture. There were forces and ideologies in play which were anathema to the ideas of America and democracy.
People laugh when they see Bush's "We won't be fooled again" gaffe, but was it really a gaffe? Bush was not fooled again, and got rid of many Neocons in his administration, and marginalized the rest. I just wish he has seen it sooner, but in his shoes, would I have? I am not too sure. I might have ended up going down the same exact road that Bush followed, had I been president. Saddam was a bad man, and it would have been so easy for me to believe the lies that I was told.
That said, we can still say that the world is better off without Saddam, but was the loss of so many soldiers, along with the economic blowback that resulted from the invasion, worth it? I believe that this is the question that historians will be wrestling with for many years, but in the end, I do not believe that Bush will be judged as harshly as some judge him now. After all, Bush did act when he perceived a threat, and this is what the American people ask for in a president. The real villain here is Curveball, and the intel community, which chose to pass along what they knew were lies to Bush.
Watching Colon Powell attempt to portray what turned out to be a fire department hook and ladder as a missile launcher was painful. Watching all the lies unravel was painful. Watching our troops die when they might not necessarily have had to was painful. Watching the erosion of our credibility in the world was painful. But this is to be laid at the feet of operatives who were not only appointed by Bush, but had been appointed by Clinton before him. Yes, this debacle could just have easily been committed by Clinton, had the timeline been different.
The real issue here is about an intelligence community run amok, not about Bush, Clinton, or any other Commander in Chief. Such a screw up must never happen again. Rather than bash Bush, or whoever else may in power at any given time, I strongly believe that we should fix a broken information system instead.
Finally, where in the hell was Congressional oversight on the events that led to the Iraq war? For those who are so keen to bash Bush, were is your outrage against Congress, who also had the same information?
As for Bush, I forgive him. I know he cared. Let's move on and fix what is broken.
Article is here.