Curveball - Germany
Germany - Curveball - 5' min 40'' sec [15 February 2011]
00.00.08 This is Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, otherwise known as Curveball, a defector who convinced German and US intelligence that Saddam Hussein had a biological weapons programme. There was only one problem: as he now admits for the first time in an exclusive Guardian interview, he made it all up.
00.00.39 Helen: You are known around the world as Curveball, the man who tricked the world. Why did you do that?
00.00.47 C: I did that for a number of reasons. Firstly because of my people, the Iraqi people. The old regime was a dictatorship and that cause a lot of problems for our country, for example, starting wars with our neighbours.
00.01.11 Curveball: Saddam did not make (allow) freedom in our land. There are no other political parties. You have to believe what Saddam says and do what Saddam wants. And I don't accept that. I have to do something for my country. So I did this and I am satisfied, because there is no dictator in Iraq any more.
01.39.00 Helen: So you are happy that your lies led to Saddam's departure and that a democracy is developing in Iraq? You're happy with that?
01.50.00 Curveball: Yes.
01.51.00 Helen: And when you told the German Secret Service (The Bundesnachrichtendienst) about mobile weapon laboratories and experiments which killed a lot of people - were all those things lies?
00.02.03 Curveball: Yes. But that didn't just come from my side, but also from the other side. But I accept that, because I achieved my goal.
00.02.12 Helen: Let's look back now to February 3, 2003. You were, I think, watching TV at home in your flat in Erlangen near Nuremberg when one of the most powerful men in the world, Colin Powell, gave the speech of his life in front of the United Nations in New York. What was your reaction when he mentioned this source?
00.02.44 Curveball: I can't explain my feelings at this time, my reactions, because I had a number of different ones. Colin Powell didn't say I was the only reason for this war. He talked about three things. First of all, uranium, secondly Al Qaeda; and thirdly, my story.
00.03.08 Helen: Biological weapons?
00.03.08 Curveball: Yes.
00.03.11 Voiceover: Curveballs' lies about mobile bio-weapons trucks were instrumental in helping George Bush and Tony Blair make the case for warant although he insists he acted to drive Saddam Hussein from power, some have alleged that he was only telling German Intelligence what he wanted to hear in order to influence his claim for asylum.
00.03.37 Helen: But when you heard Colin Powell talking about you in front of the United Nations, what was your reaction? Were you shocked? Angry?
00.03.51 Curveball: Exactly! Exactly, shocked. Usually the deal should have been that this information would stay in Germany, and must not be handed over, for example to another country. But the Germans didn't accept this and sold this information to other countries.
00.04.13 I had already claimed asylum in December 1999 in Zirndorf, which is a small town near Nuremberg. I was granted asylum on the 13th of March 2000. The story about the biochemical weapons had nothing to do with my asylum claim. The German state - well, the BND or someone from Germany - have said that I told them about the weapons because I wanted to claim asylum. That's not true.
00.04.50 Imagine you could go back to the past and you were back in 2000 again. Would you tell lies again?
00.05.01 Curveball: Yes, yes definately.
00.05.02 Curveball: I would do something against Saddam, against the old regime. I would do whatever was possible.
00.05.06 Helen: You don't regret it?
00.05.09 Curveball: I will be honest with you. I now have a lot of problems because the BND (German Secret Service) have taken away my flat, taken my mobile phone: I'm in a bad position. But if I could go back to 2000, it someone asked me, I would say the same thing because I wouldn't want that regime to continue in our country.
00.05.39 Helen: Are you proud of the role that you have played?
00.05.40 Curveball: Definately. I'm absolutely sure.
Iraqi defector ‘Curveball’ admits to WMD lies that led to war
By David Edwards
February 15th, 2011