German foreign minister says Curveball was known to be unreliable

According to Joschka Fischer, Germany’s former foreign minister, the BND, Germany’s intelligence agency, knew that the weapons of mass destruction intelligence from the source known as “Curveball” was unreliable and passed that information on to the CIA.

The Iraqi defector had created stories of clandestine factories and mobile bioweapons trucks, which made it into President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address and Secretary of State Colin Powell’s statement to the United Nations six weeks before the war began. Curveball confessed this week that he had lied about these stories, NPR reports.

"On the one hand we didn't want to withhold from the US any bit of relevant information we had about possible WMD in Iraq,” Fischer wrote in his new autobiography, I Am Not Convinced, The Guardian reports. “On the other hand, we did not want to take part in any propagandistic exploitation of material, which was far from proven, to justify a war. We decided, therefore, that we would do our duty by sending the Americans all the information we had, together with our assessment that that information came from a deserter and that we had not verified or substantiated it ourselves, and that it could be completely wrong."

Colin Powell is now calling for the Pentagon and the CIA to explain why they failed in their efforts to alert him to problems with the source of the intelligence.

"It has been known for several years that the source called Curveball was totally unreliable," Powell said, according to the Guardian. “The question should be put to the CIA and the DIA as to why this wasn't known before the false information was put into the NIE sent to Congress, the president's state of the union address and my 5 February presentation to the U.N."