Defector says he lied about Hussein's bioweapon capabilities

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, a defector who fled the Saddam Hussein regime in 1995, has admitted to lying to convince the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons program that led to the war that toppled Hussein's regime.

Codenamed Curveball by American and German intelligence officials, Janabi told the Guardian he fabricated tales of clandestine factories and mobile bioweapons trucks in an effort to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime.

“Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” Janabi said, according to 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.”

Janabi’s claims were used by then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The use of the information seriously damaged both of their careers.

Janabi met with the German secret service, the BND, in 2000 and told them of mobile bioweapons trucks. He was first exposed a liar in mid-2000 when the BND travelled to a Gulf City where his claim of mobile bioweapons trucks was denied by Janabi’s former boss, Dr. Bassil Latif. Despite this, Janabi was contacted again at the end of May 2002, the Guardian reports.

After the chaos of the previous eight years in Iraq that led to the civilian death toll of over 100,000, Janabi is now uncomfortable with what he did.

“I tell you something when I hear anybody – not just in Iraq but in any way – [is] killed, I am very sad,” Janabi said, according to the Guardian. “But give me another solution. Can you give me another solution? Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq. There were no other possibilities.”