Colin Powell demands answers on "Curveball"

Colin Powell, the U.S. secretary of state during the Iraq invasion of 2003, has recently demanded that the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense explain to him why he was not warned about the dubious nature of their source on Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons capability.

The call came in response to Rafid Ahmed Alwan Al-Janabi, or “Curvebal,l” as he was named by U.S. and German intelligence, admitting that he made up evidence about Hussein’s biological weapons program. Powell said the agencies involved in putting together the case for war should be questioned, according to the Guardian.

Powell mentioned the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency in particular.

Janabi, an Iraqi defector, was the Bush administration’s primary source in their justification for the 2003 invasion, the Guardian reports. Doubts about his credibility were persistent and confirmed by Janabi’s recent admission that he lied.

"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 UN."

Powell was adamant that the CIA and the DIA should face questioning over why they so wholeheartedly believed Janabi. He demanded to know why he was never privy to doubts about Janabi’s credibility before the information was put into a national intelligence assessment that was given to Congress, the president’s state of the union speech and Powell’s own speech in front of the United Nations.

"It's great," Janabi said about Powell’s demand, the Guardian reports. "The BND [German intelligence] knew in 2000 that I was lying after they talked to my former boss, Dr Bassil Latif, who told them there were no mobile bioweapons factories. For 18 months after that they left me alone because they knew I was telling lies even though I never admitted it. Believe me, back then, I thought the whole thing was over for me.”

"Then all of a sudden [in the run up to the 2003 invasion] they came back to me and started asking for more details about what I had told them. I still don't know why the BND then passed on my information to the CIA and it ended up in Powell's speech.”

"I want there to be an inquiry so that people will know the truth. So many lies have been told about me over the years. I finally want the truth to come out."