Curveball: ‘I should be treated like a king’

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

The guy behind the ultra-successful marketing campaign known as “IRAQ HAS WMDs!!!! IRAQ HAS MOBILE WEAPONS LABS!!!!” believes he should have been better-rewarded for his efforts.

In a series of interviews with Los Angeles Times reporters John Goetz and Bob Drogin, the Iraqi Intelligence Salesman Formerly Known As Curveball whined about how he isn’t appreciated in his own time.

The guy has a point. I mean, when you think about how much money has been made by leveraging the dubious-at-best assertions made by a guy who graduated with a D average from university – and, just to be clear, I’m talking about Curveball here, not any leaders of the free world – you’d think someone, somewhere could’ve seen fit to at least throw the guy a half a pallet or so of shrink-wrapped $100 bills, right?  

But nooooooo, nothing for Curveball, no, sir, not a nickel. And he’s not happy about it, either:

“For what I’ve done, I should be treated like a king,” he said outside a cramped, low-rent apartment he shares with his family [in Nuremberg, Germany].

And, reading his story, it sounds like at the very least Curveball should’ve been rewarded with a senior position within the BushCheney White House. Besides the immeasurable service he has performed on behalf of George Bush’s base, Curveball has demonstrated that he possesses many of the prerequisites for employment in the current administration: a sense of entitlement, a history of swindling people, a series of disasters in his wake, and a tenuous relationship with reality and the truth.

“[He] told five or 10 stories every day,” Freah [Curveball’s former boss] said in an interview. “I’d ask, ‘Where have you been?’ And he’d say, ‘I had a problem with my car.’ Or, ‘My family was sick.’ But I knew he was lying.”

He had a gift for it and “was not embarrassed when caught in a lie,” Freah said.

Holy crap – if Dana Perino ever goes out on maternity leave, this guy is in! Curveball, in short, is the kind of guy you’d like to sit down and have a sweet cardamom tea with.

And that’s just what the German BND intelligence guys thought back in 2000 when Curveball showed up on their doorstep, breathless with information about biological weapons programs he had run back in Saddam’s workers’ paradise. Of course, he left out some of the boring stuff –

Alwan –

– oh, yeah – that’s Curveball’s real name: Rafid Ahmed Alwan; but “Curveball” is so much more, I dunno, spy-like, don’cha think? “CURVEBALL!” – yeah, chicks dig it! –

Alwan didn’t share all his secrets. He didn’t disclose that he had been fired at least twice for dishonesty, or that he fled Iraq to avoid arrest. But he did tell some whoppers that should have raised warnings about his credibility.

He claimed, for example, that the son of his former boss, Basil Latif, secretly headed a vast WMD procurement and smuggling scheme from England. British investigators found, however, that Latif’s son was a 16-year-old exchange student, not a criminal mastermind.


But, c’mon, who ya gonna believe if you’re an up-and-coming operative in a Western intelligence agency and you’ve got a baaaad case of the Post-Cold-War No-Twirly-Mustached-Sinister-Villain Blues: some 16-year-old geek reject, or a guy named


I mean – Right?

German officials instead believed Alwan’s story that he helped manage an Iraqi factory that installed fermenters, spray dryers and piping within tractor-trailers to brew anthrax, botulinum toxin and other biological agents. CIA and Pentagon biological warfare analysts embraced Alwan’s account without corroborating evidence or directly questioning the informant.

President Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2003 that “we know” that Iraq built mobile germ factories. Then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell highlighted Alwan’s supposed “eyewitness” account to the U.N. Security Council when he pressed the case for war.

In October 2004, more than a year after the invasion, a CIA-led investigation concluded that Baghdad had abandoned all chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The germ trucks never existed.

And after that unfortunate quibble made its way into the mainstream press, Curveball’s star rapidly declined. Now 41, he can’t even find a decent witness-protection program. The LA Times reporters tracked him down and walked right up to his door. Then they made the mistake of knocking.

Whereupon the whining started – making the uncanny resemblance to a 2008-vintage BushCheney apparatchik all but impossible to ignore.

Curveball, methinks, doth protest too much:

“Everything that’s been written about me isn’t true,” Alwan repeated.

– including, one can only assume, that statement itself.

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  1. Honest.

  2. Alwan: “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but you do not realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

    can I go home now?  My brain is full…

    • Edger on June 18, 2008 at 06:00


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