FEBRUARY 15 2011 18:29h
Source admits he lied about Iraqi WMD info
Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, given the codename "Curveball" by German and U.S. intelligence officials who handled his claims, told The Guardian exclusively he made up information about mobile biological weapons trucks and secret factories in an effort to bring down Saddam after fleeing the country in 1995, the British newspaper reported Tuesday.
"Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," he said. "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 admission came just after the publication of former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memoirs, in which he said Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction program.
Janabi said his claims could have been discredited before the U.S.-led war on Iraq began, The Guardian said.
The "fascinating" admissions "makes me feel better," said former senior CIA chief in Europe Tyler Drumheller.
"I think there are still a number of people who still thought there was something in that," Drumheller said. "Even now."
In his interview from his home in Karlsruhe, Germany, with The Guardian, Janabi said he told a German intelligence officer about mobile bio-weapons trucks throughout 2000. He said he was exposed as a liar as early as mid-2000, but the BND, the German secret police, still contacted him.
As U.S. combat troops prepare to withdraw from Iraq in July, Janabi said he is comfortable with his actions.
"I tell you something when I hear anybody -- not just in Iraq but in any war -- (is) killed, I am very sad," he said. "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."
KARLSRUHE, Germany, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The man who convinced Washington that Iraq had a secret biological weapons program admitted he lied so he could help topple Saddam Hussein's regime.