"Curveball," the Iraqi defector whose claims about weapons of mass destruction led to a nine year war in Iraq, has come forward to admit he made the entire thing up, The Independent reports.
"My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer the dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will will suffer from this regime's oppression," the defector, whose real name is Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi said in an attempt to justify his actions, which killed over 100,000 civilians.
Janabi, a chemical engineer, told the George W. Bush administration that Iraq had a "secret" biological weapons program, The Jerusalem Post reports.
On February 5, 2003, former United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, spoke to the United Nations, and used Janabi's fabrications to present the Bush administration's case that Baghdad posed a very real and very serious threat.
In the speech, Powell promised "Every statement I make is backed up by sources. Solid sources. These are no assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. The source was an eyewitness."
The "witness," of course, was Janabi, or "Curveball" as he was codenamed by American intelligence officials, Public Radio International reports.
Mr. Janabi, speaking in a 2-part series called Modern Spies, which airs on BBC2, has admitted that he was never an eyewitness, that none of this was true. When the interviewer, Michael Rudin, presented him with the matter-of-fact statement, "We went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie," he simply replied, "yes The Independent reports.
Rudin said Mr Janabi fabricated the lies in hopes of forcing Saddam Hussein out of power, Public Radio International reports.
According to "Curveball" himself, he spoke with BND, the German secret service, who seemed eager for information from him as he was a Baghdad-trained chemical engineer. Janabi used this eagerness to his advantage, and noted how gullible the BND was in his interview with Rudin.
"I had a problem with the Saddam regime, I wanted to get rid of him, and now I got the chance," Janabii told Rudin.
"The Germans held him very tight," Rudin said. "The CIA only got around to interviewing Curveball," this man that was absolutely central to the case for war, after the war. Not till a year after did they actually get around to interviewing him."
Rudin also said that Janabi's claims were not scrutinized as much as they should have been because intelligence officials wanted desperately to believe they were credible, Public Radio International reports.
"Curveball" is not very regretful of his actions, The Jerusalem Post reports.
While, he feels terrible that his lies led to the deaths of 100,000 civilians and thousands of soldiers, he maintains his actions were the only way to force Saddam Hussein from power.
"Believe me," Janabi said. "There was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq. There were no other possibilities."