WMD - BDS - Recycled News

Now from the dustbin of the recycled news department of the Washington Post:

"In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the Bush administration's case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell's speech to look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built by Iraq for germ warfare.

Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph.

A few days later, the lines were back in the speech. Powell stood before the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5 and said: "We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails."

The sentence took Drumheller completely by surprise.

"We thought we had taken care of the problem," said the man who was the CIA's European operations chief before retiring last year, "but I turn on the television and there it was, again."

While the administration has repeatedly acknowledged intelligence failures over Iraqi weapons claims that led to war, new accounts by former insiders such as Drumheller shed light on one of the most spectacular failures of all: How U.S. intelligence agencies were eagerly drawn in by reports about a troubled defector's claims of secret germ factories in the Iraqi desert. The mobile labs were never found.

Drumheller, who is writing a book about his experiences, described in extensive interviews repeated attempts to alert top CIA officials to problems with the defector, code-named Curveball, in the days before the Powell speech. Other warnings came prior to President Bush's State of the Union address on Jan. 28, 2003. In the same speech that contained the now famous "16 words" on Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium, Bush spoke in far greater detail about mobile labs "designed to produce germ warfare agents.""

Whoooboy.....These aren't NEW accounts. Drumheller has been yaking about this story for over a year - mostly with Chris Matthews on Hardball. The only problem is that he is the only one that remembers the details as former CIA Director George J. Tenet and his chief deputy, John E. McLaughlin, completely denied that they had been told not to trust Curveball. Besides the fact that a NIE was prepared in 2000 while Clinton was still in office that stated, "New information suggests that Baghdad has expanded its offensive BW (Bio-Weapon) program by establishing a large-scale, redundant and concealed BW agent production capability."

So it amazing that Curveball became so dis-credible ONLY when Bush became the President. In fact we all know that Democrats who swore up and down that Saddam was the Devil himself, changed their minds when it became politically expedient to do so.

Sure there were intelligence gafts leading up the war, but this wasn't one of them. Curveball's importance in the run up has become "larger than life", and definitely larger than reality. He wasn't the only source on Saddam's WMD programs or capabilities. In fact in the Agency there were riffs over the veracity of his testimony, with some saying "Yea", and others "Nay". But Drumheller has become nothing more than a political joke, trotted out to rehash his old and discredited tale simply to run interferrence for his DNC handlers.

Too bad some of us are paying attention eh Tyler?