Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

CBS' "Curve Ball" Segment Smells Fishy

CBS' 60 Minutes looks into the CIA's Curve Ball source.

In the process, they throw this astonishing falsehood into the mix (emphasis mine):

More than a hundred summaries of his debriefings were sent to the CIA, which then became a pillar - along with the now-disproved Iraqi quest for uranium for nuclear weapons - for the U.S. decision to bomb and then invade Iraq. The CIA-director George Tenet gave Alwan’s information to Secretary of State Colin Powell to use at the U.N. in his speech justifying military action against Iraq.

"Now-disproved?" Do they have a careful rebuttal of London's Financial Times report:

The Financial Times revealed last week that a key part of the UK's intelligence on the uranium came from a European intelligence service that undertook a three-year surveillance of an alleged clandestine uranium-smuggling operation of which Iraq was a part.

Or are they just pushing another meme?

Further, under the CBS news video link it reads:

See exclusive video of the Iraqi defector known as "Curve Ball," whose tall tale of mobile biological weapons drove the U.S. argument for invading Iraq.

But to this day, the CIA still claims that the mobile units they found were, in fact, biological weapons plants. Their analysis refutes suggestions that they were for other purposes. (See this.)

Does CBS news mention this part of the CIA's report (emphasis mine):

The majority of our information on Iraq's mobile program was obtained from a chemical engineer that managed one of the plants. Three other sources, however, corroborated information related to the mobile BW project.

* The second source was a civil engineer who reported on the existence of at least one truck-transportable facility in December 2000 at the Karbala ammunition depot.
* The third source reported in 2002 that Iraq had manufactured mobile systems for the production of single-cell protein on trailers and railcars but admitted that they could be used for BW agent production.
* The fourth source, a defector from the Iraq Intelligence Service, reported that Baghdad manufactured mobile facilities that we assess could be used for the research of BW agents, vice production.

Hat-tip: The Sundries Shack

P.S.: FWIW, the two sources named in the CBS segment, Tyler Drumheller and Margaret Henoch, seem to have donated money only to Democrats. [OpenSecrets.org links broken, but you can reproduce the search yourself.]


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