On 15 February 2011, the Guardian reported that Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, code-named ‘Curveball’ by U.S. intelligence officials, admitted to fabricating knowledge of Saddam Hussein’s alleged biological weapons program. Despite clear warnings from CIA officials, the Bush administration used Mr. Janabi’s information in public statements and reports to Congress that influenced its vote to authorize military force against Iraq.
The Guardian reported on 2 April 2004 that Mr. Janabi is the cousin of an aide to Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress and now senior Iraqi government official, who played an instrumental role in the apparent disinformation campaign designed to pressure the United States Congress to authorize the invasion of Iraq. The 2006 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the INC corroborates this. The Guardian pointedly noted that, according to the Los Angeles Times, UN weapons inspectors specifically asked Mr. Chalabi to find evidence of mobile biological weapons production facilities. This begs the question, was Mr. Janabi in any way directed or otherwise encouraged by Mr. Chalabi or anyone associated with him to present false information to intelligence officials?
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Tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths have resulted from the invasion and occupation of Iraq. According to UNHCR, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been internally displaced and hundreds of thousands more are forced to subsist as refugees. Human Rights Watch recently reported that torture in Iraqi prisons continues under the authority of elite military units reporting to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Thousands of American men and women have lost their lives and tens of thousands suffer from the wounds of war. Families and communities across the United States are now suffering from veteran suicides, homelessness, substance abuse and domestic violence. The long-term cost of this war, including the provision of VA support for our returning veterans, is estimated to run into the trillions.
There must be accountability. Mr. Janabi manipulated the United States government in a self-confessed effort to precipitate U.S. military action in Iraq. IVAW calls for the Justice Department to investigate whether he acted alone or in concert with others who now occupy senior positions in the Iraqi government.