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FTR #502 Curve Ball

Recorded March 13, 2005
MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

Taking its title from the intelligence code-name of an Iraqi defector who provided the US with bogus intelligence about Iraq’s WMD’s, this show examines the Iraq war and the “War on Terror” in the context of proxy war waged against the US by the Underground Reich. It turned out that the centerpiece of US intelligence on Iraqi WMD’s was a defector from Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. Purporting to have first hand knowledge of the mobile biowarfare labs that Saddam allegedly possessed, the defector (code-named “Curveball”) was at all times in the hands of German intelligence. The BND (German intelligence and the successor to the Gehlen spy outfit) rebuffed US attempts at interviewing Curveball in person. The US went to war over intelligence provided by a source to which they never had direct access! It is unclear whether German intelligence told the US about the doubts they allegedly had about the source. This program asks whether the US may have been duped into an invasion that will pit it against the Muslim populations of the world in a long, costly war that will ultimately result in this country’s demise. It is worth noting that such a gambit would not have required a great deal of skill. Luring the Bush administration into such an act would have been no more difficult than setting out a pot of honey in front of a hungry bear. It is also worth noting that Ahmed Chalabi (whose organization provided Curveball to the Germans) is a reputed Iranian spy. The Iranians may have helped the Germans lure the US into deposing their enemy Saddam. In addition, the program examines the possibility that the A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling ring may also be an example of the Underground Reich’s use of the Muslim population of the world as proxy warriors. Much of the program focuses on Osama bin Laden’s address just before the US elections of 2004, in which he compared Bush’s policies with his own goals and concluded that Bush was furthering his (bin Laden’s) aims.

Program Highlights Include: Examination of bin Laden’s goal of bankrupting the US economy and Bush’s actions that are accomplishing that goal; more information about the presence of Germans in the A.Q. Khan smuggling ring; a stunning proposal by US diplomatic officials that would provide for an alliance between the US and the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood (the parent organization of Al Qaeda); review of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Bank Al Taqwa and its links to the events of 9/11.

1. The broadcast begins with discussion of the individual from whom the program derives its title—the Iraqi turncoat code-named “Curveball.”
Curveball provided some of the key “information” which the U.S. used to justify the invasion of Iraq—the now thoroughly discredited story about Iraq’s mobile germ warfare labs. As it turns out, the CIA never had access to this individual. “The Bush administration’s prewar claims that Saddam Hussein had built a fleet of trucks and railroad cars to produce anthrax and other deadly germs were based chiefly on information from a now-discredited Iraqi defector code-named ‘Curveball,’ according to current and former intelligence officials.”

(“Iraqi Defector’s Tales Bolstered U.S. for War” by Bob Drogin and Greg Miller; Los Angeles Times; 3/28/2004; p. 1.) [4]

2. As it turns out, Curveball was at all times in the hands of the BND—the German federal intelligence service and successor to the Gehlen spy outfit. Throughout the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Mr. Emory voiced his opinion that the Underground Reich was leading the U.S. into a trap, in which America would find itself in a long, draining war against the Muslim peoples of the “Earth Island.” The information presented here about Curveball dovetails nicely with Mr. Emory’s prewar analysis. “U.S. officials never had direct access to the defector and didn’t even know his real name until after the war. Instead, his story was provided by German agents, and his file was so thick with details that American officials thought it confirmed long-standing suspicions that the Iraqis had developed mobile germ factories to evade arms inspections.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

3. “Curveball” turned out to be an appropriate moniker for this individual. His story was not only disinformation, but also disinformation that may have been deliberately fed to the U.S. by Ahmed Chalabi’s group. In light of allegations that Chalabi was connected to Iranian intelligence, one must wonder if Iran may also have been deliberately feeding Curveball’s b.s. to the U.S. This would not have required a great deal of guile on the part of the Germans and/or Iranians: it would have been like setting out a pot of honey in the path of a marauding, hungry bear. “Curveball’s story has since crumbled under doubts raised by the Germans and the scrutiny of U.S. weapons hunters, who have come to see his code name as particularly apt, given the problems that beset much of the prewar intelligence collection and analysis. U.N. weapons inspectors hypothesized that such trucks might exist, officials said. They then asked former exile leader Ahmed Chalabi, a bitter enemy of Hussein, to help search for intelligence supporting their theory.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

4. Curveball appeared right on time, providing the U.S. (through his German handlers) with just what they wanted to hear. “Soon after, a young chemical engineer emerged in a German refugee camp and claimed that he had been hired out of Baghdad University to design and build biological warfare trucks for the Iraqi army. Based largely on his account, President Bush and his aides repeatedly warned of the shadowy germ trucks, dubbed ‘Winnebagos of Death’ or ‘Hell on Wheels’ in news accounts, and they became a crucial part of the White House case for war, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s dramatic presentation to the U.N. Security Council just weeks before the war.” (Idem.)

5. As it turned out, Curveball was the brother of one of Chalabi’s top aides. Again, Chalabi has been alleged to be a cat’s paw for Iranian intelligence. “Only later, U.S. officials said, did the CIA learn that the defector was the brother of one of Chalabi’s top aides, and begin to suspect that he might have been coached to provide false information. Partly because of that, some U.S. intelligence officials and congressional investigators fear that the CIA may have inadvertently conjured up and then chased a phantom weapons system. David Kay, who resigned in January as head of the CIA-led group created to find illicit weapons in Iraq, said that of all the intelligence failures in Iraq, the case of Curveball was particularly troubling. ‘This is the one that’s damning,’ he said. ‘This is the one that has the potential for causing the largest havoc in the sense that it really looks like a lack of due diligence and care in going forward.” (Idem.)

6. “Kay said in an interview that the defector ‘was absolutely at the heart of a matter of intense interest to us.’ But Curveball turned out to be an ‘out-and-out fabricator,’ he added. . . .” (Idem.)

7. “. . . U.S. and British intelligence officials have acknowledged since major combat ended in Iraq that lies or distortions by Iraqi opposition groups in exile contributed to numerous misjudgments about Iraq’s suspected weapons programs. Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress is blamed most often, but the rival Iraqi National Accord and various Kurdish groups also were responsible for sending dubious defectors to Western intelligence, officials say. . .” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

8. As noted here, the BND refused CIA requests to interview Curveball in person. Why?! ” . . . In this case, Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, known as the BND, repeatedly rejected CIA requests to meet Curveball, saying it needed to protect its source. But U.S. and German officials said the BND furnished its file on the defector to U.S. authorities and at times had him answer specific questions from U.S. intelligence. . . .” (Idem.)

9. One of the key questions concerns whether the BND communicated their doubts about Curveball before the March 20th invasion date. ” . . . One focus of the ongoing investigations is whether the CIA should have known Curveball was not credible. A former U.S. official who has reviewed the classified file said the BND warned the CIA last spring [2003] that it had ‘various problems with the source.’ Die Zeit, a German newsweekly, first reported the warning last August. The official said the BND sent the warning after Powell first described the biowarfare trucks in detail to the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5, 5003. It’s unclear whether the German warning arrived before the war began on March 20 last year.” (Idem.)

10. Read the next paragraph carefully: it appears that the Germans were passing disinformation to a U.S. intelligence establishment that very much wanted to hear just what the Germans were telling them. ” ‘You can imagine the consternation it kicked off,’ the official said. ‘It suggested that what [the Germans had] been passing to us was false. They were backing away.’ Mark Mansfield, a CIA spokesman, declined to comment Friday on that charge or questions about the case. An official at BND headquarters in Berlin, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also declined to answer questions. ‘We believed that Iraq had these mobile biological facilities,’ the official said.. . .” (Idem.)

11. Others from the Chalabi camp were providing disinformation on the mobile biowarfare labs. ” . . . Kay said the debriefing files on the pair [of Iraqi defectors supporting Curveball’s allegations] showed that they never had direct contact with the biowarfare trucks. ‘None of them claimed to have seen them,’ he said. ‘They said they were aware of the mobile program. They had heard there was a mobile program.’ CIA files showed that another Iraqi defector, an engineer who had worked with Curveball, specifically denied that they had worked on such facilities, Kay said. Powell did not cite that defector.” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

12. Others in Chalabi’s camp buttressed Curveball’s claims. “The CIA acknowledged last month that a fourth defector whom Powell cited at the U.N., a former major in Iraq’s intelligence service, had lied when he said that Baghdad had built mobile research laboratories to test biological agents. The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency twice debriefed that defector in early 2002 and reported his claims. But it then concluded that he did not have firsthand information and probably was coached by Chalabi’s exile group. . . .” (Idem.)

13. It appears that Curveball was thrown in the CIA’s direction by a Chalabi outfit that had long been pitching batting practice to the weapons inspectors. ” . . . The inspectors long had relied on intelligence from sympathetic governments and dissident groups. Chalabi had lobbied Washington for years to overthrow Hussein and claimed that he had spies inside the Baghdad regime. In December 1997, Ritter said, he and his deputy, a former British army major attached to the U.N. team, flew to London to ask Chalabi for help. They met for three hours over dinner at Chalabi’s Mayfair residence with the influential Iraqi exile and Ahmed Allawi, who headed intelligence operations for the Iraqi National Congress.” (Ibid.; p. 7.)

14. ” ‘Chalabi outlined what he could do for us,’ Ritter recalled. ‘His intelligence guy outlined their sources and said he had people inside the government. They told us they had the run of Iraq. Just tell them what we needed. So we outlined the gaps in our understanding of the Iraqi program, including the mobile bioweapons labs. Basically, we gave them a shopping list.’ ‘They began feeding us information,’ Ritter said. ‘We got hand-drawn maps, handwritten statements and other stuff flowing in. At first blush, it looked good. But nothing panned out. Most of it just regurgitated what we’d given them. And the data that was new never checked out.'” (Ibid.; pp. 7-8.)

15. The precise circumstances surrounding Curveball’s appearance in Germany in 1998 remain mysterious. “Haider Musawi, an INC media liaison in Baghdad, said in a telephone interview Saturday that he could not confirm the meetings had occurred. Asked about INC ties to Curveball, he replied, ‘I really can’t think of such a defector.’ U.S. officials say Curveball apparently showed up in Germany in 1998, but it is unclear how he got there. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s.] [The Times] was unable to ascertain Curveball’s real name or his current location. What is clear is that by 2000, Curveball had provided a vast array of convincing detail about the illicit program he claimed to manage. . . . ‘We didn’t find anything.'” (Ibid.; p. 8.)

16. ” . . . During the summer, Kay’s investigators visited Curveball’s parents and brother in Baghdad, as well as his former work sites. They determined that he was last in his class at the University of Baghdad, not first as he had claimed. They learned he had been fired from his job and jailed for embezzlement before he fled Iraq. ‘He was wrong about so much,’ Kay recalled. ‘Physical descriptions he gave for buildings and sites simply didn’t match reality. Things started to fall apart.’ Chalabi now a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, retains strong support in the White House. He was a guest of First Lady Laura Bush at the president’s State of the Union address last January, and his organization still receives several hundred thousand dollars a month from the Pentagon to help collect intelligence in Iraq. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 9.)

17. Next, the broadcast sets forth the allegations about Chalabi’s having ties to Iranian intelligence. With a Shiite majority that was actively suppressed by Saddam Hussein, Iraq would have made a tempting target to the Iranians. They might well have decided to do what they could to precipitate a U.S. invasion of Iraq, it’s old enemy. “Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi leader accused by the CIA of passing US secrets to Tehran, claimed to have close links with Iranian intelligence seven years ago, according to a former UN weapons inspector. Scott Ritter, who before the war insisted that Saddam Hussein did not have significant weapons stocks, made the claim to Andrew Cockburn, a Washington-based journalist and the author of a biography of the ousted Iraqi dictator.”
(“Iraqi Accused by CIA Made Claim in 1997, Says Former Inspector” by Julian Borger; The Guardian; 5/26/2004; p. 1.) [5]

18. ” ‘When I met [Mr. Chalabi] in December 1997 he said he had tremendous connections with Iranian intelligence,’ Mr. Ritter said, according to an article by Mr. Cockburn published today in the Guardian. ‘He said that some of his best intelligence came from the Iranians and offered to set up a meeting for me with the head of Iranian intelligence.’ Mr. Chalabi has repeatedly denied passing secrets to the Iranians and has denounced the allegations made by US intelligence officials as a CIA ‘smear.’ He also denied providing false information about weapons of mass destruction to the US. . . .” (Idem.)

19. In FTR#412 [6], Mr. Emory presented information suggesting that the Bush administration was deliberately working to subvert the U.S. economy. Osama bin Laden has been working in a similar direction. Recall that it has long been Mr. Emory’s view that the Underground Reich is pulling the strings of the Bush administration, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. In that context, it is interesting to examine a speech Osama bin Laden released [via videotape] just before the U.S. presidential election. In this speech, bin Laden hints fairly directly that Bush is following his agenda. Again, it is Mr. Emory’s view that both the Bush administration and Al Qaeda are serving as puppets of the Underground Reich. “Osama bin Laden boasted that the invasion of Iraq has bogged down the United States in a hopeless war that advances al Qaeda’s recruitment goals and bin Laden’s aim of bankrupting the U.S. economy, according to a translation of the full text of the terrorist leader’s remarks on a videotape that surfaced last week. ‘The thinkers and perceptive ones from among the Americans warned Bush before the war’ about the dangers of invading Iraq, bin Laden said on the tape, according to a U.S. government transcript released yesterday. ‘But the darkness of the black gold [oil] blurred his vision. . . . The war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq that threatened his future. . . .'”
(“Bin Laden Lauds Costs of War to U.S.” by John Mintz; Washington Post; 11/1/2004; p. 1.) [7]

20. ” . . . On the tape, the Saudi millionaire brags that he is succeeding beyond his dreams in destabilizing the U.S. economy and bankrupting the U.S. government, asserting that President Bush is easily manipulated into taking military and security steps that harm American interests. The results of the U.S. war in Iraq, he said, ‘have been by the grace of Allah, positive and enormous, and have by all standards exceeded all expectations. The policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep busy their various corporations—whether they be working in the field of arms or oil or reconstruction—has helped al Qaeda to achieve these enormous results,’ bin Laden said. ‘And so it has appeared to some analysts and diplomats that the White House and we are playing as one team toward the economic goals of the United States, even if the intentions differ.‘ [Italics are Mr. Emory’s].” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

21. It is essential to note that bin Laden’s boasts would be empty, but for the insane tax cuts that the Bush administration has implemented. Bin Laden’s forces would not have succeeded in the ongoing bankrupting of the U.S., were it not for the Bush administration’s fiscal policies. ” . . . Bin Laden also suggested that the huge sums of money Washington spends on homeland security and the military serve his agenda of weakening the U.S. economy. All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration,’ bin Laden said. ‘All that we have to do is to send two mujaheddin to the farthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written ‘al Qaeda’ in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses, without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies.’ He added: ‘We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.'” (Ibid.; pp. 2-3.)

22. Again, note that it is Bush’s insane economic policies, in combination with bin Laden’s tactics that are bankrupting the United Staes. “He noted remarks by counterterrorism experts that al Qaeda’s expenses in attacking America are a tiny fraction of the cost of Washington’s counterterrorism efforts. ‘Every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million [U.S.] dollars . . . besides the loss of a huge number of jobs. ‘As for the size of the economic deficit, it has reached record, astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars. Even more dangerous and bitter for America is that the mujaheddin recently forced Bush to resort to emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is evidence of the success of the bleed-until-bankruptcy plan.'” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

23. During the run-up to the Iraq war, Mr. Emory produced a number of programs advancing his working hypothesis that the Underground Reich was manipulating the Muslim populations of the “Earth Island” (the Arabs in particular) in order to serve as proxy warriors against the U.S., Britain and Israel. (For more about this, see FTR#’s 394, 395, 396, 404, 413, 450 [6].) In this context, the program presents more information about the German links to (and origins of) the A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling ring that provided Pakistan, Libya, Iran and North Korea with much of their nuclear capability. This should be viewed against the recent saber-rattling between the U.S. and Iran. Is this another example of the U.S. being lured into a proxy war situation? “Recent advances in an international investigation into the nuclear smuggling network centered on Abdul-Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist, have boosted hopes of uncovering the truth about Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Khan has admitted helping the nuclear programs of Iran, Libya and North Korea over more than 15 years—but there are big gaps in investigators’ understanding of what was supplied and to whom. . . .”

(“Fresh Clues on Smuggling Network Could Help Lift Lid on Tehran’s Secret Nuclear Programme” by Stephen Fidler; The Financial Times; 3/12/2005; p. 1.) [8]

24. “Investigators have known for more than a year that early contacts were made between Iran and the network in 1987. But the significance of the document was that it showed the network offered to provide Iran with the wherewithal to manufacture and cast uranium metal, an ability Iran would need only if building a nuclear weapon. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

25. For more about the German link to the nuclear smuggling ring, see FTR#’s 336, 395, 450 [6].) “Nuclear analysts said the document might have encouraged Pakistan’s first public admission this week that the network supplied Iran with centrifuges, ruling out that it supplied other, even more incriminating, technologies. The document emerged out of a 1987 meeting in Dubai, attended by three Iranian officials, Mr. Tahir and his uncle, a man named Mohamed Farouq, western diplomats said. As many as three Europeans may have attended, including possibly a German engineer, now dead, called Heinz Mebus. . . .” (Idem.)

26. Just as the U.S. was lured into the Iraqi invasion under the auspices of bad intelligence and some fundamental illusions about the nature of the Middle East, so, too it may be in the process of being lured into a friendly relationship with the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood. An ally of the Third Reich, the Brotherhood is explicitly fascist. Like a number of neo-fascist movements (including the Italian Alleanza Nationale and the German NPD) the Brotherhood is attempting to use democratic means to achieve power, where it is deemed feasible. This should not lure the U.S. into a false sense of security, however. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels was quite explicit about the Nazis’ willingness to use democratic means to achieve power, as well as their unwillingness to allow others to use democratic means to remove them from power. It would be prudent to view the Brotherhood’s democratic pretensions in light of Goebbels’ remarks. Bearing in mind Mr. Emory’s views on Underground Reich manipulation of the Bush administration and the Muslim Brotherhood, it is interesting to consider the article that follows. It may be that the Bush administration’s attempts at fostering democracy in the Middle East may result in the ascension of Islamofascist governments in those countries.

27. ” . . . Some federal agents worry that the Muslim Brotherhood has dangerous links to terrorism. But some U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials believe its influence offers an opportunity for political engagement that could help isolate violent jihadists. ‘It is the preeminent movement in the Muslim world,’ said Graham E. Fuller, a former CIA official specializing in the Middle East. ‘It’s something we can work with.’ Demonizing the Brotherhood ‘would be foolhardy in the extreme,’ he warned.”

(“In Search of Friends Among the Foes: U.S. Hopes to Work with Diverse Group” by John Mintz and Douglas Farah; The Washington Post; 9/11/2004; p. A01.) [9]

28. “The Brotherhood’s history and the challenges it poses to U.S. officials illustrate the complexity of the political front in the campaign against terrorism three years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. FBI agents and financial investigators probe the group for terrorist ties and legal violations, while diplomats simultaneously discuss strategies for co-opting at least its moderate wings. In both sectors of the U.S. government, the Brotherhood often remains a mystery. The Brotherhood—of al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, as it is know in Arabic—is a sprawling and secretive society with followers in more than 70 countries. It is dedicated to creating an Islamic civilization that harks back to the caliphates of the 7th and 7th centuries, one that would segregate women from public life and scorn nonbelievers.” (Idem.)

29. “In some nations—Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Sudan—the Brotherhood has fomented Islamic revolution. In the Palestinian territories, the Brotherhood created the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, which has become known for its suicide bombings of Israelis. Yet is also a sophisticated and diverse organization that appeals to many Muslims worldwide and sometimes advocates peaceful persuasion, not violent revolt. Some of its supporters went on to help found al Qaeda, while others launched one of the largest college student groups in the United States. For decades the Brotherhood enjoyed the support of the government of Saudi Arabia and its oil billions, which helped the group expand in the United States.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

30. It is disturbing to note that the Brotherhood is a dominant force in the American Islamic community: “Past and present Muslim Brotherhood supporters make up the U.S. Islamic community’s most organized force. They run hundreds of mosques and dozens of businesses engaging in ventures such as real estate development and banking. They also helped set up some of the leading American Islamic organizations that defend the rights of Muslims, promote Muslim civic activism and seek to spread Islam. For years, federal agents paid little heed to the Brotherhood, but after Sept. 11, they noticed that many leads went back to the Brotherhood. ‘We see some sort of nexus, direct or indirect, to the Brotherhood, in ongoing cases,’ said Dennis Lormel, until recently a top FBI counterterrorism official. The architect of the Sept. 11 strikes, Khalid Sheik Mohamed, told U.S. interrogators that he was drawn to violent jihad after joining the Brotherhood in Kuwait at age 16 and attending its desert youth camps, according to the report released in July by the national commission that investigated the attacks.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

31. The article refers to Bank Al Taqwa: “Brotherhood radicals in Germany and Spain are suspected of organizing logistical support for the al Qaeda cell that carried out the attacks. Western governments subsequently shut down a huge banking network in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Bahamas that was set up by a leading Brotherhood figure, citing its numerous financial ties to al Qaeda and other terrorists. The founder, Youssef Nada, denies wrongdoing.” (Idem.)

32. The story also touches on the March 20, 2002 Operation Green Quest raids. Note that there are significant evidentiary tributaries running between the Brotherhood, Bank Al Taqwa, the GOP and the targets of the Operation Green Quest raids. “In March 2002, federal agents in Northern Virginia raided a cluster of Muslim think tanks, companies and foundations run mostly by men who sympathized with the Brotherhood in Iraq and elsewhere in the 1960’s. No charges have resulted, but U.S. officials stated in court earlier this year that they are pursuing terrorist financing allegations. Members of the group, known for their relative political moderation, say they ended Brotherhood ties years ago and deny wrongdoing. In a 42-count indictment in July, the government alleged that an Islamic charity, the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, funneled $12.4 million to a designated terrorist group, Hamas. The indictment said the Holy Land Foundation was ‘deeply involved with a network of Muslim Brotherhood organizations dedicated to furthering the Islamic fundamentalist agenda espoused by Hamas.’ The Holy Land Foundation denies wrongdoing. . . .” (Idem.)