Observations on the world today.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Germans Sat This One Out 

Remember back in the day when Bush began his little exercise in imperialism, and we all were told that we should hate the French and never utter the words "French Fries" in civilized conversation ever again lest we be deemd unAmurcan? I always thought it odd that we singled France out. After all, Germany wasn't on the list of Willing Coalition members either.

Well, maybe we didn't single the Germans out because we didn't want them telling what they knew.
The German intelligence officials responsible for one of the most important informants on Saddam Hussein's suspected weapons of mass destruction say that the Bush administration and the CIA repeatedly exaggerated his claims before the Iraq war.

Five senior officials from Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, said in interviews with the Los Angeles Times that they warned U.S. intelligence authorities that the source, an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball, never claimed to produce germ weapons and never saw anyone else do so.

According to the Germans, President Bush mischaracterized Curveball's information when he warned before the war that Iraq had at least seven mobile factories brewing biological poisons. Then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell also misstated Curveball's claims in his pre-war presentation to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, the Germans said.

Curveball's German handlers for the last six years said his information was often vague, mostly second-hand and impossible to confirm.

''This was not substantial evidence,'' said a senior German intelligence official. ''We made clear we could not verify the things he said.''
But now I'm wondering, who's to say the Germans didn't tip off the French? Maybe the French knew Powell was spouting lies even as he uttered them. In fact, maybe the whole of the diplomatic world knew this, and that's why the coalition we got consisted of countries the likes of the Philipines, Estonia and Columbia.

But then the question becomes, why didn't the German's tell us? Why let the Americans look like fools in front of the whole world needlessly?

Oh, wait, never mind. I remember now.

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