Iraqi Proud of His WMD Lies That Led to War

On the 100th day after terrorists attacked America, President Bush makes a statement to reporters in the Rose Garden with, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2001. Bush announced that his administration is working with U.S. allies to freeze the financial assets of more overseas organizations that officials believe finances al-Qaida. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

LONDON - "Curveball," the once-anonymous Iraqi man whose testimony was used as a key evidence to build a case for war in Iraq, told a British newspaper he is proud that he lied about his country developing mobile biological warfare labs.

The Guardian newspaper published an interview Wednesday with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who has been identified as the informer called "Curveball," whose claims about weapon labs formed part of then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech to the U.N. Security Council in 2003, shortly before the war began.

The Guardian quoted al-Janabi as saying: "I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."

Although some intelligence agents were skeptical of Curveball's story, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee reported in 2004 that the Central Intelligence Agency "withheld important information about Curveball's reliability" from analysts dealing with the case.

The Guardian interviewed al-Janabi in Karlsruhe, Germany in a mixture of Arabic and German. The U.S. Senate panel's report said Curveball spoke in English and Arabic when he was interrogated by intelligence officers.

Asked about his feeling's about the deaths and destruction during the war and in the years following, The Guardian said al-Janabi said there was no other way.

"I tell you something when I hear anybody not just in Iraq but in any war (is) killed, I am very sad. But give me another solution. Can you give me another solution?" the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"Saddam did not (allow) freedom in our land," the Iraqi said. "There are no other political parties. You have to believe what Saddam says, and do what Saddam wants. And I don't accept that. I have to do something for my country. So I did this and I am satisfied, because there is no dictator in Iraq any more."

Some had claimed al-Janabi had lied about the WMDs in order to gain asylum in Germany, a charge he denies, adding that only after he was given asylum did he began talking about biochemical weapons.

He told the Guardian that around three weeks after he was granted asylum, a German official, whom he identified as "Dr. Paul," came to see him and he mentioned the fact that he had been a chemical engineer.

"He told me he needed some information about my life," the Iraqi said. "He said it was very important, that Iraq had a dictator and I needed to help."

At this point, al-Janabi said he decided to let his imagination run wild. For the next six months, he sat with "Paul" and called upon his knowledge of chemical engineering from school and work to manufacture a yarn that helped scare the U.S. into war.