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Ex-spy chief says BND 'misused' for Iraq War

The Local · 28 Aug 2011, 19:55

Published: 28 Aug 2011 19:55 GMT+02:00

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August Hanning, the now retired Bundesnachrichtendienst boss, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the administration of former US President George W. Bush presented unconfirmed reports by a BND source about Iraqi bio-weapons labs as a fact to the UN Security Council.

“The US misused the BND to start the Iraq War,” Hanning told the paper, adding that Germany was not at blame for the deception. "The Americans need to take responsibility for the war themselves."

The former spook also said the Bush administration was already planning the Iraq invasion in September 2001 shortly after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC. Just two weeks after the World Trade Center was destroyed, the BND received a request the US Central Intelligence Agency asking for any German information about Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

"For me, the request was a first sign of an American military strike in Iraq," Hanning said.

The Americans were particularly interested in an Iraqi informant with the tragically ironic code name "Curveball." He was a former Iraqi chemical engineer who had come to Germany in 1999 as an asylum seeker and who gave the BND information. Among other things, he claimed that Iraq possessed rolling biological weapons laboratories.

He later admitted to having lied about that.

Several former senior BND officials told the newspaper that the agency had repeatedly warned the CIA not to take Curveball’s information as fact. Hanning, the BND president at the time, even formulated his concerns about that in a letter to then CIA Director George Tenet.

Powell's infamous UN speech

However, Bush officials used the statements of the BND informant as a reason to attack Iraq. In his now infamous speech on February 5, 2003 at the United Nations, then US Secretary of State Colin Powell listed three highly controversial reasons for military intervention in Iraq – including the information about mobile biological weapons laboratories from Germany.

"The Americans assured me that our information would not be used in the Powell speech," Hanning said, noting he complained to the CIA following Powell's appearance before the UN Security Council.

“The BND was burned,” he said.

The CIA would not comment to the paper on the allegations.

In his first interview with the German media, Curveball, whose real name is Rafed Aljanabi, admitted to lying about the mobile labs.

Story continues below…

"Honestly, I was telling a false story about mobile bioweapons labs because I wanted to increase the pressure on Saddam Hussein," the 44-year-old told the newspaper.

When he made those statements, he said he was not aware that he was speaking to the BND. He thought he was being interviewed by a weapons inspector.

Aljanabi said he did not want to start a war. After he was exposed in November 2007, the BND pressured him to go undercover and to surgically change his appearance. He refused to do so.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:47 August 28, 2011 by volvoman9
Of course he lied. Many Iraqis had a vested interest in toppling the corrupt regime but let's not forget that the U.S. created this monster as they have done so many times in the past and then when the major players insisted they remove their dog the stage was set for a massive power grab by the major oil interests. It never ceases to amaze me that the world press continues to treat this as breaking news and some sort of revelation.

If one looks at the history of this conflict it is rather simple to see the reasons for the end result.

A failed U.S. semi covert excursion into Iraq to topple the government of Iran, a country that had overthrown a puppet dictator created by the U.S. by using the same faulty logic.

U.S. leaders who were heavily vetted by the oil cartels continuing the policy of world domination through the manipulation of it's most important resource and who stood to make staggering sums of money by pressing the conflict regardless of the outcome.

Then the somewhat thinly veiled purpose to wage war championed by the media and the right wing elite as well as Christian fundamentalists bent on one world religion. Does anyone follow their history? The U.S. has trotted out this hideous policy since it's inception as a country and continue to think it will work based on the illusion that WWII was a victory and a success. Does anyone remember Pearl Harbor? The U.S. knew of the Japanese threat in the Pacific and chose to ignore it. Some would say this was in order to galvanize public support for entry into the European conflict as well as the Pacific one. Does any of this seem remotely familiar?

This policy is all supported by the U.S. taxpayer and the re-construction of countries destroyed by their largess has contributed to the financial mess we find ourselves in today. The frightening thing is that they have duped their citizens into believing that they are doing something noble and worthwhile by interfering in the world's problems. Americans are becoming increasingly easy to confuse while the corporate / political machine laughs all the way to the bank. Does any of this sound familiar? Those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of their history are doomed to repeat them.
22:30 August 28, 2011 by Jerr-Berlin
In response to vovoman9...

very good comment... US militarized foreign policy in conjunction with the military-industrial-media complex in general since 1950...is what "empires" do...the US has become a fascist, military state by definition...
23:33 August 28, 2011 by Klaipeda
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:49 August 29, 2011 by wingnutt
Wow...anti-american? So why are you all reading the english language news then?
10:02 August 29, 2011 by gh2008

it could be because they're Brits, Canadians, Australians or anyone speaks English!!!
15:06 August 29, 2011 by SchwabHallRocks
This is just one piece of information from millions about the Iraq war that was used to make a decision.

For example, German newspapers have printed many articles scaring us about Iraq and Iran and their poison gas, nuclear weapons, and missles.

Even Jacque Chirac, when interviewed in a magazine, said Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

If I can read a german newspaper or a french magazine and become concerned, could't also the leaders of countries?

Hussein is dead and Iraq is moving towards a democracy in a bloody way. Iraq has not invaded another country since his death. Do you forget about the 1,000,000 dead Iranains fromm Hussein's war or the invasion of Kuwait?
17:00 August 29, 2011 by derExDeutsche

These people only have problems with the USA going to war or otherwise, when there is a Republican in the White House. Currently there is not, so the media does not tell him and all the lemmings to go to sea, about the fact that Most of EUROPE AND THE USA are Currently at war for OIL.

So, He just doesn't care, in fact probably supports the Oil War in Libya. No Intelligence reports of WMDs needed.
18:11 August 29, 2011 by raandy
Not again,, abusing poor old Germany has become a vicious cycle.
20:03 August 29, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
All it takes for a government to get its way is this: 1) tell the people there is a threat and they are in danger, and 2) assure them that only you can protect them from this danger and deal with the threat.

People have been using this formula for hundreds of years! What good fortune for these governments that most people don't think.
07:47 August 30, 2011 by Sastry.M
If the " Spy of 20'th Century,R.Gehlen" created the BND for German national security alone,may be its services are truly utilized for the intended purpose.The sin of exchanging info. with the CIA betrays spirit of the former by adding benefit to the later.
20:50 August 30, 2011 by volvoman9
@wingnut I am an American, born and bred but I am not an idiot! I have had the unique privilege of living in foreign countries and witnessing the effect of naked American diplomacy. America is not a noble country. It is a country governed by capitalist greed and it's populace is increasingly becoming ignorant and foolish. We have been lulled into a coma of conspicuous consumption with no real regard for anything but the immediate gratification of ourselves. We could have been so great but we have pissed it away.
09:57 August 31, 2011 by raandy
volvoman9,if you say so ..stay a foreigner ,America does not need you.
01:18 September 1, 2011 by Whipmanager
VOLVOMAN9: Your rant is so mis-informed that it almost merits to be ignored. BUT: The Iraqi Oil is still in teh hands of the extremist Mulsim Government. The 9/11 attacks were done, not with the help of the US Govt. The US Govt hardly tried to topple the Iranian govt- note that when the students arose and started their coup, the US Stayed out of the fray, and once again left tons of friendly Iranian people to their own doom-0 shame on us for doing that once again. The entier Muslim World is reorganizing and will be tilted agains the US, and we are helping it happen- so quit your outright lying about the US role to rule the world.

SOme companies did make money off of the war, but then, I guess HK has no ownership f the deal with Libyan Rebels using German made weapons to fight Quadafy Duck supporters?

The US Gives more money than any other country to help the world. Not even China with all of their trillions does what we do, so, while we do seek to do soemthing for our own interests, those countries do benefit. You are probably too young to remember the US/Soviet push/pull of dictators and leaders. I remember it well and saw the dangerous and soemtimes deadly affects of it, but you know soemthing, you have freedom to type whatever you feel and not be sought after and brought into a gulag for what you write- thank a Brit or US Serviceman or spy for that right, maybe a few French ones too.

As for you living abroad and seeing the effect of Naked American diplomacy, I promise you have no clue of which you speak and are surely a traitor to the west and your country. You probably love the Dixie Chicks and their rants...

Finally: We are a fascist Military state run by teh Military Industrial complex? Said like a true communist. great key words, espoused by freedom hating spineless jelly fish. When the reds are kicking in yoru door, or any other bad guy, don't call on the Military people to come and save you.
17:16 September 2, 2011 by jabulani
It is true that the press is control by the guys like Murdock and co. They missinform

the public by spreading fear in the population to advance their own political agenda.

Everything that comes from USA it is always based in GREED and CONTROL (power).

This is all very well with the population "believing" their lies....but....what about our german (and other nations politicians???are they so NAIVE? even so why dont they BEFORE jumping to conclutions do they own homework and see what USA (in the form of Bush and Associates) say???


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