Friday, November 16, 2007


Rafid Ahmed Alwan is not a date but a name that will live in infamy.

Four years and nine months ago to the day, Secretary of State Colin Powell paved the way for the made up Iraq war by telling the world at the UN Saddam Hussein had WMD in the form of mobile biological weapons labs. He showed drawings, not photos of these mobile weapons labs, and discussed how an Iraqi chemical engineer who worked on this WMD project even reported a biological weapons accident that killed twelve workers. Enough persons were either persuaded or paralyzed by Powell’s impressive presentation to allow the Iraq war to go forward resulting in unrelenting murder and mayhem for the past fifty-six months.

But as “60 Minutes” reported yesterday, that chemical engineer, the aforementioned Mr. Alwan, was a fraud who made it all up. It turns out he was a low caliber chemical engineer who simply worked on a seed purification project and left Iraq on an multi country odyssey before weaving his fairy tale of WMD in Germany in a successful effort to attain permanent residency.

Back in December 2002, CIA George Tenant needed solid evidence to give President Bush cover to launch his made up war of choice in the spring. Tenant tried unsuccessfully to get German Intelligence to allow Alwan to appear on television or at least be debriefed by an American expert who would appear on television with the story. German Intelligence turned Tenant down due to having no confirmation of Alwan’s tale. When Tenant met with the President on December 21, 2002, and with no corroboration whatsoever, told Bush the certainty of Iraqi WMD was a slam dunk based on a source, Alwan, who was only identified as “Curveball.”

That a war could be concocted and then launched based on such fraudulent and preposterous evidence seems impossible to fathom. But it not only happened but goes on endlessly deep into its fifth year, with millions of dead, injured and displaced Iraqis and tens of thousands of dead, maimed and injured Americans.

And when the sorry and sordid history of the Iraq war is written five, ten or even fifty years hence, names like Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and another George, the gullible or devious Mr. Tenant, will stand along side one Rafid Ahmed Alwan in a Rogue’s Gallery of infamous persons responsible for this grand mis-adventure.

Originally published in Glen Ellyn Sun, November 16, 2007