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Lies told on Iraq’s WMDs

The informant nick-named “curve ball” who claimed Iraq possessed biological weapons has now admitted he lied and that his intention was to get rid of the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi told German secret service officials that Iraq had mobile bio-weapons trucks and had built clandestine WMD manufacturing factories.

Even after this informant had recanted his story - that is, after his intelligence was denied by another source - Western secret service and intelligence organisations still chose to believe his outrageous claim.

That claim formed the cornerstone of former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell’s key address before the United Nations’ Security Council on February 5, 2003. Powell described Janabi as “an Iraqi chemical engineer” who “supervised one of these facilities”.

Al Janabi recently fessed up - “They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple a regime.”

[Reference: The Guardian and Agencé France Press, February 2011]

Deja vu - Tasmania’s WMDs?

In 2001 an informant who claimed Tasmania possessed many released foxes later told Police that his casual conversation outside Allgoods in Glenorchy had been misrepresented.

At the time of the sensational disclosure, a confidential Briefing Note was prepared for a Minister of the crown stating a PWS employee was told by an anonymous informant precise details about the illegal importation of foxes into Tasmania.  The Allgoods informant allegedly told the PWS employee that three named Tasmanians had imported fox cubs and reared them in captivity before releasing them at four locations across the state.

When interviewed by a Tasmanian Police taskforce set up by the Minister for Police (David Llewellyn) the primary informant expressed amazement as to how much information; details, names and locations could be attributed to him. He had no knowledge whatsoever of a named property or the persons identified in the Minister’s briefing note.

Even after Tasmania Police had failed to find substance to the claims made, the Minister David Llewellyn and the Fox-free Taskforce of DPIWE remained adamant that the sensational claim was factually correct.

The informant’s claim then formed the crux of former Minister for Police and Primary Industries, David Llewellyn’s address to a Parliamentary Committee on 4 June 2002. During his speech, Llewellyn described “allegations that several litters were brought in” by “environmental vandals”.

Aerial photographs of what were claimed to be demolished fox cages on a property in the Longford area were even offered to mainland fox experts to demonstrate that the fox plot had taken place. [Tasmania Police did not get to forensically investigate the property where the alleged fox pens had existed and no individual has been charged with any offence relating to these extraordinary allegations.]

[Reference: Tasmanian Police FOI Disclosure to Senator Shayne Murphy, June 2002]