Thursday, November 01, 2007

A curveball from 60 Minutes

Baseball aficionados often call a nasty curveball a "yellowhammer" in deference to the swooping ability of the Northern Flicker woodpecker when attacking its prey.

On Sunday 60 Minutes plans to air the human variety with a piece on a CIA/German intelligence asset codenamed "Curveball", whom they'll likely claim was responsible for the war in Iraq:
More than a hundred summaries of his debriefings were sent to the CIA, which then became a pillar - along with the now-disproved Iraqi quest for uranium for nuclear weapons - for the U.S. decision to bomb and then invade Iraq. The CIA-director George Tenet gave Alwan’s information to Secretary of State Colin Powell to use at the U.N. in his speech justifying military action against Iraq.
One can hope they'll keep it straight that when Mr. Curveball showed up 1999 Mr. Bushitler was still the dictator of Texas. One would also hope they'll keep some perspective on those salad days of terrorism when America had no trouble believing that Saddam might be a co-conspirator.

As to the uranium yellowcake claim (not to be confused with yellowhammers) well, contrary to CBS's best wishes the case was never closed, no matter how much their client Valerie Plame begs to differ (Simon and Schuster and CBS are shacking up, in a corporate sense). No one has yet explained why Saddam sent emissaries to Africa and vice versa before 9/11, which seems to be at least one inconvenient truth the left doesn't seem interested in addressing.

But in a nutshell this is just a continuum of the pissing match between various factions within CIA and the administration, now to include other intelligence services. The whole Scooter Libby thing centered around this construct, as immortalized (sorta) in the words of Judith Miller:
As I told the grand jury, I recalled Mr. Libby's frustration and anger about what he called "selective leaking" by the C.I.A. and other agencies to distance themselves from what he recalled as their unequivocal prewar intelligence assessments. The selective leaks trying to shift blame to the White House, he told me, were part of a "perverted war" over the war in Iraq.
Nothing but the truth, baby.

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