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April 1, 2005

Intelligence Analysts Whiffed on a ‘Curveball’ – LA Times

WASHINGTON — Prewar claims by the United States that Iraq was producing biological weapons were based almost entirely on accounts from a defector who was described as “crazy” by his intelligence handlers and a “congenital liar” by his friends.

The defector, code-named “Curveball,” spoke with alarming specificity about Iraq’s alleged biological weapons programs and fleet of mobile labs.

Curveball. That sounds like the name of ‘that guy’ in the neighborhood who was always hatching some business scheme trying to turn a quick buck. “The fifteen was to mow the front. You’ll have to pay extra if you want me to mow the back too.. I’m a business man after all, I gotta get paid.” His downfall was that he was more concerned with his sales pitch than quality of work.

Maybe, Curveball is that guy in every police movie that the cops shake down for information.
“Hey Curveball–“
“Aww, shit, no.” He tries to run, but the partner has boxed him in.
“Look, Curveball we just need to talk to ya. Where can we find Little Boy Blue?”
“I don’t know nothin’ about no Little Boy Blue or no heroin.”
“Who said anything about any heroin? Listen, you got 24 hours to find out where Blue is and what’s goin down or we’ll take you in. We got enough on you to put you away for a good long time.”
“Ok ok, I’ll find out. Be cool, man. If anybody sees me with you, I’m a dead man.”

Maybe the intelligence gathering went something like this:
“Hey, Curveball we need to talk to ya. What d’you know about Dr. Death?”
“I already told you about Dr. Death.”
“Boss Hogg wants to hear more. And we’re gonna to give it to him, so you’re gonna talk. Start singin’.”
“I’m a business man. This is a business deal. I gave you Dr. Death. I need extra incentive if you want to hear about mobile laboratories. Know what I’m sayin’?”
“Mobile laboratories. Hmmm. We have plenty of incentive.” (Grin.) “Let’s talk.”

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  1. stump lane » MTT (Marginal Theory Time): Ali

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