Friday, April 29, 2005

You’d Think Maybe the Name ‘Curveball’ Might Have Given Them a Clue

It seems the CIA was shocked (shocked!) to discover that its sole source for information about Iraq’s reputed biological weapons program—known only by his codename, “Curveball”—was a “fabricator.”

In written statements, former CIA director George Tenet and former deputy director John E. McLaughlin disavowed prior knowledge of Curveball’s penchant for creative fiction, despite testimony from senior CIA officers saying they’d been informed as early as 2002.

"I did not know prior to Secretary Powell's UN speech that some of the information used in the biological weapons section was the product of a likely fabricator," McLaughlin said in an April 1 statement released to the press.

I have to give the CIA credit; who knew the spooks were capable of this much irony? Not only did they name their source “Curveball,” but they released their statements on April Fools Day.

However, The WitList has learned that Curveball was not the only source of spurious intelligence used by the CIA. In response to an FOIA request, the Agency has turned over a heavily redacted memo that reveals other, even more questionable findings. I’ve reproduced the full text of the memo below.


Date: 22 April 2005

The following is a summary of a report commissioned by special agent [REDACTED] regarding the reliability of sources used by the Agency for foreign intelligence gathering.


From December 2001 through March 2003, the Agency relied heavily on reports from “Curveball,” a former Iraqi scientist now living in Germany, as a basis for concluding that Iraq had resumed programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. Over that period Curveball provided more than 100 reports, nearly all of which have been determined to be false or otherwise unreliable.

For example, in February 2002 Curveball provided detailed blueprints for a nuclear centrifuge said to be under construction near Tikrit, as well as aerial photos of a mobile weapons lab outside Baghdad. Upon further inquiry, it was discovered that the blueprints were schematics from a Lady Kenmore washer, and the weapons lab was a Volkswagen bus that had gotten lost enroute to a Grateful Dead concert in 1972.

As a result of these disclosures, the Agency has been tasked to reevaluate intelligence obtained from [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and [REDACTED] (codenamed, respectively, Screwball, Spitball, and Hairball), and to revise its recommendations accordingly.


Contrary to an Agency report issued in December 2004, North Dakota has not acquired nuclear weapons, nor is it regarded as a rogue state. Accordingly, we have urged the Pentagon to scrub the planned carpet bombing of Bismarck.

The Agency no longer stands behind its theory that the surge in obesity among Americans has been caused by a race of super-intelligent aliens. The Top Secret report titled, “They’re Going to Eat Us!” has been officially retracted.

Last year, the Agency reported that foreign agents had obtained photographs of senior administration official [REDACTED] (codename “Doughboy”) in a compromising position with a [REDACTED], including the extremely challenging [REDACTED] position, thus exposing him to potential blackmail. At the time, the Agency urged the White House to revoke his security clearance. The Agency has since determined that the photos were forgeries and that [REDACTED] is not that limber.

The Agency now believes the moon is made primarily from pulverized rock, and not a mixture of Swiss, feta, and gruyere cheeses, as was previously reported.

Respectfully submitted,


cc: GWB, KR, RC, GT

In the interest of full disclosure, I must report that I cannot entirely vouch for the accuracy of this memo, as my source -- the United States government – is a known fabricator.


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