Remember him? That was the nickname the CIA gave to Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, on whose word we “knew” that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Below is something I wrote in response to his 2012 confession to The Independent.
April 2, 2012
This is a story about the Iraqi whose fabricated story about those “mobile chemical factories” was used by the CIA and Secretary of State Colin Powell to sell the American people on the war. He tells BBC it was a lie to try to get the U.S. into Iraq to get rid of Saddam. Thanks for your trouble, USA. Mission Accomplished.
I’m sure this will be a huge story on Fox today (sarcasm intended).
I taped Powell’s February 5, 2003 speech to the UN so I’d be able to re-examine it. Remember that day? It was huge in our recent history. I had been against the build-up to war to that point, but I trusted Powell and really wanted his speech to provide the incontrovertible evidence I needed to turn me in the other direction. When the speech was over, I just felt used. I didn’t feel like anything Powell said was really convincing; there was a phoniness to the presentation. And I LIKED Powell! More than anything else, I was left with images of the Gulf of Tonkin, foisted on us (and Congress) in a more innocent era. Surely America wouldn’t fall for this claptrap in the 21st century! Fool me once, shame on me.
If anything, at that point, I became even more vocal in my opposition to the war. And now I know why. If we don’t learn something from this, I’ll be pissed. But then, we apparently learned nothing from Gulf of Tonkin either.
Which brings me back to media coverage of these kinds of things. I’m guessing almost all the mainstream American media will virtually ignore this story* which should be the lead story in not only every newspaper and television station, but every U.S. History classroom in America.
*Just checked the NYT headlines. No mention of this story, but their quote of the day is this one: On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, “The world must be made safe for democracy.”