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Colin Powell demands answers over false Iraq intel: reports

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LONDON — Ex-secretary of state Colin Powell called on the CIA and Pentagon to explain how he was given unreliable information which proved key to the US case for invading Iraq, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

Powell’s landmark speech to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, cited intelligence about Iraq leader Saddam Hussein’s bioweapons programme gained from a defector, codenamed Curveball.

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But he has now admitted that he lied to topple the dictator, in an interview with the Guardian.

“It has been known for several years that the source called Curveball was totally unreliable,” Powell told the British newspaper.

“The question should be put to the CIA and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) as to why this wasn’t known before the false information was put into the (report) sent to Congress, the president’s state of the union address and my 5 February presentation to the UN.”

The defector, real name Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, told the Guardian that he lied to the BND, Germany’s secret service, by claiming in 2000 that Iraq had mobile bioweapons trucks and had built clandestine factories.

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During Powell’s speech, Janabi was described as “an Iraqi chemical engineer” who “supervised one of these facilities.”

“He actually was present during biological agent production runs and was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998,” Powell told the UN.

Janabi was exposed as an unreliable source when the BND visited Bassil Latif, his former boss at the Military Industries Commission in Iraq, who said there were no trucks or factories.

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However, the BND continued to cooperate with the trained chemical engineer, and the false statements were eventually passed on to senior US policymakers by the intelligence services.

The resulting conflict claimed more than 100,000 civilian lives and ruined the political standing of the then US president George W. Bush and his defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Hans-Christian Stroebele, a Green deputy in Germany’s federal parliament, told the Guardian Janabi had arguably broken the German law which forbids warmongering.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Florida teacher suspended after boasting he’d have a 1000-student body count if he shot up his school

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A teacher at Lakeland High School in Florida has been placed under a temporary risk protection order after boasting that he could rack up a 1,000-person body count if he perpetrated a school shooting.

Keith Cook, a math teacher and a veteran, described hypothetical acts of violence to students during a lockdown drill, including how if he were a school shooter, he'd first plant IEDs around the school, start shooting, drive panicked people into the areas where he had rigged up the explosives, and then detonate them. Some students were horrified by what he described.

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If Trump were the raving mad King of Liechtenstein all of this would be comical

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

This week, a former White House official told Politico that “Trump’s been asking his government for some matter of months what can we do to make sure that China doesn’t get Greenland.”

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Donald Trump and the Jews: He’s exactly why most of us vote for Democrats

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If President Trump doesn't understand why a large majority of American Jews are Democrats, maybe he should take a look in the mirror.

In case you need a quick refresher, Trump sparked an enormous furor on Tuesday when he said, "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." He added that "five years ago, the concept of even talking about this . . . of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can't believe we're even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the State of Israel?"

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