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Sunday, Jun 25, 2006, 2:16 am

A Bit of a Credibility Gap

By Brian Zick
Joby Warrick for WaPo has a 4 pager on the saga of "Curveball," the bogus source for the non-existent mobile bio-weapons labs which Colin Powell infamously highlighted in his let's-go-to-war speech to the UN. CIA officer Tyler Drumheller had the job of reviewing Powell's speech beforehand, to look for any mistakes. He claims he had known Curveball was a fraud, and so he crossed out the dubious lab references on the draft of the text. Yet somehow they made it back into the speech,

Drumheller claims he directly warned both CIA deputy director John McLaughlin and director George Tenet of the serious problems with the source before Powell's speech. Both say they have no recollection of the warnings.

The day before his speech, Powell and his chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, were briefed by CIA officials not identified in the report. Warrick states, "Wilkerson said the two men described the evidence on the mobile labs as exceptionally strong, based on multiple sources whose stories were independently corroborated."
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Somebody needs to finger those two unidentified briefers, and get their story. There's a variety of fishy smells in the air.
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