6,337. 3/31/2005

The conclusion of the Robb-Silberman Commission report on March 31, 2005, included the following ‘Biological Warfare Findings:’
” ‘1. The DIA’s
[Defense Intelligence Agency’s] Defense HUMINT [human intelligence] Service’s failure even to attempt to validate [Iraqi informant] Curveball’s reporting was a major failure in operational tradecraft.
2. Indications of possible problems with Curveball began to emerge well before the
[October 1] 2002 NIE [National Intelligence Estimate]. These early indications of problems–which suggested unstable behavior more than a lack of credibility–were discounted by the analysts working the Iraq WMD account. But given these warning signs, analysts should have viewed Curveball’s information with greater skepticism and should have conveyed this skepticism in the NIE. The analysts’ resistance to any information that could undermine Curveball’s reliability suggests that the analysts were unduly wedded to a source that supported their assumptions about Iraq’s BW [biological weapons] programs.
3. The October 2002 NIE failed to communicate adequately to policymakers both the
[Intelligence] Community’s near-total reliance on Curveball for its BW judgments, and the serious problems that characterized Curveball as a source.
4. Beginning in late 2002, some operations officers within the regional division of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations that was responsible for relations with the liaison service handling Curveball expressed serious concerns about Curveball’s reliability to senior officials at the CIA, but these views were either (1) not thought to outweigh analytic assessments that Curveball’s information was reliable or (2) disregarded because of managers’ assessments that those views were not sufficiently convincing to warrant further elevation.
5. CIA management stood by Curveball’s reporting long after post-war investigators in Iraq had established that he was lying about crucial issues.
6. In addition to the problems with Curveball, the Intelligence Community–and, particularly, the Defense HUMINT Service–failed to keep reporting from a known fabricator out of finished intelligence on Iraq’s BW program in 2002 and 2003.’ ”

 – Tyler Drumheller with Elaine Monaghan, On The Brink, Pages 274-275

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