Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

‘Curveball’: Yeah, I lied — you suckers!

The Iraqi source formerly known as Curveball (AKA "TISFKAC," pronounced "fiasco") tells the Guardian newspaper that, "I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy." He also says his ...

John-Morgan/Flickr
John-Morgan/Flickr
John-Morgan/Flickr

The Iraqi source formerly known as Curveball (AKA "TISFKAC," pronounced "fiasco") tells the Guardian newspaper that, "I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."

He also says his handlers in Germans knew he was lying in 2000. Contacts with him seem to have been dropped until May 2002, when he was contacted again. He then began to realize that a case for invasion was being put together-and he played ball.

The Iraqi source formerly known as Curveball (AKA "TISFKAC," pronounced "fiasco") tells the Guardian newspaper that, "I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."

He also says his handlers in Germans knew he was lying in 2000. Contacts with him seem to have been dropped until May 2002, when he was contacted again. He then began to realize that a case for invasion was being put together-and he played ball.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1
Tag: Iraq

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.