In 1999, a mysterious Iraqi applied for political asylum in Munich. The young chemical engineer offered compelling testimony of Saddam Hussein's secret program to build weapons of mass destruction. He claimed that the dictator had constructed germ factories on trucks, creating a deadly hell on wheels. His German hosts passed along his account to their CIA counterparts, but denied CIA agents access to their star informant. The Americans dubbed him with an unforgettable code name: Curveball. After September 11, 2001, the Bush administration seized on Curveball's account as evidence that Saddam's government needed to be overthrown—in spite of numerous indicators that the informant's credibility was unraveling. Bob Drogin answers the crucial question of the Iraq war: how and why was America's intelligence so catastrophically wrong?
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