“The report also showed how dependent the CIA often was on single sources of information. For example, a significant shift in 2002 in the intelligence community’s assessment of Iraq’s biological weapons was based almost exclusively on information provided by one individual, who asserted Iraq had mobile bioweapons laboratories.
The individual, code-named “Curve Ball,” was debriefed by a foreign intelligence service and the only American to meet Curve Ball thought he was an alcoholic. Others in the Pentagon raised concerns about Curve Ball’s credibility, but his information still became the centerpiece of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s presentation to the United Nations seven weeks before the war.
Despite a 2002 assessment that determined there was a 50 percent chance that Iraq possessed the smallpox virus, the only fresh information to that effect came from a single defector in 2000. ”
Panel Condemns Iraq Prewar Intelligence
Senate Report Faults 2002 Estimate Sent To Hill, Accuses the CIA of ‘Group-Think’
By Dana Priest and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, July 10, 2004; Page A01