The young engineer offers compelling details about Saddam Hussein's secret effort to build weapons of mass destruction. German spymasters share his information with U.S. intelligence, but deny the Americans access to their star informant.
The Americans give the defector his codename: Curveball. The case lies dormant until after 9/11, when the Bush administration aims its sights on Iraq.
Determined to invade, the U.S. embraces Curveball's unconfirmed account. President Bush hails it in his State of the Union speech. Colin Powell cites the "eyewitness" as the highlight of his historic address to the U.N. Security Council.
But the case is a fraud. America's vast intelligence apparatus conjured up demons that did not exist. And the truth was vividly clear before the war. CURVEBALL is the defining story of the worst intelligence failure in U.S. history.
Meticulously researched and paced like a spy thriller, author and Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Drogin delivers a riveting account of how U.S. intelligence agencies magnified the words of an Iraqi con man they had never met to tell the White House what it wanted to hear.
CURVEBALL provides the truth behind the lies that led to war.