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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

The LBJ School of Public Affairs presents

Bob Drogin - Curveball: Spies Lies and the Con Man Who Caused a War

Curveball: Spies Lies and the Con Man Who Caused a War

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
12:00 p.m.

LBJ Student Lounge
Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 3*
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The University of Texas at Austin
2315 Red River Street
Austin, TX

The LBJ School Dean James Steinberg will lead discussion with Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Drogin author of Curveball: Spies, Lies, and the Con Man Who Caused a War, in a featured Brown Bag Speaker Series event. The event will conclude with a book-signing session, to be held outside the student lounge.

About Bob Drogin

Los Angeles Times National Security Correspondent and award-winning investigative journalist Bob Drogin has won or shared multiple journalism awards, among them the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the George Polk Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.  He has appeared on Nightline, CNN, BBC, PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, and NPR.  He has worked for the Times since 1983.

What the critics are saying about Curveball

This is a story of willful blindness masquerading as secret intelligence that is worthy of Somerset Maugham or Graham Greene, and Drogin rises to the occasion.
--The New York Times Book Review by Christopher Dickey

Drogin's account of the search for weapons of mass destruction after Baghdad fell would be hilarious were the facts not scandalous and the implications not tragic.
--Washington Post column by George F. Will

Read More Reviews of Curveball

See Bob Drogin on the Colbert Report

Watch the CNN interview

AboutCurveball: Spies, Lies, and the Con Man Who Caused a War

Curveball tells the inside story of an Iraqi taxi driver whose false claims of Saddam Hussein’s weapons developments became an integral part of the United States’ case for war.

In 1999, a young Iraqi chemical engineer arrived in Munich, seeking political asylum.  Sharing compelling testimony of Hussein’s secret program to build weapons of mass destruction, the man claimed that the dictator had constructed germ factories on trucks, creating a deadly hell on wheels.  His grateful German hosts passed along his account to the CIA but denied the Americans access to their superstar informant, a man who would become known solely by the infamous code name “Curveball.”

The case lay dormant until after 9/11, when the Bush administration turned their attention to Iraq.  Curveball quickly became a key part in the White House rationale for invading Iraq. Unable to verify Curveball’s information, the CIA conjured a weapons system that didn’t exist, ignored a flood of warnings, and stayed silent as the White House embarked on war.

Several of the events and conversations presented in Curveball have never been reported on until now.  Some of these revelations include:

A real-life investigative thriller, Curveball is an inside story of intrigue and incompetence at the highest levels of government. Recreating the path to war via one man’s lies from Munich to Langley to Baghdad, Drogin finally provides answers to the questions that have plagued the U.S. since its invasion of Iraq.

For those people who would like to see the presentation but are unable to attend, the event will be webcast in real-time as well as available for later viewing online. Visit the LBJ School's screening room Web site, lbj.utexas.edu/webcasts, on the day of the event to access the webcast. You will need to have QuickTime installed to watch the streaming video.

*Parking is available in Lot 40 (complimentary subject to availability) or in the UT Manor Garage (fee charged), located on the corner of Clyde Littlefield Dr. and Robert Dedman Dr.