the"War of Chalabi's Chutzpah"

Chalabi.jpg


Some day this entire wretched adventure may be known as the "War of Chalabi's Chutzpah," rivalling the stupidity of another disastrous imperial obscenity which began with a fake casus belli, the "War of Jenkin's Ear."

Newsday seems to have something of a scoop today [has anybody heard from the NYTimes these days, except to hear it mouth Washington's pieties?], reporting that our own Defense Intelligence Agency has decided that Chalabi, the man the Administration had expected to install as Sadaam Hussein's successor, had duped his Pentagon paymasters in order to get the U.S. to attack and occupy Iraq.

But the report gets still more incredible. Chalabi was working in the interests of Iran all along, meaning that Bush has been working hard for a prominent member of the "Axis of Evil." Could the theocrats in that unfortunate land be any more grateful to the Republican Party? Remember Iran-Contra as this latest treason unfolds.

WASHINGTON - The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has been used for years by Iranian intelligence to pass disinformation to the United States and to collect highly sensitive American secrets, according to intelligence sources.

"Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the United States through Chalabi by furnishing through his Information Collection Program information to provoke the United States into getting rid of Saddam Hussein," said an intelligence source Friday who was briefed on the Defense Intelligence Agency's conclusions, which were based on a review of thousands of internal documents.

The Information Collection Program also "kept the Iranians informed about what we were doing" by passing classified U.S. documents and other sensitive information, he said. The program has received millions of dollars from the U.S. government over several years.

An administration official confirmed that "highly classified information had been provided [to the Iranians] through that channel."

The Defense Department this week halted payment of $340,000 a month to Chalabi's program. Chalabi had long been the favorite of the Pentagon's civilian leadership. Intelligence sources say Chalabi himself has passed on sensitive U.S. intelligence to the Iranians.

Patrick Lang, former director of the intelligence agency's Middle East branch, said he had been told by colleagues in the intelligence community that Chalabi's U.S.-funded program to provide information about weapons of mass destruction and insurgents was effectively an Iranian intelligence operation. "They [the Iranians] knew exactly what we were up to," he said.

'Sophisticated' operation

He described it as "one of the most sophisticated and successful intelligence operations in history."

"I'm a spook. I appreciate good work. This was good work," he said.

I can appreciate good work too. Those of us who oppose this Administartion with every fiber of our being could hardly have imagined that such a damning scenario might unfold in the media, triggered and abetted by top civilian and military officials in the U.S. government, some of them certainly Republican. I already knew it would be a very interesting year, but I thought we'd probably have to do all of the work ourselves.


[image by Michael Shaw, from BAGnews]