Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Energizer Bunny of Baghdad Grifters

If you wanted to cram all the Bush Administration's folly, stupidity and inability to learn into the story of one person, it would be Ahmad Chalabi, the con man who milked the U.S. for millions, lied us into the war and now is a key figure in helping Prime Minister al Maliki and Gen. Petraeus put Iraq back together.

His new job is to press the central government to use gains from the Surge to deliver better electricity, health, education and security services to Baghdad neighborhoods.

Never mind that, as late as this summer, he was sabotaging U.S. plans for de-Bathification and spying for Iran, today Chalabi "is an important part of the process," according to Col. Steven Boylan, Petraeus' spokesman. "He has a lot of energy."

During the runup to the war, Chalabi was promoted by Neo-Cons as the “George Washington of Iraq.” A fugitive from Jordan after being convicted of bank fraud, he told the Pentagon all about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda for which we paid $33 million over four years. None of it turned out to be true.

Nonetheless, he stayed on the U.S. payroll until 2004. About that time, we learned Chalabi was selling information to Iran, letting them know that one of our sources of Iranian intelligence was a broken code used by their spy services.

Now he is devoting all that "energy" into helping us put the pieces of Iraq back together. If Petraeus and al Maliki have him over to lunch to discuss his progress, they had better count the silverware before he leaves.

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