Friday, April 06, 2007

Chalabi: The Iranian Sequel?

From CNN last night: “An Iranian opposition group based in Iraq, despite being considered terrorists by the United States, continues to receive protection from the American military in the face of Iraqi pressure to leave the country.

“It’s a paradox only because the United States considers the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq or MEK a source of valuable intelligence on Iran...The group is also credited with helping expose Iran’s secret nuclear program.”

Does the name Ahmed Chalabi ring a bell? Before the invasion of Iraq, he was providing us with “valuable intelligence” on 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.

Even so, we backed Chalabi as a major player in the post-Saddam era until he ran into a little trouble over charges of fraud, theft and counterfeiting and gave an interview that annoyed President Bush.

Now we have an Iranian counterpart to Chalabi’s exile group, with the added touch of a reputation for terrorism. The Iraqis don’t want them, our State Department doesn’t want them, but somebody in our gullible government apparently does.

George Bush could never get it right, but the expression goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Somebody should explain it to him, because what happened before we went into Iraq could be happening again.

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