Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chalabi: Our Iraqi Cockroach

Donald Rumsfeld is out of office, Paul Wolfowitz is in disgrace and Scooter Libby is on his way to jail. But the criminal who played them like a banjo to con the U. S. out of millions of dollars and into a calamitous war is still over there sabatoging efforts to get peace in Iraq and American troops out.

In a report on Iraqi failure to make progress toward sectarian peace, the New York Times yesterday singled out the Reconciliation and Accountability Law that would undo some of the damage of de-Bathification:

“Sunnis supported the overhaul, and Shiites and Kurds were expected to fall in line...But the law was stymied by Ahmad Chalabi, the former Pentagon protégé...Having just renovated a spacious office in the Green Zone, he has strongly opposed any effort to weaken his position or the country’s policy on former Baathists.”

Once promoted by Neo-Cons as the “George Washington of Iraq,” heading the de-Bathification Commission is Chalabi’s last remaining role in the government after being driven out over charges of fraud, theft and counterfeiting, and he is using it to rally Shiites against reconciliation.

Before the invasion, Chalabi, a fugitive from Jordan after being convicted of bank fraud, was providing the Pentagon with 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.

Nonetheless, he stayed on the U.S. payroll until 2004 when, in an interview, he gloated about misleading us into Iraq: “We are heroes in error. As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important."

Soon after the money stopped and very likely before that, we learned that Chalabi was providing information to Iran, letting them know that one of our valuable sources of Iranian intelligence was a broken code used by their spy services.

All in all, our busy-as-a-bee Iraqi helper has turned out to be as useful and hardy as a cockroach.

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