Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Chalabi schadenfreude: The conning of the neo-cons 

The chalabi saga, in all its unfolding glory, is almost too rich. It's just more proof that, as the old adage has it, you can't con an honest man. Spiky et al write:

NEWSWEEK has learned that the National Security Agency first uncovered evidence indicating Chalabi’s possible compromises of U.S. intelligence and sent a criminal referral to the FBI requesting an investigation into the alleged leak to Iran. A similar referral was sent to the FBI by the Defense Intelligence Agency, which until recently was responsible for managing Pentagon payments to Chalabi’s group and for supervising its intelligence-collection efforts.

It's like half the government's trying to arrest the other half!

Last week, U.S. intelligence officials requested that NEWSWEEK and several other media organizations refrain from publishing some details about what kind of intelligence information Chalabi and the INC were alleged to have given to the Iranians.

Do they never learn? This is just like getting CBS to hold back on the Abu Ghraib story. Didn't do Bush any good then either, though. We think.

After some details surfaced in print and TV reports earlier this week, however, officials withdrew their requests, leading to a spate of media reports alleging that Chalabi or one of his associates told the Iranians that U.S. intelligence had cracked a secret code system used by the Iranian intelligence service. U.S. political activists close to Chalabi have told reporters in recent days that Chalabi learned about the codebreaking in Baghdad from a drunken U.S. official.
(via Newsweek)

I wonder what the US official was drunk on? Power? And who was the official? And who are the "US political activists"? Somehow, I don't think they're members of ANSWER....

And the story ends with this a little tidbit:

Some officials said that when Iraqi authorities raided Chalabi’s offices, one of the things American officials hoped they would look for was Chalabi’s cache of information he had gathered on Americans.

"Americans" like, perhaps, the neo-cons?

Anyhow, it beggars belief that our neo-cons would get involved with this guy. What was the bond? I mean, does Chalabi lick his comb before passing it through his hair, just like Perle? Does he fuck goats?

NOTE See here for interesting details of "the art of the con." For example, could Iraq be a "big store"? We should, I think, return to this topic. Readers?

UPDATE The essential Atrios catches Bush—incredible as it may seem—lying about his contacts with Chalabi. Of course, there are photos.

UPDATE Alert reader Conrad puts on his tinfoil hat asks this pertinent question: "Now who is the most prominent, supposedly reformed, drunk in the regime?" Maybe Chalabi is sending Bush a message?

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