Ahmad Chalabi’s been outed yet again, this time by McClatchy, as a buddy of the Iranians:
The Bush administration introduced Ahmad Chalabi, the former U.S. ally and perennially controversial Iraqi politician, as a secular, pro-Western Mr. Fix-It who could slide right into Saddam Hussein’s old seat.
Instead, he embarrassed the Bush White House with bogus pre-war intelligence, aligned himself with Shiite Muslim extremists and got uncomfortably friendly with Iran.
Now, he’s No. 3 on an electoral ticket alongside Iraq’s biggest Shiite Muslim factions and his name is cropping up regularly as a potential prime minister. If Chalabi does, finally, ascend to an elected post in Iraq, Washington won’t be cheering. These days, the nimble politician’s fortunes are more closely tied to militant Shiite factions and their allies in Tehran than they are to Washington.
This is not exactly fresh news, buddy. For instance, here’s a couple portions of a Newsday piece from May 22, 2004 (the date it also appeared in the Seattle Times):
The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that for years Iran has used a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress to funnel 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 (ICP) information to provoke the United Sates into getting rid of Saddam Hussein,” said an intelligence source who was briefed on the conclusions of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
The ICP also “kept the Iranians informed about what we were doing” by passing classified U.S. documents and other sensitive information, he said. The ICP 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.”
Indications that Iran, which fought a bloody war against Iraq during the 1980s, was trying to lure the United States into action against Saddam Hussein appeared many years before the Bush administration decided in 2001 that ousting Saddam was a national priority.
In 1995, for instance, Khidhir Hamza, who had once worked in Iraq’s nuclear program and whose claims that Iraq had continued a massive bomb program in the 1990s are now largely discredited, gave United Nations nuclear inspectors what appeared to be explosive documents about Iraq’s program.
Hamza, who fled Iraq in 1994, later teamed up with Chalabi.
Lovely, eh? And the neocons fell for it hook, line and sinker.
But let the man himself speak, courtesy of McClatchy:
“The Americans outplayed themselves, nobody outplayed them,” Chalabi said in an interview with McClatchy this week in Baghdad. “They believed their own propaganda.”
He oughta know. He’s the guy who recited it to them — or at least to the neocon dickweeds who were in both PNAC and Israel’s Likud party. You know, guys like Doug Feith, who per General Tommy Franks is “the f-ing stupidest guy on the face of the earth”?
Chalabi wanted to get both Israel and the US on board with the idea of toppling Saddam Hussein, on the pretext that a Saddamless Iraq would be much friendlier to both Israel and the US. But what the neocons, so enamored of throwing their own weight around as per The Ledeen Doctrine, failed to see was that the main beneficiary of a US invasion of Iraq was in fact Iran.