Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Chalabi's hobbies

Josh Marshall has information about Ahmed Chalabi:

Chalabi and his supporters regularly take credit for trying to warn the US that a planned coup attempt, run by the CIA from Jordan in 1996, had been compromised and would fail.

High-ranking CIA agents, however, believed it was Chalabi who had tipped off the Iraqis because he -- i.e., Chalabi -- was not part of it, and thus would have been left out in the cold had it succeeded.

On this point, it has never been clear to me what the nature of the evidence was that made people at CIA believe this. And thus I cannot speak to or vouch for the quality of that evidence. On that point I want to be clear. But I've spoken to enough folks to be quite clear that this was their consensus view of what happened.

And according to Newsweek, Chalabi too has information and is willing to share it:

U.S. officials say that electronic intercepts of discussions between Iranian leaders indicate that Chalabi and his entourage told Iranian contacts about American political plans in Iraq. There are also indications that Chalabi has provided details of U.S. security operations.

Despite all Chalabi's treachery and deception, I think he'll have very little sway in post-occupation Iraq. His only power comes from his connections with the Pentagon and even his allies in Washington are getting wise to his game. It is only a matter of time before he is more or less cut adrift. When this happens, he will be out of luck and without any clout. Iraqi politicians (or militants) with actual bases of support will almost certainly elcipsle him.


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