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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Chalabi visits Iran, then Washington

Thought I was so clever connecting the two stories. First, the AP story last Friday, reporting that Chalabi was coming to the US next week to visit with Condi Rice, the AEI/Ledeen, "senior US officials," and attempting a meeting with Dick Cheney. Then today, in an AP article, a reference to Chalabi visiting the new Iranian hardline president Ahmadinejad.

Thought I was so clever, then I come across the NYTimes version that references both meetings.

Questions: First, is Chalabi acting as a back channel between the US and Iran? Perhaps more pertinently, if you look at his schedule of identified visits in the US, is he acting as a back channel for certain neoconish elements of this administration? Ledeen, Rice, and Cheney were all cheerleaders for the war and all had their hands in the "mushroom cloud" language. How active is the "cabal" at this point?

Second, we can question the obviously false intel he channeled into US intel stream through others who supported the war, but the bottom line is this:

Isn't Chalabi still under investigation for leaking intercept information to Iran? Should Rice, or any other "senior US official" be meeting with this guy?

Let's flashback to a June 3, 2004 front page Washington Post piece.

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice yesterday promised Congress a full investigation into allegations that an Iraqi politician supported by the Pentagon told Iran the United States had broken the code it used for secret communications, and U.S. officials said the revelation destroyed an important source of intelligence.

In a closed-door damage assessment on Capitol Hill, National Security Agency officials said the disclosure cut off a significant stream of information about Iran at a time when the United States is worried about the country's nuclear ambitions, its support for terrorist groups and its efforts to exert greater influence over Iraq.

How's that investigation going Condi? You like the promotion you got for doing nothing about it? We've all been buying into the line that Cheney was the only evil in the Iraq buildup, but tell me this doesn't stink.


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