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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:21 PM
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Chalabi's War
George W. Bush is running for a second term on the basis of his performance in the defense of our national security. Vice President Cheney has flatly stated that if Bush loses in 2004, the terrorists win. In truth, however, the national security of the United States of America has been raped by these people. Rape is a strong word, but in truth, is not strong enough to describe what has taken place. This disaster can be summed up in one name: Ahmad Chalabi.

Chalabi was the head of the Iraqi National Congress, a dissident group organized for the purpose of overthrowing the regime of Saddam Hussein. Chalabi was a beloved ally of Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney before they came to power with this administration; Chalabi and his group were the impetus behind the passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, legislation advocated loudly by Rumsfeld, Cheney and the neo-conservatives who now occupy this government.

Rumsfeld personally groomed Chalabi to take control of Iraq once Hussein was removed. This, despite the fact that Chalabi was convicted of 32 counts of bank fraud in Jordan and sentenced in absentia to 22 years in prison, despite the fact that Chalabi had not set foot in Iraq since he was a teenager, despite the fact that he had no power base and no credibility in the Middle East. Because the neo-cons loved him, however, Chalabi saw his opening. More than anything, he lusted after the oil revenues available from an Iraq he controlled.

Flash forward to January 2001. George W. Bush and his crew took office, and within a week of the inauguration, began planning for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. These plans were kicked into high gear after the attacks of September 11. Bush, grudgingly, agreed to attack Afghanistan and dismantle that Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold. Iraq, however, was large in the minds of Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and the other architects of our current condition. By September of 2002, Afghanistan was left aside another failed Mission Accomplished and Iraq was the new focus.

The attacks of September 11 made Ahmad Chalabi. The Bush administration had already decided to attack Iraq, and then began casting about for evidence to support the decision which had already been made. Don Rumsfeld organized a secretive group within the Defense Department called the Office of Special Plans, the purpose of which was to cherry-pick intelligence reports that made Iraq appear to be an imminent threat. Representatives of the OSP including Vice President Cheney, Cheney deputy Lewis Scooter Libby, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich visited CIA headquarters on several occasions to browbeat the analysts into toughening up their analyses of the Iraqi threat.

More than any single person, Ahmad Chalabi was the source for the intelligence on the Iraqi threat that was offered to the American people. Chalabi was the man who claimed Iraq was in possession of vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. He was able to broadband this lie by becoming the trusted source for New York Times journalist Judy Miller. Miller wrote article after article about the WMD threat posed by Iraq, based on the false data provided by Chalabi. The rest of the news media piggy-backed on the reputation of the Times and re-reported Millers WMD information across the news spectrum, turning Chalabis false data into axiomatic truth in the eyes of the American public. It was a masterful stroke.

Chalabi was the man who claimed Hussein enjoyed deep operational connections with Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terror network. This allegation, along with the claims of weapons of mass destruction, created the imminent threat aura which greased the skids towards invasion. Like the WMD claims, no proof of the al Qaeda allegations could be established.

Finally, Chalabi was the man who told Rumsfeld and the rest of the crew that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would be a cakewalk, that the people of Iraq would welcome us with flowers and joy. 802 dead American soldiers later, thousands of wounded American soldiers later, at least ten thousand dead Iraqis later, uncounted billions of dollars later, we have come to see exactly how wrong this claim was. Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest believed him implicitly in every aspect, because he was telling them what they wanted to hear.

Rumsfeld, the OSP and the neo-cons in general did not have much use throughout all this for the American intelligence community. The CIA, for one, refused to deliver the clear-cut evidence of an Iraqi threat needed to justify the already-made decision to invade. Because Rumsfeld and the rest had Chalabi in hand, they happily cut the CIA and the rest of the American intelligence community completely out of the loop. This actually became funny last summer, when the Bush administration went out of its way to blame the CIA for the fact that no weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda connections could be found in Iraq.

Now, we come to discover that Chalabi, beloved by the Bush administration, was in fact serving the national security interests of Iran. For the record, Iran does have operational relationships with international terrorism, and does have a robust program for the development of weapons of mass destruction.

The CIA is in possession today of rock-solid evidence that Ahmad Chalabi is an agent of the Iranian government, that he used his position with the Bush administration to push false data upon the gullible hawks in Washington. According to a report by Julian Borger in the UK Guardian, The CIA has hard evidence that Mr. Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions.

The implications, writes Borger, are far-reaching. Mr. Chalabi and Mr. Habib were the channels for much of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons on which Washington built its case for war. It's pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner, said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi. Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, said: When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy.

Irans motives are crystal clear. Iraq has been a mortal enemy of Iran for decades. The process engineered by Chalabi has destroyed that enemy, and opened the way to a Shia-controlled Iraq that would be a natural ally of Shia-controlled Iran. In the process, Iran has come into possession of national security secrets so important that only a select few American officials were cleared for them. As a side benefit, Iran has watched the United States flail like a beached whale in Iraq, squandering billions of dollars and thousands of lives while shattering its reputation around the world.

George W. Bush and his people delivered this boon to Iran on a silver platter. Let us recap:

The Bush administration, enamored of Chalabi, threw the American intelligence services under the bus, leaving us blind, deaf and dumb;

The Bush administration barnstormed us into a catastrophic war in Iraq on the word of Chalabi, giving Osama bin Laden the kind of rallying point he had previously only fantasized about;

Because the Bush administration trusted Chalabi so completely, he was able to give our national security secrets to Iran, while simultaneously feeding Bushs people disinformation about Iraq, which they were all too ready to hear and act upon;

The Bush administration paid Chalabi $340,000 a month to do this, over and above whatever he earned from Iranian intelligence for selling us down the river.

The damage all this has done is incalculable.

The hawks will try to put all the blame for this on Ahmad Chalabi alone, and will claim they were duped. The truth, however, is that Bushs people have been courting Chalabi for years, long before they became a part of this administration. He is their creature. The truth is that Bushs people wanted this Iraq war, and were willing to do whatever was necessary to get it. Chalabi was their vehicle, and in using him, they have betrayed us all.

The truth is that George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the neo-conservatives are personally responsible for the delivery of our most precious national security secrets into the hands of Iran, a nation that has believed itself to be at war with us since the Carter administration. The method of that delivery, this Iraq invasion and occupation, has made the entire world a more dangerous place by orders of magnitude. Thousands are dead, and more will certainly die, because of this.

There is no repackaged Five-Point Plan this administration can offer, no series of campaign speeches which can salvage this situation. In the interest of national security, George W. Bush and all of his people must be purged from government as soon as possible. They have lost the war, they have lost the peace, they have disgraced us throughout the world, and they have dim-witted their way through all of this for the benefit of Iran. Rape is a strong word, but is all too appropriate for what has taken place here.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Will - is it too soon to just ask the questions
what type of information was going to Iran (the references are about CURRENT intel)... list what we know (go to for quick recent rundown)... and leave the question per: what information that could endanger US lives (troops?) was passed on that was of such a highly classified nature that only a few in the US govt had access to it? Is it possible that the "increasingly coordinated and sophisticated attacks" - are indeed from foreign fighters (or at least coordinated externally?) ... as unthinkable as it seems to be, is it possible that the neocons blind trust in Chalabi and by default Habib (who was in charge of intelligence collection for the IGC - in an effort with the DIA)... actually has led to direct attacks on US positions/assets/interests on the ground in Iraq?

Just raising this - is there any way to incorporate the questions raised about what CURRENT intel was passed and what it might mean in this essay? Very few are pursuing this - and Laura Rozen (war and piece) seems to be compiling the most comprehensive info and doing some interesting analysis that I have been able to find. These are questions that the public (and Congress) should be asking.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. kinda fun bit of information
Spin of the Week
PR Watch, May 9, 2003
INC Seeks Enhanced Credibility
"Burson-Marsteller is working to enhance the credibility of the Iraqi National Congress as it seeks to establish itself as a legitimate force in postinvasion Iraq," writes the Holmes Report, a PR trade publication. "B-M has been working with the Congress, led by highprofile Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi, since 1999, under a state department contract. Chalabi and the Congress have close ties with the Bush administration, but some critics are concerned that their support within Iraq is shallow. 'We've been the communications vehicle on the outside as the INC moved into northern Iraq, then to Nasiriya, and to Baghdad,' K. Riva Levinson, who heads the INC account for Burson out of Washington, told reporters. 'We were helping the INC get out statements and videos that made clear that the exiled opposition was consolidating and moving. It's been a tremendous ride for them and for us.'" Source: The Holmes Report, May 5, 2003

More on Burson-Marsteller:

Corpwatch UK writes, "Burson-Marsteller (B-M) is one of the largest public relations (PR) agencies in the world and also the most reviled due to its mercenary attitude in choosing clients and contracts, and its frequent run ins with activists for environmental and other progressive causes. When helping its industry clients to escape environmental legislation or sprucing up the image of some of the most repressive governments on Earth, B-M brings to bear state of the art techniques in manipulating the mass media, legislators and public opinion."

The company has represented deposed Romanian despot Nicolae Ceaucescu, the repressive Indonesian and Nigerian governments, Union Carbide after the Bhopal disaster, Monsanto, Phillip Morris and GlaxoSmithKline.

In one notorious incident in the late nineties, B-M published a "study" which calculated that dead smokers actually bring profit to the state treasuries of nations. The "study" provided figures and a press conference was organized in Prague, Czech Republic. The company ended up apologizing to the Czech government after public outcry.

B-M is also behind the National Smoker's Alliance, a U.S.-based front group created for Philip Morris to oppose restrictions on smoking in public places.

B-M was hired by the Saudi government immediately following 9/11 to spin that country's complicity in the terrorist act. PR Watch's Sheldon Rampon writes, "O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported that Saudi Arabia hired PR giant Burson-Marsteller on September 14 to provide "issues counseling and crisis management" and to place ads in The New York Times expressing Saudi support for the U.S. in its time of crisis.

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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. Hey Will ...Great , but I have a question
Totally off topic sorry .

My interview went well , and I wanted to send
you a copy . Because of your advice it really
turned out well .

Do you have a p.o box I can mail it too ?

Should I mail it to Truthout ?

Chow :hi:
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. When I watched this slithering snake at length on. . .
the Sunday "snooze shows", I thought, "this dude is so disingenuous, who would trust him for even a heartbeat. . .?"

On the upside, he might just end up roasting the whole cabal of neocons in the end, especially if the Iranian connection is proven and verifiable . Hope so.

I also wish that if restitution is to be paid to the victims of this illegal war (as Rumsfeld intimated regarding the detainees), then it should come from the Halliburton, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chalabi, and Carlyle coffers.

Yes, I am delusional.

Great writing. Thanks for the article once again.
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DinahMoeHum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. a slight correction is in order, Will. . .
The NY Times "writer" you speak of is JUDITH MILLER.

I think you should also mention Douglas Feith, who, I believe, actually headed the "OSP" at the Pentagon.

Other than that, another solid piece.

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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. You know what I find amazing?
Historically this type of massive failure, deception and treachery is only discovered years later, usually as a result of deep background research by some diligent historian. But we're seeing it played out almost in real time (by historical standards). I know it does seem early days yet, but I imagine the real story is not far off.

I don't know if this is a result of our "instant information" society that we live in OR because of leaks of information deliberately revealed for a purpose.

Think about it. The CIA and other intelligence agencies have been ignored, ridiculed and ultimately blamed for the supposed "intelligence failures" that led to 9/11 and the missing WMD.

The regular military has also been ignored and overruled by Rumsfeld, Perle, Feith, et al. over whether and how the Iraq war should be fought, with predictable results.

The State Department has been marginalized, its leader kept out of the loop, except for the dissemination of propaganda and bullying of allies and friends.

I can't help but wonder if all this bad news about Abu Ghraib, the information we're hearing about the Chalabi/Iran connection and the almost daily screw-ups by the neocon ringmasters are being propagated by the the fore-mentioned agencies themselves.

Not to say that this is disinformation here. I think most career security professionals think the administration is just fouling everything up so badly, refusing to take responsibility for anything and passing the blame. On to them.

So they're releasing a document here, a few pictures there, revealing meeting details and leaving clues so the alert investigative reporter can "connect the dots".

The real story happens when the so-called "mainstream media" will snap to attention and do their jobs. Whatever happened to the "Woodsteins" of the media anyhow?
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. That's My Theory. This is CIA Payback All the Way
The CIA is systmatically dropping bombs and spreading the love to several media outlets...From the prison abuse pics to the Chalabi raid it all comes back to the spooks turning on the admin and supplying the crucial information and confirmation.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. Kick!
This is so so huge...
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never cry wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. Payback's a bitch, huh?
Seems fitting seeing as how we maneuvered both sides into a bloody 8 year war.

Nice piece Will. I thought I'd suggest maybe adding "once proud" when referring to the US reputation, but on second thought...
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is so bad for Bush
Treason, incompetence, and now doing the "Axis-of-Evil's" dirty work for them.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. Wonderful
If anyone was going to take you to task over rape comparisons it would be me but I'm with you on this one. They have bent the entire country over.

You keep right on yelling about this one. This band of idiots trusted someone who was obviously not trustworthy just because he was saying what they wanted to hear. It's incompetence of the highest order. And they cannot be allowed to get out of this by laying all the blame on Chalabi or Iran. (And yes, I'm petrified that they're going to try to use this as an excuse to go to war with Iran - a point you didn't mention.)

Oh, one quick nitpick. I think you're supposed to capitalize State Department.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
11. T R E A S O N !
Of the highest order.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. kickety
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greenman3610 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Larry Johnson
who was prominently quoted in the recent article about
Chalabi being an Iranian spy...
we'ver seen Johnson before on ABC and PBS, as a
vector for CIA displeasure about the Plame affair.
His prominent visibility here suggests
this is more CIA payback.
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