Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, August 09, 2004

Chalabi Folly

There has been unusual silence about this Ahmad Chalabi business. He was the major source for WMD "information" before the war. The Pentagon, Rumsfeld leading, wanted him as the the interim leader in Baghdad. This is widely known. Now we discover he's been playing the Iranians too, and worse. The Allawi regime in Iraq has now charged Chalabi with all manner of capital crimes. Who is the bigger fool, the fool, or the fools who follow him?

Question: where is the accountability? Where is the resignation of those in the Pentagon who relied on Chalabi for so much? Where is the admission that we were either (a) fooled, or (b) using Chalabi's lies for our own purposes? The editors at The Economist were right that, for the Abu Ghraib fiasco, Rumsfeld's resignation was the only thing that could have restored credibility (Instead, the hapless Lynddie England is the fall girl). And in such things, Rumsfeld was only the root cause, not the instigator. For this error in judgment, the lack of accountability is proof that the Bush administration has learned nothing from its mistakes, and intends to learn nothing. The only solution is a new administration.

The bottom line, after the WMD reports and the expose of Chalabi, is that we now know that we were under no "imminent threat." We had all the time we needed to put together a real international coalition, including real Arab support, and squeeze out the Ba'athist regime. Nearly a thousand American soldiers are dead now, and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.


Raised By Republicans said...

A while ago, I made the argument on this blog that the root problem with this administration and the war in Iraq was a lack of oversight and accountability.

What I find so frustrating is the obvious and all to predictable course of events with regard to the Abu Gharib case. It is increasingly clear that there was at least a theater-wide - and possibly global - policy of abuse and torture in US and allied run prisons and detention centers. Yet despite the obvious and wide spread pattern, no one above the rank of sergeant has been indicted.

It is clear that the military cannot be expected to investigate itself in these sorts of cases. These are exactly the kinds of cases which make civilian control of the military so important. However, the Republican party has demonstrated an unwillingness to criticize let alone interefer with the military. Indeed, political appointees at DOD have pushed the policies that resulted in this whole mess.

I agree with Law Talking Guy that we will never be able to put this behind use so long as the Republican party remains in control of both houses of Congress and the White House.

US West said...

It has been reported in the Arab media (for what it is worth) that Chalibi had access to Saddam's intelligence files, filled with nasty tidbits on US officials. If you recall, when Chalabi was kicked out of his offices, the troops cleaned boxes of files. Speculation is that they were "protecting" intelligence info.

True or not, the story makes me think of all the books I have read about intelligence. I am struck by how accepted history changes or is enriched because of newly declassified documents exposing deeper truths about past events. I have no doubt this is especially true of the time we are now in.
My point here is that is unwise to think that the US government was taken in by Chalabi or that it was using him because he told them what they wanted to hear. There is probably a lot more to that story buried in the vaults of the NSA and the DIA that we are not ever going to know about. Maybe he was part of a counter intelligence game. You can't know.