Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Rethinking Chalabi

A couple of recent articles question the conventional wisdom that Ahmad Chalabi was an Iranian spy or that he single-handedly duped the intelligence community. The first is by Christopher Hitchens, who addresses each of the recent accusations against Chalabi in turn. He does a sensible job, even if the article does indulge a bit in name dropping. The second piece is by Michael Ledeen, who spells out the entangling relationship between a number of Iraqis leaders and the Iranians. For those who wish to have a better sense of the middle-eastern chess board, it is worth reading in full.   

Discussions - 1 Comment

I am still not sure how to take the Chalabi situation. I read Hitchens’ and Ledeen’s articles and see what they are saying. There is no question that Chalabi was a patriot dedicated to the end of Saddam, and has personally given things of value up toward that end, and that the CIA and DoS have had it in for him for a long time. But it is also true that we are imperfect beings, and he would not be the first to have let personal ambition overrule his good judgement when losing the political battles for power while building the new government after achieving the first part of the dream.

Where I got skeptical about Chalabi was when he appeared on Fox News Sunday after the raid and multiple times invoked abu Ghraib to deflect cri=ticism of himself- as in "you can’t believe my CPA accusers, because they are the people responsible for abu Ghraib". He thus essentially accused the US of sanctioning and creating evil in abu Ghraib as a means of defending himself from his own issues. It seems to me that a truly innocent man deals in facts, not sensational and stupid countercharges of dubious veracity.

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