Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Ahmed Chalabi...You're Fired!

After more than $27 million in payments made over four years for intelligence reports on WMDs and ties to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, that internal reviews by the United States government have found to be "useless, misleading or even fabricated," the Bush administration has finally decided to stop payments to Ahmed Chalabi and his group, the Iraqi National Congress.

Chalabi, who in 1989 was convicted, in abstentia, in Jordan for fraud and embezzlement for his role as chairman of Petra Bank, was and still is highly regarded by civilians in the Pentagon, partricularly Paul Wolfowitz, as well as administration officials such as Vice President Dick Cheney. In fact, his supporters in the Bush administration, believing his claims of popular support amongst the Iraqi population, intended to make Chalabi the first Prime Minister of post-Saddam Iraq. Unfortunately for Chalabi and his proponents, it soon became clear after the invasion that the Iraqi in exile, who left Iraq at the age of 7 in the same year that the Dodgers left Brooklyn, was not trusted, known or particularly well-liked amongst the Iraqi populous, and he would not be accepted or supported as a leader.

Like an addict unable to shake a destructive habit, the Bush administration continues to make payments of approximately $340,000 a month to Chalabi despite the fact that the intelligence he provided in the run-up to the invasion regarding WMDs, Al-Qaeda ties, the expected reaction of the Iraqi people to U.S. forces and his own popular mandate as a leader has been described as either incorrect or deceitful, and has led to many of the mistakes made in arguing for the invasion and the subsequent mismanagement of the reconstruction. The good news is that these sizable payments will cease on June 30, the date of the handover of limited sovereignty to a still unknown and unidentified Iraqi governing body.

The New York Times is covering this story here.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?