Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Stand By Your Man

The Associated Press, via The New York Times, is reporting that "Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz insisted Tuesday that Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi's organization provided information that helped U.S. forces in Iraq but conceded that some of Chalabi's recent behavior was 'puzzling.'"

The article continues, "Wolfowitz, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, denied that Chalabi was ever a favorite of the Pentagon, as he has been widely described."

In rushing to Chalabi's defense, Wolfowitz said referring to recent actions by the CIA, "I am surprised that he seems to be the target, for many years, of particular animus from some parts of this government"

So Wolfowitz is attempting to distance himself from Chalabi, while at the same time describing him as a productive source who provided intelligence that "saved American lives and enabled us to capture some key enemy targets."

I assume that the intelligence he is referring to would not be those items regarding Iraq's vast stockpiles of WMDs (including an extensive nuclear weapons program). Nor the alleged extensive collaborations between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Also, probably not the stuff that suggested that U.S. forces would be greeted as liberators with flowers and candy, that no major insurgency would materialize, and that Chalabi enjoyed a popular mandate strong enough to assume the leadership of post-Saddam Iraq. Because I think that intelligence probably cost American lives, not saved them.

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