Tuesday, July 13, 2004

It's not just failed intelligence agencies: How the con-man Chalabai worked with the neo-cons to sell the phony case for war. The New Yorker gave us the inside story in June: The New Yorker: Fact Here's how Jane Mayer summarized Chalabi's pro-war schemes:

"Between 1992 and the raid on Chalabi’s home, the U.S. government funnelled more than a hundred million dollars to the Iraqi National Congress. The current Bush Administration gave Chalabi’s group at least thirty-nine million dollars. Exactly what the I.N.C. provided in exchange for these sums has yet to be fully explained. Chalabi defined his role simply. `I clarified the picture,' he said. His many critics, however, believe that he distorted it. Diplomatic and intelligence officials accuse him of exaggerating the security threat that Iraq posed to the U.S.; supplying defectors who offered misleading or bogus testimony about Saddam’s efforts to acquire nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons; promoting questionable stories connecting Saddam to Al Qaeda; and overestimating the ease with which Saddam could be replaced with a Western-style democracy.

"Vincent Cannistraro, a former C.I.A. counter-terrorism specialist who now consults for the government, told me, `With Chalabi, we paid to fool ourselves. It’s horrible. In other times, it might be funny. But a lot of people are dead as a result of this. It’s reprehensible.'"

Now the Columbia Journalism Review tells us more about how Chalabai's group conned the press with bogus defector tales.

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