Chalabi to Team up with Al-Sadr

Note- It’s hard to keep track of ther players without a score card… Here are my Cliffs Notes…

Ahmed Chalabi is the Iraqi-American who Team Bush relied on heavily for WMD intelligence, which later turned out to be completely false. Chalabi has been hanging around Washington DC for years, trying to convince the US to overthrow Saddam, and he has his own lobbyists and PR firms working for him. Chalabi is also a convicted felon wanted in Jordan for bank fraud. Team Clinton knew Chalabi was a con man and ignored him, but people in Bush’s Defense Dept embraced him, even though the State Dept (Colin Powell etc) warned them that Chalabi was a con man and couldn’t be trusted. Up until a month ago or so, the Bush White House was funding Chalabi to the tune of 300,000 dollars of taxpayer money per MONTH, until US troops broke down Chalabi’s door in Iraq recently, on suspiscion that Chalabi is actually a foriegn agent working for IRAN.

Now as various forces jockey for power in Iraq after the US handover, it looks like Chalabi is forming an alliance with Moqtada Al-Sadr, the Shi’ite cleric whose supporters US troops battled with over Fallujah, and who currently has seized control over four other Iraqi cities and is fighting against US troops.

Think there will be “democracy” in Iraq with a Chalabi/Al-Sadr coalition in power? Is this how we’ll “liberate” Iraq?

Chalabi’s new role: Coalition builder
Dumped by U.S.,the former Iraqi exile tries to recruit anti-American cleric as political partner.

Los Angeles Times
Published on: 07/29/04

Ahmed Chalabi is a survivor. Snubbed by the Bush administration neoconservatives who once embraced him, the Iraqi patrician turned populist is building a grass-roots coalition of Shiite Muslim groups.

“The Americans kicked him out the front door, but he is climbing back in through the window,” said Jabber Habib, a professor at Baghdad University who closely tracks Shiite politics.

Ahmed Chalabi says his Shiite Political Council represents foes of Saddam Hussein ‘who were .?.?. left out of the new government.’

Among those Chalabi is reaching out to is prominent anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Political analysts here believe Chalabi’s new approach eventually will win support from a significant segment of al-Sadr’s followers if he chooses to run for office in the Iraqi elections scheduled for January.

That would give Chalabi and his new organization, the Shiite Political Council, mass support that could yield real clout in the majority Shiite community.

More established Shiite parties alternately discount Chalabi and describe him as a challenging opponent. He is gathering up the political scraps, “mingling with little groups” in the words of Ridha Taqi, director of political relations for one of the two major Shiite parties, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

But he acknowledged that if Chalabi can bring al-Sadr on board, he will be a formidable force.

“If the Sadr movement abandons violence and makes an alliance with Ahmad Chalabi, he will gain something from that movement,” Taqi said.

Chalabi’s organization has bypassed the Supreme Council and the Dawa Party, which have members in key posts in the interim government. Chalabi said the group is instead reaching out to the masses who feel they lack representation.

The Shiite Political Council “are the people who were in Iraq fighting the old government but were left out of the new government,” Chalabi said in an interview in his home. “This will bring into the political mainstream most of the dispossessed Shia groups and those who have been neglected in the past year after [Saddam Hussein’s] overthrow.”

Chalabi’s metamorphosis from the Pentagon’s all-but-anointed choice for president of Iraq to an outspoken critic of U.S. policy and a Shiite leader began several months ago, when it became apparent that he was unlikely to be offered a major role in the government.

He distanced himself from the United States and began to voice the widely shared frustration with the Coalition Provisional Authority and, particularly, civilian administrator L. Paul Bremer.

Chalabi’s transformation was all the more striking because he had been a persistent lobbyist for the invasion of Iraq. But with U.S. officials raising stark questions about flawed intelligence on Saddam’s purported weapons of mass destruction and subsequent allegations that Chalabi leaked American secrets to Iran, the former exile denied the accusations and began to draw himself as a victim of a U.S. campaign to destroy him.

Shunned by his chief foreign sponsor, Chalabi was free to remake himself. As part of that effort, he reached out publicly to al-Sadr.

Now, Chalabi is steadily building his new coalition. The leadership of the Shiite Political Council includes several members of the former Iraqi Governing Council who, like Chalabi, were left out of the interim government. But the bulk of the members come from small, little-known groups. They are joining because they see the organization as a means to make their voices heard.

The hope of the Shiite parties is that in the elections, Iraq will be considered a single electoral district.

Coalitions would offer slates of candidates who would join the transitional national assembly in proportion to the votes won by each slate.

Chalabi’s approach may have considerable appeal. Many Iraqis take a dim view of political parties – a legacy of the Saddam era, when a single, often abusive party ran all politics.

There is limited enthusiasm for established political organizations. By putting together a group that styles itself as a coalition, Chalabi may have it both ways: an organization with the reach of a party without the taint that tends to attach to established groups.

(Pic of Chalabi and Powell)

US intelligence fears Iran duped hawks into Iraq war
-Inquiry into Tehran’s role in starting conflict
-Top Pentagon ally Chalabi accused
Julian Borger in Washington
Tuesday May 25, 2004

The Guardian
An urgent investigation has been launched in Washington into whether Iran played a role in manipulating the US into the Iraq war by passing on bogus intelligence through Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress, it emerged yesterday.

Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq.

According to a US intelligence official, the CIA has hard evidence that Mr Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions.

The CIA has asked the FBI to investigate Mr Chalabi’s contacts in the Pentagon to discover how the INC acquired sensitive information that ended up in Iranian hands.

The implications are far-reaching. Mr Chalabi and Mr Habib were the channels for much of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons on which Washington built its case for war.

“It’s pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. “Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi.”

Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, said: “When the story ultimately comes out we’ll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy.”

Mr Chalabi has vehemently rejected the allegations as “a lie, a fib and silly”. He accused the CIA director, George Tenet, of a smear campaign against himself and Mr Habib.

However, it is clear that the CIA - at loggerheads with Mr Chalabi for more than eight years - believes it has caught him red-handed, and is sticking to its allegations.

“The suggestion that Chalabi is a victim of a smear campaign is outrageous,” a US intelligence official said. “It’s utter nonsense. He passed very sensitive and classified information to the Iranians. We have rock solid information that he did that.”

“As for Aras Karim [Habib] being a paid agent for Iranian intelligence, we have very good reason to believe that is the case,” added the intelligence official, who did not want to be named. He said it was unclear how long this INC-Iranian collaboration had been going on, but pointed out that Mr Chalabi had had overt links with Tehran “for a long period of time”.

An intelligence source in Washington said the CIA confirmed its long-held suspicions when it discovered that a piece of information from an electronic communications intercept by the National Security Agency had ended up in Iranian hands. The information was so sensitive that its circulation had been restricted to a handful of officials.

“This was ‘sensitive compartmented information’ - SCI - and it was tracked right back to the Iranians through Aras Habib,” the intelligence source said.

Mr Habib, a Shia Kurd who is being sought by Iraqi police since a raid on INC headquarters last week, has been Mr Chalabi’s righthand man for more than a decade. He ran a Pentagon-funded intelligence collection programme in the run-up to the invasion and put US officials in touch with Iraqi defectors who made claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

Those claims helped make the case for war but have since proved groundless, and US intelligence agencies are now scrambling to determine whether false information was passed to the US with Iranian connivance.

INC representatives in Washington did not return calls seeking comment.

But Laurie Mylroie, a US Iraq analyst and one of the INC’s most vocal backers in Washington, dismissed the allegations as the product of a grudge among CIA and state department officials driven by a pro-Sunni, anti-Shia bias.

She said that after the CIA raised questions about Mr Habib’s Iranian links, the Pentagon’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) conducted a lie-detector test on him in 2002, which he passed with “flying colours”.

The DIA is also reported to have launched its own inquiry into the INC-Iran link.

An intelligence source in Washington said the FBI investigation into the affair would begin with Mr Chalabi’s “handlers” in the Pentagon, who include William Luti, the former head of the office of special plans, and his immediate superior, Douglas Feith, the under secretary of defence for policy.

There is no evidence that they were the source of the leaks. Other INC supporters at the Pentagon may have given away classified information in an attempt to give Mr Chalabi an advantage in the struggle for power surrounding the transfer of sovereignty to an Iraqi government on June 30.

The CIA allegations bring to a head a dispute between the CIA and the Pentagon officials instrumental in promoting Mr Chalabi and his intelligence in the run-up to the war. By calling for an FBI counter-intelligence investigation, the CIA is, in effect, threatening to disgrace senior neo-conservatives in the Pentagon.

“This is people who opposed the war with long knives drawn for people who supported the war,” Ms Mylroie said.,3858,4931745-103681,00.html

Here’s the Washington Times with the Bushies’ spin on Chalabi, from a few months ago. See, according to the Times, Chalabi (a convicted embezzler) is clean as a whistle… it’s all the fault of the CIA and the State Dept too! I wonder if it’s a good thing when the White House is battling it’s own CIA and State Dept?

Think the Washington Times still wants to stand up for Chalabi, now that he’s playing kissy face with Al-Sadr?

Preying on Chalabi
By Joel Mowbray
Inside the halls of the State Department, career members of the Foreign Service have been buzzing about a prospect that excites them very much: President John Kerry. Never mind that their current boss is President George W. Bush.

To what extent this impacts day-to-day job performance or leaks to the press is unclear, but it is clear that Mr. Bush presides not over an administration divided on philosophy, but over an administration whose foreign policy team is dominated by those who desperately want him to lose come November.

And if Mr. Bush doesn’t act soon, their wish might be granted.

For proof, look at the “scandal” surrounding Iraqi Governing Council member and longtime U.S. ally Ahmed Chalabi. His Baghdad home was raided recently, and the media coverage has been clogged with quotes from anonymous “intelligence officials” claiming that there is “rock solid” evidence that Mr. Chalabi gave the Iranian mullahs “highly classified” intelligence.

It didn’t take a particularly astute observer to notice an awful lot of hostility being vented. For Mr. Chalabi, it was a comeuppance of sorts. He has been hated by State and the CIA, for different reasons, for years.

State Department diplomats dislike the Iraqi democrat because he is committed to a secular, pluralistic society. The Foreign Service doesn’t necessarily oppose such values, but it does – fiercely – when it comes to lands where they have never existed. Why? Because it would threaten the most important of all State Department objectives: stability.

Mr. Chalabi is seen as a threat to the Arab world order. State has long supported whichever tyrant can bring “stability” to a given Arab nation, as the diplomats believe that that region of the world is incapable of fostering or supporting democracy or even anything resembling a free society.

Even if State now grudgingly has to support Iraqi democracy – and even that’s an open question – its bureaucrats long ago developed an unshakable hatred of Mr. Chalabi, and they will do anything in their power to undermine him.

Although the CIA largely shares State’s worldview, its contempt for Mr. Chalabi is much more visceral. In the mid-1990s, the CIA organized a ham-handed coup attempt against Saddam. Mr. Chalabi warned them it wouldn’t work. He was right – and said so publicly. The CIA fumed. Bad blood has existed ever since.

Given the history of acrimony, the smear campaign against Mr. Chalabi was almost inevitable. His enemies at State and CIA are still bitter not just that Mr. Chalabi won the support of the White House – he was seated behind Laura Bush at the State of the Union – but that his decades-long push to oust Saddam finally succeeded.

In striking Mr. Chalabi, State and CIA are not simply attacking him, but his allies inside the administration and the decision to go to war in the first place.

And that’s not unintentional.

State Department diplomats and “intelligence officials” from State and CIA hate the hawks inside the Pentagon – the so-called “neocons” – almost as much as they do Mr. Chalabi. Luckily for them, they can kill two birds with one smear campaign.

After all, it was the administration hawks – primarily based in the Pentagon, though there are others, such as Vice President Dick Cheney and a handful at the State Department – that championed Mr. Chalabi from the very beginning of this administration.

“Intelligence officials” leaked to the New York Times last week that there was an investigation centered on “a handful” of officials, most of whom “are at the Pentagon.”

The dividing line is very clear: On one side are the president’s political appointees; and on the other are careerists who have no loyalty to the commander-in-chief.

To fully appreciate the mutinous sentiment at State, consider that it is a place where its employees feel free to display on desks and doors political cartoons lampooning President Bush. Anecdotally, several State Department officials know of many Foreign Service colleagues who joined antiwar rallies last spring.

The undermining is not merely symbolic, either.

Last spring, State Department officials learned from Pyongyang representatives in New York that North Korea was admitting, for the first time, that it was reprocessing plutonium. And it kept that bombshell a secret, even from the White House, because it didn’t want to give administration hawks a reason to cancel upcoming talks – something for which State had lobbied very hard.

The insubordination continues to this day. Bureaucrats at State and CIA – despite CIA Director George Tenet being the one claiming the case for WMD was a “slam dunk” – largely did not support the war. They can no longer win the fight on the decision to go to war, but taking out Mr. Chalabi is the next best thing. It calls into question the motives and justification for the war, and in the process, defends the institutional integrity of both State and CIA.

So far, the White House has not refereed the open revolt in its ranks. This has only emboldened the president’s enemies at State and CIA. If there is evidence against Mr. Chalabi, it should be put on the table.

But if not, if this smear campaign is merely a bluff to carry out character assassination, then Mr. Chalabi might not be the only one who unfairly falls from grace.

Chalabi with Donald Rumsfeld (and Paul Bremmer in background) September 2003.

Chalabi sitting behind Laura Bush at the last State of the Union address.

Chalabi with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (center) at an official meeting in Tehran, Iran, on Saturday March 13, 2004.

‘I did not have sexual relations with that man.’- Bush Administration.

Well, I’m dissapointed. I was hoping that at least one of the T-Mag Bushies would come to the defense of Chalabi! WTF???

Chalabi was the source of a lot of the false intelligence regarding supposed Iraqi WMDs, that led us into the war in Iraq, and now it turns out he may be working for Iran. And Chalabi has also seemingly teamed up with Al Sadr, one of the major resistance leaders in Iraq.

But up until a few weeks ago, Chalabi was playing kissy-face with all the top people in Bush’s cabinet, and Team Bush were paying Chalabi 300,000 dollars a month in US taxpayer dollars.

Bushies, can you explain?


It’s called politics.

Now whats wrong with Chalabi having a summit meeting with IRAN they are neighboring countries aren’t they?

It’s called “politics” to pay Chalabi 300,000 dollars per month, in order to prop him up as a future leader of Iraq, and he turns on the US and backs Al Sadr?

It’s “politics” that Chalabi may actually be working under cover with Iran? (What better way for Iran to finally defeat Iraq, then by tricking the US into doing it’s dirty work?)

[quote]Lumpy wrote:
It’s called “politics” to pay Chalabi 300,000 dollars per month, in order to prop him up as a future leader of Iraq, and he turns on the US and backs Al Sadr?

It’s “politics” that Chalabi may actually be working under cover with Iran? (What better way for Iran to finally defeat Iraq, then by tricking the US into doing it’s dirty work?)[/quote]

Do you have the transcript on what was said in that meeting? If not why can’t 2 neighbooring political parties meet together?

I can understand why BostonBarrister likes to post on “Swift Boat” threads, but avoids discussing embarrassing issues like Ahmed Chalabi and how Team Bush has paid him tens of millions of dollars, in an effort to make him the post-Saddam leader of Iraq.

It’s embarrassing for Bushies when the guy they hand pick to lead Iraq, who they relied on for extensive WMD information, turns out to be the crook and con man everyone else had warned them he is. DOH!!!

As far as the rest of the Bushies, my guess is that you haven’t got a clue who Chalabi is.

I guess Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh don’t spend a lot of time talking about Chalabi, so you’re in the dark.

Paging BostonBarrister!

Where are ya, buddy? Did you go AWOL?

Are you desperately combing throught the Wall Street Journal, searching for a pro-Chalabi spin?

Why won’t you comment on this turncoat Chalabi, who was a central figure in Bush’s Iraq strategy?

Wow Lumpy, you have posted 10 times on this thread. And it’s not that big a thread…Just an observation.

Well I’d appreciate some intelligent comments on the Chalabi situation.

What kind of a tactic is that Zeb? Lets cast doubt at someones posts because they are being fairly vocal. Does anyone on the right know how NOT to play dirty politics?

If you have an answer to the statements made, we are all waiting to hear it. Lumpy has been doing pretty damned good lately across a bunch of threads.

Don’t let the bastards get you down Lumpster!

Chalabi should indeed be a big embarrassment for the Bush administration right now. They were played like a deck of cards. This is indeed a reasonable thing to consider when looking at the quality of the current administraton.

If you disagree, then lets hear some discourse on this…

dont disagree that he is an embarassment, although The truth about him is still very much in question.

all this will be a non issue if our intel was better and I look forward to that happening under Mr.Goss.


You are not in a good position to call anyone “dirty.” The majority of your posts are laced with profanity directed at your fellow posters. I think you need to clean up your act and attack the issues instead of the person!

As for my comment, it was a harmless observation. I usually enjoy reading Lumpys posts, I don’t have to agree with people in order to respect their opinion. Nor do I have to attack them personally when I disagree!