Saturday, May 29, 2004

War and Piece has a few more tid-bits about Chalabi.

1) The charges against Chalabi passing highly sensitive US intelligence to Iranian intelligence are true.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Highlights from the neo-con spyworld:

"the CIA has hard evidence that Mr Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran"

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

M's Mylroie is not exactly an unbiased source.

Armchair Provocateur
Laurie Mylroie: The Neocons' favorite conspiracy theorist.
By Peter Bergen

None of which was out of the ordinary, except for this: Mylroie became enamored of her theory that Saddam was the mastermind of a vast anti-U.S. terrorist conspiracy in the face of virtually all evidence and expert opinion to the contrary. In what amounts to the discovery of a unified field theory of terrorism, Mylroie believes that Saddam was not only behind the '93 Trade Center attack, but also every anti-American terrorist incident of the past decade, from the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to the leveling of the federal building in Oklahoma City to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a crackpot, which would not be significant if she were merely advising say, Lyndon LaRouche. But her neocon friends who went on to run the war in Iraq believed her theories, bringing her on as a consultant at the Pentagon, and they seem to continue to entertain her eccentric belief that Saddam is the fount of the entire shadow war against America.

Later in the interview with Berg( the interview was before the Iraq invasion) she says, "Now I'm going to tell you something, OK, and I want all Canada to understand, I want you to understand the consequences of the cynicism of people like Peter. There is a very acute chance as we go to war that Saddam will use biological agents as revenge against Americans, that there will be anthrax in the United States and there will be smallpox in the United States. Are you in Canada prepared for Americans who have smallpox and do not know it crossing the border and bringing that into Canada?"

I can almost imagine the foam at Mylroie's mouth.

Wal-Mart shopping for subsidies?
Watchdog group's report says $1B in government subsidies have aided the retailer's expansion.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Over $1 billion in government subsidies have gone into transforming discounter Wal-Mart Stores from a regional discount store operator into the world's largest retailer, according to a report Monday from Good Jobs First, a Washington-based subsidy watchdog group.

"Wal-Mart presents itself as an entrepreneurial success story, yet over a few decades it has made extensive use of tax breaks, free land, cash grants and other forms of public assistance," Philip Mattera, research director of Good Jobs First said in a statement.

The study, which is funded in part by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, found that 91 Wal-Mart stores have received individual subsidies ranging from $1 million to about $12 million, in the form of free or reduced-priced land, job training funds, sales tax rebates, tax credits and infrastructure assistance, including investment in roads.

In total, these subsidies amounted to $245 million, the report said.

Yes I see the world through a liberal filter, a bias. I admit it. I will not be changing anytime soon, because stories like this confirm at least one part of that bias. That conservatives are hypocrites about free markets and capitalism. I wouldn't in fact, be absolutely against any subsidies to business per se, but how can a political movement see multi-million dollar handouts to Wal-Mart as good, and providing health care to those that need it as bad. I've admitted my bias, could conservatives please step up to the plate and admit their hypocrisy.
See Wampum for more on True Love, conservatives and free markets.

Via Josh Marshall

Chalabi denies passing secrets to Iran
Yet even as Chalabi, once the Pentagon's favorite Iraqi politician, was defending himself, there were reports that his problems are only worsening. An intelligence source confirmed to Newsday reports in Time and Newsweek that the FBI had launched an investigation into who in the administration had passed the classified material to his Iraqi National Congress.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said they would ask the intelligence agencies for a report on the allegations.
and apparently Iraqis' get irony: Asked on "Fox News Sunday" why Habib was on the run if he is innocent, Chalabi said, "In Iraq there is no justice. There is Abu Ghraib prison ... We don't want anybody to be subjected to Abu Ghraib."

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

This article reads a little too breathless, but it's certainly lucid. Chalabi is on his way to more infamy, then fame. I don't think this lets BushCo off the hook. Chalabi served the purposes of the neo-cons as much as the neo-cons served Chalabi. The Chalabi may make millions off his Iraq adventure, but not likely if the CIA has it's way. It's all unfolding and we'll have to wait and see how it all plays out. Chalabi is neck deep in with Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the Office of Special Plans; who will plays off who to save whos ass is going to be interesting.

The Truth About Ahmed Chalabi By ANDREW COCKBURN

"Distrust him as they may however, Iraqis suspect that Chalabi will be a looming presence in Iraq for years to come. Since he returned to Baghdad just over a year ago he has succeeded in building a financial powerbase both in business and key sectors of the fledgling Iraqi administration. His prescient seizure of Saddam's intelligence files a year ago has equipped him with a useful tool to intimidate opponents. In politics, despite his apparent lack of general appeal, he has been carving out a role as the Ian Paisley of the Iraqi Shia, fomenting sectarian assertiveness and brokering deals. At the same time, he has maintained his foreign alliances, not merely with the neo-conservatives in the Pentagon and right wing Washington think tanks, who are still insisting that he should have been installed in power in Baghdad by the US a year ago, but also in Tehran. Chalabi's connections to the most hardline elements in Iran, particularly the intelligence officers of the Revolutionary Guards, are longstanding and still flourish today."

Sunday, May 23, 2004

After a CIA complaint, the FBI launched a full field criminal probe into whether Chalabi and senior i.n.c. aides passed high-level intelligence to Iran—information believed to be so sensitive, a senior U.S. official says, that it may have provided Iranian authorities with insights into the U.S.'s sources and methods for collecting intelligence and could even "lead to the loss of lives." according to Time:
U.S. intelligence officials told the FBI that they have "hard" evidence that Chalabi met with a senior officer of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security in Iraq. A senior U.S. official says Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, are suspected of giving Iran "highly classified" data that were "known to only a few within the U.S. government." The FBI investigation, sources say, will probably involve dozens of agents and a full arsenal of investigative techniques, possibly including court-authorized searches and wiretaps.
The probe will examine whether U.S. officials illegally transmitted state secrets to the i.n.c. The investigation could ultimately reach high-ranking civilian officials at the Pentagon and the Defense Intelligence Agency (dia)who have dealings with Chalabi and his organization.

...DIA is Don Rumsfeld's intell at the Pentagon, where he also started the Office of Special Plans. OSP was created because the CIA wouldn't twist intelligence the way BushCo wanted them to.
They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal—a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq. They relied on data gathered by other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi.

Just an update:

Chalabi's long-standing contacts with Iran have left some in the U.S. government suspicious about his intentions. Chalabi has denied allegations he handed over sensitive information to Iran about the U.S. occupationMSNBC - Iran denies Chalabi spying accusations

Tinker, Banker, NeoCon, Spy
Ahmed Chalabi's long and winding road from (and to?) Baghdad

Are there words that can't be spoken. Traitor? I read it eveyday. I know that the Bush administration has committed impeachable offences: Plamegate, the Medicare scandal. Yet I still thought there were limits even for these scoundrels.
Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi now is under fire — literally.
Senior U.S. officials have told 60 Minutes Correspondent Lesley Stahl that they have evidence Chalabi has been passing highly classified U.S. intelligence to Iran. The evidence shows that Chalabi personally gave Iranian intelligence officers information so sensitive that if revealed it could, quote, "get Americans killed." The evidence is said to be "rock solid."

On Friday, Stahl reported that senior intelligence officials stress the information Ahmad Chalibi is alleged to have passed on to Iran is of such a seriously sensitive nature, the result of full disclosure could be highly damaging to U.S. security. The information involves secrets that were held by only a handful of very senior U.S. officials, says Stahl.

Chalabi and Iran, in concert with Bush's neo-cons played the people of the U.S. like a piano.
In Washington, Team Chalabi is led by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, the neoconservative strategist who heads the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board. Chalabi's partisans run the gamut from far right to extremely far right, with key supporters in most of the Pentagon's Middle-East policy offices -- such as Peter Rodman, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and Michael Rubin. Also included are key staffers in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, not to mention Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former CIA Director Jim Woolsey.

Perle knew it and in concert with Israel, the Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), meet in some kind of weird unimaginable zeitgeist. The paranoid goals of Israel and blood thirsty revengful Iran meet in an insane obsession with getting rid of Saddam. Israel and Iran lacked the military muscle to do it themselves, so the neo-cons exploited 9-11 to finally achieve their aims. Political zealotry meets the religious crusade mentality of George Bush:

Effectively capitalizing on the impact of 9-11, Perle, Woolsey and company began beating the drums for a full-scale war against Iraq. With President Bush in tow and railing against "the guy who tried to kill my dad," the war party got the upper hand.

then 10,000 Iraqi non-combatants and 700 american troops die. In the twisted ending Israel's Zionists, the Christian Right Zionists, and the Iran's Islamic fundamentalists live happily ever after. If Tom Clancey wrote it, people would think it a barely plausible political thriller.

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