A Cautious Man
May 23, 2004
The Weak Lies You Embrace
Everyone's favorite source of Iraqi information, Ahmed Chalabi, had this to say this past February:
During an interview, Mr. Chalabi, by far the most effective anti-Saddam lobbyist in Washington, shrugged off charges that he had deliberately misled U.S. intelligence.But, you know how things change with the passage of time (not to mention a raid or allegations of spying):
"We are heroes in error," he said in Baghdad on Wednesday. "As far as we're concerned, we've been entirely successful.
"Our objective has been achieved. That tyrant Saddam is gone, and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important."
Mr. Chalabi added: "The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if [President Bush] wants.
Chalabi told CNN, "We never provided false information, or indeed any kind of information. What we provided was defectors."It's looking more and more as if the U.S. government was the chump for this guy, and whoever he was working for.
In May 2001, U.S. intelligence agencies requested his group's help in gathering information, and the INC led them to three defectors who "we believed knew about weapons of mass destruction," Chalabi said.
"They interrogated them. ... It is not our responsibility to verify this information. It is blame-shifting, again, by the CIA," he said.
Chalabi said it was "outlandish" to believe that "an exile organization, which was criticized and vilified by the CIA throughout the past decade, would provide information and the United States officials would take it as credible and go to war on its basis. That is ridiculous."