"Weapons of Mass Deception"


Iraqi Judge Dismisses Case Against Chalabi

The neocons’ favorite Iraqi is well on his way toward a comeback. First, a judge dropped counterfeiting charges against him, so he is a free man once again. Not that the charges had much substance, but Chalabi is guilty at least of counterfeiting intelligence, so that’s good enough for me. In any case, now Chalabi is acting as a sort of campaign manager for Muqtada Sadr, the Shiite rebel who, according to the New York Times, wants to run in Iraq’s January elections. Says the Times :

According to the same Iraqis, Mr. Sadr's aides have begun to work closely with Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile who was once a favorite of the Bush administration but who has since fallen out of favor. In recent weeks, Mr. Chalabi has been advising Mr. Sadr's aides in their search for allies, and he has encouraged members of the Shiite Council, a political alliance that he is a part of, to join with Mr. Sadr. Mr. Chalabi and his allies appear to be interested in tapping the vast support that Mr. Sadr enjoys among Iraqis poor and lower-class Shiites.
Of course, Chalabi, with no real political base, badly needs Sadr. But Sadr could use Chalabi, too, as liaison to you-know-who.

Juan Cole reported last week that Jay Garner, the first U.S. proconsul in Iraq, was supposed to quietly install Chalabi, like a replacement part, in Iraq last year:
Jay Garner let it slip to some of his staff that his charge was to turn Iraq over to Ahmad Chalabi within six months. The staffers were shocked and some contacted the State Department to see if this was known there. It was not. So they blew the whistle on Bush with Colin Powell. I was told that Powell then made a coalition with Tony Blair and that the two of them went to Bush and got him to change his mind.
That rings true to me.

Iraqi Judge Dismisses Case Against Chalabi
The Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A judge has dismissed counterfeiting charges against Ahmad Chalabi, a senior political figure once considered a front-runner to become Iraq's leader, authorities said Friday.

The charges against Chalabi, a wealthy Iraqi exile and one-time Pentagon favorite, were dismissed "for lack of evidence," said Zuhair al-Maliky, Iraq's chief investigative judge.
Al-Maliky told The Associated Press that the charges could be refiled, however, should more evidence be uncovered. The decision to drop the case was made during a court session Thursday. Chalabi has denied any wrongdoing.
"I am sure they are not going to find any evidence against Chalabi, because there was no evidence from the beginning," said Haiydar al-Mousawi, a Chalabi aide.
Al-Maliky first issued a warrant against Chalabi in August, accusing him of a complex counterfeiting scheme involving old Iraqi dinars removed from circulation at the beginning of the year.
The case stems from counterfeit Iraqi cash found in Chalabi's home during a raid by U.S. and Iraqi forces in May. Iraqi authorities declined to act on the warrant after it was issued.
Chalabi was a longtime favorite of conservatives in the Bush administration. After the war, he was a member of Iraq's Governing Council, which later was dissolved and gave way to the interim government.
Chalabi, who heads the Iraqi National Congress, a party that primarily gathers Iraqi exiles, was one of the most vocal proponents of the use of military force to depose former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Since then, he has fallen out with his one-time backers and was left out of Iraq's interim government.
In 1992, a Jordanian court convicted Chalabi in absentia of embezzlement, fraud and breach of trust after a bank he ran collapsed with about $300 million in missing deposits. The court sentenced him to 22 years in prison.
Chalabi, who left Jordan before the case went to trial, has long denied the charges, saying Saddam was behind them.

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Milton Frihetsson, 18:44


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