Quarterback Sneak

Ahmed Chalabi was once dubbed the "George Washington of Iraq" by neoconservatives, as his Iraqi National Congress provided much of the false intelligence information that led the United States into war. More recently, he has been accused of acting as a double agent for Iran and has denounced the U.S. Now he's back in Washington in an official visit as Iraq's deputy prime minister. His visit poses a dilemma for the Bush administration, which is meeting with Chalabi but also distancing itself from his past. "Think of him as a former football player - that was all then. That's what he did in his other life," said a senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity (and without indicating which team he's playing for now).


At Talking Points Memo, Matthew Yglesias does a nice job of [http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/11/9/165711/209|fact-checking Chalabi's speech] to the [[American Enterprise Institute]], where Chalabi claimed that page 108 of a Senate Intelligence Committee report exonerated him of supply the United States with false intelligence. Yglesias actually took a look at page 108. Here are some excerpts: "The October 2002 [National Intelligence Estimate] relied on reporting from two INC sources, both of whom were later deemed to be fabricators. ... Despite the fabrication notice, reporting from the INC source regarding Iraqi mobile BW facilities started to be used again several months later in finished intelligence--eventually ending up in the October 2002 NIE and in Secretary Powell's February 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council."

Juan Cole gives an overview of [http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2005/11/10/chalabi/index.html|Chalabi's checkered career] and assesses his (bleak) prospects for the December 15 elections. And blogger Kris Lofgren chronicles the "[http://kris.typepad.com/blog/2005/11/chalabi_in_dc.html|circus-like appearance by Ahmed Chalabi] at the [[American Enterprise Institute]], including an unintentionally hilarious remark by pundit-provocateur Christopher Hitchens, who has become one of Chalabi's [http://www.slate.com/id/2101345|last and most steadfast defenders].