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Neocons behind bars?

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    Former Iraqi intelligence officer chosen as new leader: Mr Allawi, is a relative of Ahmad Chalabi, a former Pentagon favourite who has fallen out with
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2004
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      Former Iraqi intelligence officer chosen as new leader:

      Mr Allawi, is a relative of Ahmad Chalabi, a former Pentagon
      favourite who has fallen out with Washington, but the two are not
      regarded as particularly close.
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1-1126468,00.html

      ===

      In case you missed it:

      Iraq Council Member Spends To Win Influence In Washington :

      Mr Allawi, a member of Iraq's interim council with long ties to the
      CIA is undertaking an expensive, carefully crafted strategy to spread
      his views to influential Americans, an example of how those seeking
      power in Iraq continue to curry favor in the U.S.
      http://framehosting.dowjonesnews.com/sample/samplestory.asp?
      StoryID=2004012400040000&Take=1

      http://tinyurl.com/287r7

      More on Iyad Allawi
      http://tinyurl.com/2qfkk

      ===

      Chalabi-gate: None Dare Call It Treason :

      Neocons behind bars? Sounds good to me….
      http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=2683


      Chalabi-gate: None Dare Call It Treason
      Neocons behind bars? Sounds good to me….
      by Justin Raimondo

      The fallout from Chalabi-gate continues to rain down on the heads of
      the War Party, opening up the exciting prospect that some neocons
      might well wind up behind bars.

      The charge? Espionage, as Sidney Blumenthal informs us:

      "At a well-appointed conservative think tank in downtown Washington
      and across the Potomac River at the Pentagon, FBI agents have begun
      paying quiet calls on prominent neoconservatives, who are being
      interviewed in an investigation of potential espionage, according to
      intelligence sources. Who gave Ahmed Chalabi classified information
      about the plans of the U.S. government and military?"

      This information, says Vince Cannistraro, formerly at the CIA and the
      Pentagon, was so "very, very sensitive" that only a few U.S.
      government officials had access to it:

      "The evidence has pointed quite clearly, not only the fact that
      Chalabi might be an agent of influence of the Iranian government and
      that [Chalabi's intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib] may be a paid
      agent of the Iranian intelligence service, but it is shown that there
      is a leak of classified information from the United States to Iran
      through Chalabi and Karim and that is the particular point that the
      FBI is investigating. In other words, some U.S. officials are under
      investigation on suspicion of providing classified information to
      these people that ended up in Iran."

      Blumenthal has more:

      "A former staff member of the Office of Special Plans and a currently
      serving defense official, two of those said to be questioned by the
      FBI, are considered witnesses, at least for now. Higher figures are
      under suspicion. Were they witting or unwitting? If those who are
      being questioned turn out to be misleading, they can be charged
      ultimately with perjury and obstruction of justice. For them, the
      Watergate principle applies: It's not the crime, it's the coverup."

      The lies Chalabi fed to Washington policymakers, who eagerly scarfed
      them up and regurgitated them to the American public, originated with
      Iranian intelligence, as we are beginning to learn. But the neocon-
      Tehran information superhighway ran in both directions. As Julian
      Borger reports in the Guardian:

      "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."


      UPI's Richard Sale reports that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation
      has launched a full field investigation into the matter," and gives
      more information on what was compromised and how the Iranians pulled
      off this intelligence coup:

      "Chalabi allegedly passed National Security Agency/CIA intercepts to
      intelligence agents of the Iranian government using intermediaries
      or 'cut-outs' or 'gophers' within the INC, another former CIA agent
      said. Some of the intercepts, dated from December, were the basis for
      a recent Newsweek story, but there are others of a later date in
      possession of the FBI, this source said."

      How did Chalabi get his hot little hands on highly secret
      information? That's why the FBI – instead of going after, say,
      Brandon Mayfield, or some other completely innocent person, as per
      usual – is now calling on "prominent" neocons at Washington's poshest
      thinktanks. I hope they're bringing an ample supply of handcuffs. But
      whom might they be handcuffing and frog-marching out the door, into a
      waiting paddywagon? UPI gives us the scoop, citing "a former very
      senior CIA official" as saying:

      "'Chalabi passed specially compartmented intelligence,
      extraordinarily sensitive stuff, to the Iranians.' This source said
      that some of the intercepts are believed to have been given Chalabi
      by two U.S. officials of the Coalition Provision Authority, both of
      whom are not named here because UPI could not reach them for comment."

      Well, they aren't named, but they might as well have been:

      "One former CPA official has returned to the United States and is
      employed at the American Enterprise Institute, the former very senior
      official said, a fact which FBI sources confirmed without additional
      comment. The other is still a working Pentagon official, federal law
      enforcement officials and former CIA officials said."

      Independent journalist Bob Dreyfuss, whose excellent articles on the
      neocons in The American Prospect and Mother Jones puts him up there
      with Jim Lobe, Michael Lind, and Joshua Marshall as a veritable maven
      of neocon-ology, names names:

      "The two officials in the UPI story are, according to my sources,
      Harold Rhode, an official in the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment,
      and Michael Rubin, now at the American Enterprise Institute."

      Rubin, formerly of the Office of Special Plans and the CPA, who
      served as liaison with Chalabi's group, the Iraqi National Congress,
      certainly fits the bill. No wonder he's been so … cranky lately, what
      with FBI agents barging into his office and giving him the third
      degree.

      Rhode, a longtime Pentagon official assigned to the Office of Net
      Assessment and a specialist on Islam, is reportedly Douglas Feith's
      chief enforcer of the anti-Arab party line among the civilian
      Pentagon hierarchy. In refusing to be interviewed by Dreyfuss for a
      piece on the neocons in Mother Jones, Rhode's laconic reply was:

      "Those who speak, pay."

      Prescient words, and truer than perhaps even Rhode realized at the
      time. Hauled up before a grand jury, however, Rhode, Rubin, and the
      rest of Chalabi's Pentagon fan club may have no choice about
      speaking – especially with the prospect of a long "vacation" at a
      federal facility staring them in the face.

      Much is being made of how the Iranians "duped" us into invading Iraq,
      and "used" the U.S. in getting rid of Saddam Hussein and "paving the
      way," as Julian Borger puts it, for a Shi'ite-ruled Iraq. But a
      simple map of the region and rudimentary knowledge of the history of
      the past decade or so would have revealed as much. As I wrote in this
      space over a year ago:

      "In view of Iran's growing sphere of influence in Iraq, it seems
      rather disingenuous to destroy the Sunni minority government run by
      the Ba'ath Party and then deny any responsibility for the Shi'ite-y
      outcome. The U.S. has made a gift of Iraq to Teheran, reigniting the
      religious passions that overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah Reza Pahlavi
      of Iran and propelled Khomeini to power."

      In charting the outlines of "phase two" of the invasion of Iraq, that
      same week last year, I pointed out:

      "The main political consequence of the war, internally, is to
      increase Iranian influence: if free elections were held in the
      southern Shi'a provinces of Iraq, they would undoubtedly usher in
      some sort of 'Islamic Republic.' The effort by the neocons in the
      administration to install Ahmed Chalabi as the Pentagon's puppet, far
      from forestalling this possibility, only makes it a more credible
      threat to the postwar order."

      But why would the militantly pro-Israel neocons, American partisans
      of the ultra-nationalist Likud party, act as patrons and promoters of
      an outfit, Chalabi's INC, that was really a cover for Iranian
      intelligence – their alleged mortal enemies? That's what I couldn't
      quite figure out, at least not until I read Robert Parry's excellent
      piece on the subject, and here's the money quote:

      "As Chalabi's operation fed anti-Saddam propaganda into the U.S.
      decision-making machinery, Bush also should have been alert to the
      Israeli role in opening doors for Chalabi in Washington. One
      intelligence source told me that Israel's Likud government had
      quietly promoted Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress with
      Washington's influential neoconservatives. That would help explain
      why the neoconservatives, who share an ideological alliance with the
      conservative Likud, would embrace and defend Chalabi even as the CIA
      and the State Department denounced him as a con man.

      "The idea of Israel promoting an Iranian agent also is not far-
      fetched if one understands the history. The elder Bush could tell his
      son about the long-standing strategic ties that have existed between
      Israel and Iran, both before and after the Islamic revolution of
      1979. It was Menachem Begin's Likud Party that rebuilt the covert
      intelligence relationship in 1980. Since then, it has been maintained
      through thick and thin, despite Iran's public anti-Israeli rhetoric."

      The enemy of my enemy is my friend: it's a principle often invoked to
      justify a course of action seemingly in contradiction to the
      professed ideology of the actors. Lined up against a common enemy,
      American Likudniks and Ahmed Chalabi, an Iranian intelligence asset,
      teamed up to drag us into the Iraqi quagmire, with both members of
      this oddly coupled tag-team benefiting from the deal. While the
      neocons fed Chalabi – and his intelligence chief, Arras Karim Habib,
      a paid Iraqi agent – a steady diet of U.S. secrets, Chalabi fed the
      neocons (in government and much of the American media) a fresh
      serving of tall tales cooked up in the INC's kitchen, and delivered
      piping hot to Judith Miller's doorstep.

      The Iranians, for their part, feasted on U.S. secrets so deep and
      dark that only a few top officials were privy to them – and had a
      good chunk of Iraq handed to them, while a de facto Kurdish state
      emerged as a buffer between Israel and the Shi'ite power rising in
      the East. The whole thing was supposed to have been presided over by
      the ostensibly pro-Western Chalabi, the neocons' Alger Hiss. That was
      the plan, at any rate, but something seems to have gone awry….

      As in the Abu Ghraib photo-gallery of horrors, the nature of the
      crime suggests that a few lowly spear carriers – Rubin is just barely
      out of knee pants, and Rhode was certainly not in the loop on super-
      sensitive intelligence – didn't pull this off all on their own.
      Before it's all over, Chalabi-gate will reach into the favored
      nesting place of the neocons, the very top echelons of the Pentagon.

      As UPI editor Martin Walker reports:

      "The real target goes beyond Chalabi. The hunt is on, in the
      Republican Party, in Congress, in the CIA and State Department and in
      a media which is being deluged with leaks, for Chalabi's friends and
      sponsors in Washington – the group known as the neo-cons. In
      particular, the targets seem to be Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
      Wolfowitz, the former assistant secretary (in Reagan's day) Richard
      Perle, Vice President Dick Cheney's national security aide Scooter
      Libby, and the National Security Council's Middle East aide Elliott
      Abrams. The leaking against them – from sources who insist on
      anonymity, but some CIA and FBI veterans – is intense. Some of the
      sources are now private citizens, making a good living through
      business connections in the Arab world."

      Speaking of business connections, how does Richard Perle make his
      living except by using his government connections to profit
      handsomely from the war-driven neocon agenda? Oh well, never mind
      that: let's get to the juicy part. Walker also reports that these
      poor persecuted neocons "are now beginning to fight back," and in a
      familiar fashion:

      "Richard Perle told this reporter Tuesday that the gloves were off. …
      Perle has no doubts that some of the attacks on him are coming
      directly from the CIA, in order to cover their own exposed rears,
      attacking Chalabi's intelligence to distract attention from their own
      mistakes. 'I believe that much of the CIA operation in Iraq was owned
      by Saddam Hussein,' Perle said. 'There were 45 decapitation attempts
      against Saddam – and he survived them all. How could that be, if he
      was not manipulating the intelligence?'"

      Gee, I guess this means that, on account of all those
      failed "decapitation attempts" on Fidel Castro over the years, the
      Cuban Communists exercised joint ownership of the CIA along with
      Saddam's Ba'athists. Oh, what a Perle of wisdom, but the Prince of
      Darkness was just getting started:


      "Perle went on to suggest an even darker motive behind the attacks on
      the neo-cons; that the real target was Israel's Likud government and
      the staunch support for Israel's prime minister Ariel Sharon in the
      Bush administration. When this was put to one CIA source, the reply
      was mocking: 'That's what they always do. As soon as these guys get
      any criticism, they scream Israel and anti-Semitism, and I think
      people are finally beginning to see through that smokescreen.'"

      How and why an investigation into Iranian penetration of our most
      closely guarded secrets constitutes evidence of "anti-Semitism" is a
      question I'll leave for weightier intellects to ponder. But such an
      unseemly outburst ought to put to rest any doubts about a neocon-
      Iranian convergence of interests: we know something's afoot when both
      Richard Perle and the Iranian mullahs sound absolutely identical in
      tone as well as content.

      We knew what the neocons were capable of: smearing their enemies,
      lying about practically anything, even outing a CIA agent doing high-
      priority undercover work. Is anyone surprised that they're capable of
      espionage?

      Perle is right about one thing: it's time to take the gloves off.

      – Justin Raimondo

      ===========
      Bush orthodoxy is in shreds:

      At a conservative thinktank in downtown Washington, and across the
      Potomac at the Pentagon, FBI agents have begun paying quiet calls on
      prominent neoconservatives, who are being interviewed in an
      investigation of potential espionage, according to intelligence
      sources. Who gave Ahmed Chalabi classified information about the
      plans of the US government and military?

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6255.htm


      A series of investigations has shattered neocon self-belief

      Sidney Blumenthal

      Thursday May 27, 2004 "The Guardian" -- At a conservative thinktank
      in downtown Washington, and across the Potomac at the Pentagon, FBI
      agents have begun paying quiet calls on prominent neoconservatives,
      who are being interviewed in an investigation of potential espionage,
      according to intelligence sources. Who gave Ahmed Chalabi classified
      information about the plans of the US government and military?

      The Iraqi neocon favourite, tipped to lead his liberated country post-
      invasion, has been identified by the CIA and Defence Intelligence
      Agency as an Iranian double-agent, passing secrets to that citadel of
      the "axis of evil" for decades. All the while the neocons cosseted,
      promoted and arranged for more than $30m in Pentagon payments to the
      George Washington manque of Iraq. In return, he fed them a steady
      diet of disinformation and in the run-up to the war sent various
      exiles to nine nations' intelligence agencies to spread falsehoods
      about weapons of mass destruction. If the administration had wanted
      other material to provide a rationale for invasion, no doubt that
      would have been fabricated. Either Chalabi perpetrated the greatest
      con since the Trojan horse, or he was the agent of influence for the
      most successful intelligence operation conducted by Iran, or both.

      The CIA and other US agencies had long ago decided that Chalabi was a
      charlatan, so their dismissive and correct analysis of his lies
      prompted their suppression by the Bush White House.

      In place of the normal channels of intelligence vetting, a jerry-
      rigged system was hastily constructed, running from the office of the
      vice president to the newly created Office of Special Plans inside
      the Pentagon, staffed by fervent neocons. CIA director George Tenet,
      possessed with the survival instinct of the inveterate staffer,
      ceased protecting the sanctity of his agency and cast in his lot.
      Secretary of state Colin Powell, resistant internally but overcome,
      decided to become the most ardent champion, unveiling a series of
      neatly manufactured lies before the UN.

      Last week, Powell declared "it turned out that the sourcing was
      inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading. And
      for that I'm disappointed, and I regret it". But who
      had "deliberately" misled him? He did not say. Now the FBI is
      investigating espionage, fraud and, by implication, treason.

      A former staff member of the Office of Special Plans and a currently
      serving defence official, two of those said to be questioned by the
      FBI, are considered witnesses, at least for now. Higher figures are
      under suspicion. Were they witting or unwitting? If those who are
      being questioned turn out to be misleading, they can be charged
      ultimately with perjury and obstruction of justice. For them, the
      Watergate principle applies: it's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

      The espionage investigation into the neocons' relationship with
      Chalabi is only one of the proliferating inquiries engulfing the Bush
      administration. In his speech to the Army War College on May 24, Bush
      blamed the Abu Ghraib torture scandal on "a few American troops". In
      other words, there was no chain of command. But the orders to use the
      abusive techniques came from the secretary of defence, Donald
      Rumsfeld.

      The trials and investigations surrounding Abu Ghraib beg the question
      of whether it was an extension of the far-flung gulag operating
      outside the Geneva conventions that has been built after September
      11. The fallout from the Chalabi affair has also implicated the
      nation's newspaper of record, the New York Times, which published
      yesterday an apology for running numerous stories containing
      disinformation that emanated from Chalabi and those in the Bush
      administration funnelling his fabrications. The Washington Post,
      which published editorials and several columnists trumpeting
      Chalabi's talking points, has yet to acknowledge the extent to which
      it was deceived.

      Washington, just weeks ago in the grip of neoconservative orthodoxy,
      absolute belief in Bush's inevitability and righteousness, is in the
      throes of being ripped apart by investigations. Things fall apart:
      the military, loyal and lumbering, betrayed and embittered; the
      general in the field, General Sanchez, disgraced and cashiered; the
      intelligence agencies abused and angry, their retired operatives
      plying their craft with the press corps, seeping dangerous truths;
      the press, hesitating and wobbly, investigating its own falsehoods;
      the neocons, publicly redoubling defence of their hero and deceiver
      Chalabi, privately squabbling, anxiously awaiting the footsteps of
      FBI agents; Colin Powell, once the most acclaimed man in America,
      embarked on an endless quest to restore his reputation, damaged above
      all by his failure of nerve; everyone in the line of fire motioning
      toward the chain of command, spiralling upwards and sideways, until
      the finger pointing in a phalanx is directed at the hollow crown.

      · Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, is
      Washington bureau chief of Salon.com

      Sidney_Blumenthal@...

      © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

      *********************************************************************

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