Thursday :: May 20, 2004

Chalabi's Corruption Catches Up To Him

by Steve

Ahmed Chalabi was rousted out of his sleep this morning by police who surrounded his home, ransacked it, arrested several aides, and took away computers and files. His home remains surrounded.

Of course, we can snicker about Chalabi’s fate, given the bogus intelligence and his expertise in fraud and corruption. Yet Chalabi’s recent treatment goes beyond the usual Bush “use them and lose them” approach to political acquaintances. First, as we have said it has been clear for months that Chalabi used the Bush Administration to get rid of Saddam for him, was now showing no intention of being a Bush lackey, and was pursuing a close alliance with Iran. Second, as Alexander Cockburn speculated today, the Bush Administration decided to turn on its friend because evidence was surfacing that Chalabi was plotting a coup to undermine a Chalabi-less transitional government. Third, evidence was accumulating that Chalabi was turning the post-Saddam Iraq into his own ATM. And the fourth reason for trying to destroy Chalabi were the following comments to the BBC yesterday:

On Wednesday Mr Chalabi said in a BBC interview that Iraqis should have complete control over oil, development and property currently in US hands.

"The Iraqi Governing Council will clearly define what sovereignty means," he told Radio 4's Today programme.

Well, in George W. Bush’s view of spreading democracy and freedom to the Arab world, we can't have such independence can we? How can we tolerate a crook who wants to control his country's own oil when we have our own crooks ready to do the same?

It must have been reassuring to the GOP senators on the Hill that just hours after this raid took place, with Bush knowing that Chalabi was undercut, he could tell the Senators that it was time to “take the training wheels off” of the Iraqis and let them (as we define “them”) take control under our terms. Coming from Bush, this comment is a laugher, given that he of all people has his own training wheels (named "Dick Cheney") on the Midland scooter. But please, no Shiites or Iran need apply for this new effort in American-led democracy.

And if Chalabi wants a look at his fate, he should consider that a picture of him was shot through the forehead by one of the raiding officers today. Ahmed, be careful. You might be sleeping with the fishes at the bottom of the Euphrates soon.

Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rummy, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, and Chalabi: they deserve each other.

Steve :: 3:34 PM :: Comments (25) :: Digg It!