Sunday :: May 23, 2004

The Neocon Circle Closes


by Mary

In a comment to my previous post about the troubles of Chalabi, john provided a link that added another very interesting twist to the story. Last December, Newsweek reported on a 2002 memo written by one of the top Washington lobbyists representing the INC, Entifadh Qunbar, that lists John Hannah as the "principle point of contact" for receiving the raw intelligence delivered by the INC and even lists Hannah's direct White House number. The only other administration official listed with his direct number was William Luti, the guy running the Office of Special Plans.

So who is John Hannah? Well, John Hannah is a senior national security aide to Dick Cheney. And he is also none other than someone who is one of the chief suspects for having outed Valerie Plame. As Juan Cole put it:

Hannah had fingers in all three rotten pies from which the worst intel came--Sharon's office in Israel, the Pentagon Office of Special Plans (for which Hannah served as a liaison to Cheney), and fraudster Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. Hannah had probably been the one who fed Cheney the Niger uranium story, triggering a Cheney request to the CIA to verify it and thence Joe Wilson's trip to Niamey in spring of 2002, where he found the story to be an absurd falsehood on the face of it.

Geeze, isn't that nice? Hannah could be responsible for breaking the law in his outing of a CIA agent and was also the principle conduit for the faulty intelligence that fed our VP. Both the Plame investigation and the Chalabi affair are being investigated by the FBI. So do you think things might be getting a little hot for him now?

Update: The NY Times has a story that emphasizes how highly classified the information passed by Chalabi and crew to Iran was. The FBI won't have too many people to check out. I suspect it will be harder to suppress or slow down this case than is has been for finding who outed Valerie Plame.

Update 2: The fallout continues. Who, oh who, will pay for this mess?

Mary :: 8:05 PM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!