Thursday :: Jul 21, 2005

The Republican Party of Iran-Contra

by eriposte

The utter contempt from the GOP leadership for America's national security continues -- with their continued association with anti-American frauds. The excellent Warren Strobel reports in Knight-Ridder (via Laura Rozen):

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Rep. Curt Weldon met secretly in Europe last week with an Iranian exile who CIA officials charge has passed worthless or bogus intelligence to the United States, current and former U.S. government officials said.

The Paris meeting appears to be the latest in a string of incidents in which players outside the intelligence community try to affect American foreign policy by highlighting threats that the CIA and other agencies find dubious.

In some ways, it echoes the claims by Iraqi exiles that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction, claims proven to be false after the U.S.-led invasion.

Weldon, R-Pa., claims in a new book that the Iranian exile, whom he calls "Ali," told him of dramatic Iranian-sponsored terrorist plots against the United States.

But the CIA says that it has wasted hundreds of hours checking the claims of Ali - whose real name is Fereidoun Mahdavi - and that they are a mix of fabrications and embellishments of press reports, according to a letter from the CIA to Weldon.

The meeting was disclosed by current and former U.S. officials who requested anonymity because they said they did not want to anger Weldon or Hoekstra.

Mahdavi is a longtime associate of Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghorbanifar, the officials say. Ghorbanifar, a key figure in the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal, has had two CIA "burn notices" issued on him, meaning agency officers are not to deal with him.

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