And Another One Bites the Dust

Our old buddy Ahmad Chalabi is about to be arrested by the Iraqi ‘govt’ for–wait for it!–counterfeiting. Is there no end to this man’s talent? Embezzler, swindler, con-artist, double agent, and trouble-maker extraordinaire, Chalabi, the NWB Pin-Up Boy, just can’t seem to keep his hand out of the till or his ass out of a sling. He may have fooled the Neocon Wonder Boys (‘fooled’ them? he wrapped duct tape around his little finger and sold it to them as ‘gray gold’) but the Iraqis know him for what he is and they’re not having any.

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s interim government announced arrest warrants Sunday for special tribunal head Salem Chalabi, on murder charges, and former Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi, on counterfeiting charges.Ahmad Chalabi, a longtime opposition leader, was a Pentagon favorite in the years leading up to the Iraq war but fell out of favor in the spring over allegations that his political faction gave flawed intelligence to U.S. agents and leaked American secrets to Iran.

Um, guys? We’re waaaay past the ‘allegations’ phase at this point. If conning gullible idiots like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz was a crime, Ahmad would be in Leavenworth right now.

Ahmad Chalabi and interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi also have frequently clashed over issues such as Allawi’s move to partially reverse the U.S.-sponsored “de-Baathification” process.Salem Chalabi, Ahmad’s nephew, has been in charge of the effort to try ousted President Saddam Hussein on war crimes charges. “They should be arrested and then questioned, and then we will evaluate the evidence, and then if there is enough evidence, they will be sent to trial,” Zuhair Maliky, Iraq’s chief investigating judge, said Sunday.

Spokesmen for the White House and the State Department said the charges were up to the Iraqis to deal with.

Supporters like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz were not available for comment.

Really? Well, they wouldn’t be, would they? They’re all in the basement of Cheney’s new bunker with the doors locked and the blankets pulled up over their heads and ear plugs so they can’t hear the questions, chanting ‘Ahmad is a hero, Ahmad is a national treasure, Ahmad is King’ in unison while they whap each other blindly with rolled-up copies of the 9/11CR. Chalabi, of course, says it’s all a frame.

“I’m going to go back to confront those lies,” Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress party, told CNN, speaking from Tehran. “There is no case here. I will go back to meet those charges head-on…. This judge should recuse himself because he went on many times in the American press attacking me personally on political grounds.”Ahmad Chalabi also accused Maliky of trying to derail Hussein’s trial. “He attacked the court, he attacked the trial of Saddam Hussein in the press,” Chalabi said.

The warrant against Ahmad Chalabi reportedly accuses him of counterfeiting old Iraqi dinars. But Chalabi told CNN that the former Governing Council’s Finance Committee, which he had headed, had been trying to stop the circulation of fake currency and had been in possession of counterfeit bills.

“All this was done under the auspices of the Finance Committee to stop the forgeries and to put a stop to the theft,” he said. “Without a doubt, I’m being set up…. They think they can hurt me by doing this, politically.”

Now that’s vintage Ahmad. He was trying to stop counterfeiting when he was circulating all those counterfeit bills. He’s really just a poor govt clerk who was simply doing his job and now he’s caught up in the middle of a ‘political’ fracas. Pity poor innocent him. They call that gall where I come from; in the next neighborhood over they call it chutzpah.

The charges against Salem are much more serious.

Word of the investigation against Salem Chalabi in connection with the May slaying of Haitham Fadhil, a Finance Ministry official who was delving into the Chalabi family’s real estate holdings, was first reported by The Times last week. Iraq’s top criminal court has been looking into allegations that Salem Chalabi threatened Fadhil days before he was killed.Fadhil, who was shot on May 28, had been preparing a report on reclaiming government-owned real estate. According to the source who spoke earlier with The Times, the document stated that members of the Chalabi family and the Iraqi National Congress had illegally seized hundreds of properties after the U.S.-led invasion last year. The property, the source said, included government offices, mansions and agricultural land.

Salem Chalabi, 41, denied involvement in the slaying and said the allegations were aimed at removing him as executive director of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which will try top officials of Hussein’s government for crimes against humanity.

Well, he’s got his uncle’s way with an excuse, anyway. It’s all a plot to keep him from trying Saddam. Right.

I have been waiting almost a decade to see Chalabi’s inevitable fall from grace. I thought he was going to be outed, finally, five or six years ago when the CIA exposed the INC as a fraud and their ‘intelligence’ as either useless or a pack of lies. But then Newt Gingrich, Laurie Mylroie’s Champion Defender of the Faith and a man who has less experience with intelligence than your Aunt Millie’s cat, began using the American Enterprise Institute as a platform to attack the CIA as a bunch of incompetent hacks who wouldn’t know good intel if they fell in it. In early 2000, he made a speech at AEI in which he proposed the stovepiping of raw data that acolyte Doug Feith would later set up C-TEG to handle, zipping unconfirmed reports that fit the NWB’s preconceptions straight to the Veep’s office without the annoyance of checking to see if anything in them was accurate.

Junior’s ‘election’ and selection of the NWB All-Stars as his Defense Team saved Ahmad’s butt that time. Suddenly he was rehabilitated. Suddenly his lies weren’t lies any more, his unverified Fairy Tales became Holy Writ, not to be challenged, and Ahmad had conned the US Govt into invading Iraq (which wasn’t hard since that’s what they wanted to do anyway) with the idea that he and his intrepid band of expatriate liars–um, Freedom Fighters–would become the new Iraqi govt and hand control of the oilfields over to Chevron (Condi deserved a perk, I guess). It was all going to be so easy, so simple, a walk in a flower-strewn park.

It didn’t work out that way because fantasies never do when you try to make them real. Ahmad, the old chiseler, knew that. The overgrown boys in charge of the US Govt, who’d been shielded from harsh realities all their lives, didn’t have a clue. They were so pampered, so used to getting everything they wanted, that it never dawned on them that what they dreamed about was just that–a dream. But even if it had, in their privileged world Dreams Come True, so why not in Iraq?

Well, now we know. And may it be a lesson to us: Never expect Boys to think like Grown-ups. And for gawd’s-sake don’t give them the keys to the house when you’re gone, to the car on Saturday night, or to the govt anytime. They’re not mature enough to handle them responsibly.

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