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5/18/2004

U.S. to Halt Payments to Iraqi Group Headed by a Onetime Pentagon Favorite

The New York Times

Thank God, it's about time we stopped funding Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress ("INC"). The only question is why we are still giving them their $335,000 allowance for June.

The administration's relationship to the INC and its "intelligence gathering" should not go quietly into the night, though. There are still serious questions about this relationship, which 'til now has been characterized as a one-way swindling of the American government by a shifty band of Arabs. Most important, of course, is about what the Times calls the "useless, misleading or even fabricated" "intelligence" information provided to the government by the INC. Even a casual observer should have questioned the information stove-piped from the INC to the DoD/Defense Intelligence Agency ("DIA"); it was unverifiable, poorly or wrongly sourced, and too politically fortuitous to be unskeptically accepted.

So what happens if the DIA knew that the INC "intelligence" it was basing its push for war on was fabricated? Sourcing false intelligence to the INC, and then relaying it to the public, sounds suspiciously like the Office of Strategic Influence plan to "'secretly enlist' a non-government third party 'to spread false or misleading information to the news media'" revealed and nominally discarded in early 2002. That it was Doug Feith and the same band of neocons pushing both the OSI and the INC is an obvious red flag.

So how willing were the DIA "dupes"? Was the politically valuable information accepted with a wink and a nod, then smuggled into more legitimate intelligence anlyses through DoD backchannels and useful idiots like the Weekly Standard? This should be an important part of the ongoing investigations of Iraq Intelligence, though I'm not holding my breath. More information on the intelligence investigations can be found at the preternaturally useful Federation of American Scientists page.

 

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