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Catfish and Cod
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Oh my God I was wrong it was Iran all along.
(Link path: BoingBoing, Making Light, Newsday.com - National News; Talking Points Memo)

TPM is *all over* this story. Go there for the latest dirt.

It appears now that Chalabi didn't just meet an Iranian intelligence agent -- he hired one. His chief of intelligence -- the guy that's been digging up all the dirt for Chalabi to blackmail people with -- was an agent for Iranian intelligence.

This is very very very bad. First, this guy is sure to have used his year of grace to gather all sorts of information about the current political situation in Iraq. This is pure gold for the Iranian intelligence service, which is still loyal to the mullahs. (They are almost the only major element of the Iranian government that still is, as the army and the Republican Guard appear to be quietly anti-American at this point.)

Second, Chalabi's intelligence service is the sole source of the original oil-for-food accusations, and he still (unless they were taken in the raid) holds the documents proving the connections. We know he was holding on to them, not allowing their authenticity to be proven. Now that we know that additional agents were involved in Chalabi's service, those documents now have an extra layer of suspicion layed upon them. My gut feeling is that they are real -- they are too juicy not to use, and they fit in well with Chalabi's anti-Ba'athist schtick. I have to wonder, though, if an additional purpose was to induce turmoil among the Western powers. Controlling these documents meant the ability to control the timing and development of the UNSCAM scandal. Such control could be very useful for certain people.

But the final possibility is the most ominous. Either Chalabi was taken in by this guy, or he too was coordinating with the Iranians. Since Chalabi is an expert con man, it's hard to believe he could be easily conned himself, which suggests that Chalabi was an Iranian agent. Since Chalabi was instrumental in encouraging the neocons to support and execute the war, and in sabotaging -- I don't think that's too strong a word -- the postwar planning, it is therefore possible (not proven, but possible) that the entire Second Gulf War was induced by the Iranians.

Needless to say, this has major implications.