The cover story in the most recent edition of Newsweek
sheds light on the mysterious figure that is Ahmad Chalabi, a favorite of the so-called "neo-cons" in the Bush Administration. The report shows in great detail the checkered past of Mr. Chalabi and brings to light a fundamental question, "Have some of the most powerful men in the country allowed themselves to be played for fools by a man, seen within the U.S. intelligence community, to be a fraud"? Sadly, the answer appears to be "yes". Chalabi's intelligence and information helped formed the basis of the case for war in the halls of the Pentagon in the months leading up to the American invasion. Leading war hawks such as Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Fieth, and Richard Pearle (who recently left his post in the Administration) are being caught in a crossfire of their own creation as they deal with the fallout of a raid led by Iraqi policemen (aided by American soldiers with the apparent approval of CPA head L. Paul Bremer) last week. The police forces were seeking evidence that Mr. Chalabi was involved with theft, kidnapping, and even torture. Suspicion also lingers that Chalabi has been passing coalition intelligence to Iran.
What to make of this, then? Chalabi, for his part, claims he's done nothing wrong and is lashing out by painting himself as a martyr. The famously proud neo-cons are having to sit quietly by and watch from the sidelines as the events play out. And, of course, all of this comes as more stories of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib make their way through the press. Will Chalabi work his way free of these latest allegations? Only time will tell.