|Iran's Iraq Notes|
Iraqis Intimidate in the Name of Religion:
Fear stifles new freedom
by Ken Dilanian
Knight Ridder Newspapers
March 29, 2004
Shi'ite Muslim extremists [&] armed militias...campaign of intimidation to enforce a strict Islamic code of conduct [in Basra].
"We believe that we are the supreme legislative authority in Iraq, because our constitution is the holy Koran, and for us, the holy Koran is the supreme constitution," said Sheikh Abdul-Sattar al Bahadli, who runs [Muqtada al-Sadr's] Basra office...
...al-Sadr's [org does] charitable...community work...[&]...conducts armed patrols, [Al Bahadli] said.
...a January poll by Baghdad's Institute for Civil Society Studies , 67 percent of Basra residents said they felt unsafe in their neighborhoods, compared with 48 percent in Baghdad.
"We're not here to change the culture, and we're not here to create a utopia." "A lot of the problems that are happening here in society are as much for the Iraqis to sort out as well as us." [--Maj. Tim Smith, British army spokesman]
...British officials acknowledged...religious extremism...problem in Basra...
[Basra residents] said the Iraqi police are often too scared -- or too sympathetic -- to fight [gangs & religious militias].
[Iranian-backed]...Badr Brigade...negotiating to integrate...[w/] Iraqi security forces.
Ken Dilanian: email@example.com.
Copyright © 2005 Detroit Free Press Inc.
US tests claims that Iran used Chalabi
© Financial Times, 20040525 p8
Byline: GUY DINMORE
[Former intelligence officer and US media say US intel agencies are] investigating whether Iran duped the US [with] false information [re Iraq via Chalabi]
[Chalabi's] home and offices in Baghdad ...raided ...by Iraqi police and plainclothes US "advisers"...
[Chalabi] denied passing US intelligence to Iran or false information to the US. Iraq's judiciary's seeking associates of Mr Chalabi on corruption and kidnapping charges. They include Aziz Habib, his intelligence officer. [AKA Aras Karim Habib, Aras Kareem, Aziz Habib]
...Chalabi accused...Tenet...of trying to discredit him...
...Chalabi...defended by...Wolfowitz,...[Genl] Myers,...Richard Perle...
Patrick Lang, former head of [DIA's] Middle East section...said...DIA suspected Iran... used...Chalabi as a conduit for false intelligence... [and that the DIA had] concluded...Chalabi was passing information to the Iranians.
[Mr Lang:] ...possible that Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim...also a conduit.
The ayatollah...told the Financial Times... his organisation [Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq]...provided the US with information on [Iraqi CW] capabilities.
The former banker [Mr Chalabi] has recently been highly critical of policies pursued by the US in Iraq.
(...Chalabi's role in the decision...to invade Iraq)
The New Yorker, June 7, 2004 v80 i15 p058
© 2004 Condé Nast Publications Inc.
"I followed very closely how Roosevelt, who abhorred the Nazis, at a time when isolationist sentiment was paramount in the United States, managed adroitly to persuade the American people to go to war. I studied it with a great deal of respect; we learned a lot from it. The Lend-Lease program committed Roosevelt to enter on Britain's side--so we had the Iraq Liberation Act, which committed the American people for the liberation against Saddam." [--Ahmad Chalabi]
...Chalabi had lobbied tirelessly for...[ILA] legislation.
...Chalabi's Baghdad home [& offices] ...raided ...by Iraqi police ...supported by American troops.
"It's customary when great events happen that the U.S. punishes its friends and rewards its enemies." [--Chalabi]
...Chalabi developed [CIA] enemies ...disputed...data and questioned his ethics ...[Chalabi] close bond ...[w/Cheney & Pentagon civliians] ...Paul Wolfowitz ...Douglas Feith ...William J.Luti.
[USG gave $100mil to INC (GWB Admin $39mil or more).] ...what the INC provided in exchange ...yet to be fully explained.
"I clarified the picture."[--Chalabi]
[Critics:]...he distorted it.
[Diplo & intel allege:] ...exaggerating the security threat ...defectors ...[w/] misleading or bogus testimony ...questionable stories connecting Saddam to Al Qaeda ...[misunderestimating difficulty of replacing Saddam w/] ...Western-style democracy.
[Chalabi raid and termination of INC's $342k/mo via USG] ...authorized by the White House...
Chalabi's allies at the Pentagon were not notified of the raid in advance...
...allegations ...[INC] members ....embezzlement, theft ...kidnapping. ...Baghdad police...investigating...[INC] lieutenants fled Iraq. [Some for Iran]
...[INC intel chief] Aras Karim Habib ...escaped... ...under investigation [giving Iranians secrets]...
[Chalabi aide:] ...[INC] will be accused of telling [Iran the US] ...cracked one of its internal codes.
"They are charges put out by George Tenet and his C.I.A. to discredit us." [--Ahmad Chalabi, " Meet the Press "]
[Vincent Cannistraro, ex-CIA, counter-terrorism:] ...Pentagon officials connected to Chalabi ...[FBI investigation] whether an American official gave ...[INC secrets] on Iran.
[Of Office of Special Plans documents-]
"Every list of Iraqis they wanted to work with for positions in the government of postwar Iraq included Chalabi and all of the members of his organization." [State Department official]
"Anyone who wants to take power in Baghdad is crazy. I'm just in this to get rid of Saddam." [--Chalabi, LA Times 1994]
"Never is a very long time." [--Chalabi 2004]
"Chalabi is one of the smartest people I know." "...[Chalabi] figured out in the eighties that the road to Baghdad ran through Washington. He cultivated whom he needed to know. If he didn't get what he wanted from State, he went to Capitol Hill. It's a sign of being effective. It's not his fault that his strategy succeeded. It's not his fault that the Bush Administration believed everything he said. Should they have? Of course not. They should have looked critically. He's not a liar; he believed the information he was purveying, and part of it was valuable. But his goal was to get the U.S. to invade Iraq." [--Peter Galbraith]
...[Francis Brooke,] Chalabi's unofficial [DC] lobbyist...
...1991 [PR job w/] Rendon Group... ...John Rendon [ex exec dir of DNC] ...[Brooke's Rendon project] funded by the CIA...
[1991-05 GHWB's] "lethal finding" ...authorized [$100mil for CIA to] "create the conditions for removal of Saddam Hussein from power."
[CIA] decided to create an external opposition movement to Saddam.
[CIA] outsourced the Iraq project to the Rendon Group.
[Rendon] reprimanded ...when too many ...stories [w/ Rendon supplied info in] American press, thereby transgressing laws that prohibited domestic propaganda.
"That is when I first met Dr. Chalabi," [--F. Brooke]
[Robert Baer ex-CIA, Iraq:] ...went with Chalabi  to visit [INC] "forgery shop"...
"It was something like a spy novel," "It was a room where people were scanning Iraqi intelligence documents into computers, and doing disinformation. There was a whole wing of it that he did forgeries in." "...he was forging back then, in order to bring down Saddam." [--R. Baer]
[R. Baer:] [INC forged] ...letter to Chalabi ...[from] Clinton's National Security Council. [Asking] for Chalabi's help ...[w/ US] assassination plot against Saddam.
"It was a complete fake." [--R. Baer]
[R. Baer:] ...an effort to ...[get] Iranians ...[to join] plot against Saddam; [US] involvement, Chalabi hoped, would convince...
[Brooke:] ...[INC ran] forgery shop, but ...Chalabi [had not] created ...[forged] letter.
"That would be illegal." [--F. Brooke]
[Letter led to CIA accusing Baer of involvement w/ assassination plans.]
"We knew we had to create a domestic constituency with some electoral clout, so we decided to use the AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] model." [--F. Brooke]
[Chalabi] spoke of restoring the oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Haifa... [1998 Jerusalem Post]
[CIA] skeptical of ...[INC supplied] defectors ...insisted on examining them independently. [GWB knew] CIA's view ...soon after taking office...
...Saddam's mobile weapons laboratories.
"...firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and rails." "...one of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq." [--Colin Powell UN address 2003-02-05 ]
[V. Cannistraro:] ...CIA now believes that Aras Habib ... "arranged for Curveball to be presented to the Germans." "The C.I.A. is positive of it."
[DIA Chalabi sponsors:] most ...information ...received from [INC] defectors was "of little or no value."
[Entifadh Qanbar's INC memo to Senate Appropriations Committee, 2002-06-26:]
[INC gave raw intel to] "U.S. government recipients," including William Luti, at the Pentagon, and John Hannah...
"Accounts of Iraqi defectors were not always weighed against their strong desire to have Saddam Hussein ousted." "It looks as if we, along with the administration, were taken in." [--NYT 2004?-05-26 re NYT pre-war coverage]
Patrick E. Tyler [NYT chief correspondent]...hired Chalabi's niece, Sarah Khalil, to be ...[NYT's Kuwait] office manager... ...Tamara [Chalabi said] ...Khalil helped her father's [Ahmad's] efforts while she was working for the Times.
[2003-04] Chalabi was stranded [by US forces]...
Chalabi ...[called] Khalil...
[Tamara Chalabi:] Khalil commandeered [INC] money ...rounded up ...SUVs, which she herself led ...into Iraq.
[2003-05-20 NYT fired Khalil]
[INC disseminated Atta / Prague story.]
[INC sponsored defector w/ INC translator, Abu Zeinab al-Qurairy - Salman Pak story 2002-02 Vanity FairR, David Rose]
[INC sponsored defector, Sabah Khalifa Khodada al-Lami - Salman Pak + anthrax 2001-11-12.]
...[Khidhir Hamza scientist & sr admin of 1980s Iraqi Nuke program] defected ...in 1994. ...1997 ...[w/] Institute for Science and International Security ...run by David Albright...
[INC phoned Hamza.] "We saw the claws of Chalabi then." "Hamza was shaken, and said he'd never do that again." [--D. Albright]
"Saddam's Bombmaker" [1999 Hamza w/] Jeff Stein...
[D. Albright:] ...many of the claims ...including ...[Hamza's] importance ..."were just ridiculous."
[D. Albright:] Francis Brooke "was involved" in promoting Hamza's book. "It was clear he had a part in it."
...[CNN asked about Chalabi's makeover] as a religious leader...
"Why is this a concern?" [--Chalabi]
...Chalabi's ...turn toward Shiite nationalism...
...[INC intel boss, Aras Habib,] long ...suspected of spying for Iran.
[Chalabi:] ...Habib had passed a  CIA polygraph test ..[re] Iran ...[no] access to U.S. classified materials.
...[2003-11 Tehran, Chalabi met w/] Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
[Just prior to invasion, Chalabi in US-purchased] ...gated villa in Tehran [for INC]
"There are geopolitical reasons to be friendly with Iran." "Iran has the longest border with Iraq. Also, Iran is a much stronger state than Iraq, with three times the population. So strategically it's not a good idea to be on bad terms. My good relations were not a secret from the U.S." [--Chalabi]
[Ahmad's US trouble bcuz he's] "a foreigner, and an Arab, had beaten the Administration at their own game, in their own back yard." [--Tamara Chalabi]