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Thursday, May 20, 2004

Raid on Chalabi

The thlot pickens! Dick Cheney's favorite Iraqi, Ahmed Chalabi, was the Iraqi exile who fed Cheney and the others the BS about Saddam's WMD's. The Bushies used said BS as their main reason for invading Iraq, and then tried in various ways to put Chalabi in charge of the country. Chalabi and his nephew Salem were given control of Saddam's security force's records on thousands (millions?) of Iraqis, giving them immense power to shame or blackmail possible political opponents.

Well, this morning, according to AP:
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police surrounded the residence of Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi on Thursday, and an aide said the troops raided the house ostensibly to search for fugitives.
Several armed Westerners were also seen, wearing flak vests and using SUVs without license tags -- vehicles associated here with U.S. security.

Some people could be seen loading boxes into vehicles, and neighbors said some members of Chalabi's entourage were taken away.
I've only read this one story so far; I'll bet Juan Cole and Atrios and Josh Marshall and Billmon and many others will have lots of interesting angles on this story. Just days ago the Bushies decided to stop paying this embezzling liar (or is it lying embezzler?) $335,000 a month to keep lying to us.

It will be interesting to see who ordered this raid--was it done with the approval of longtime Chalabi supporters like Cheney and Rumsfeld, or did Powell or Rice, perhaps, convince W to overrule Cheney? Maybe Cheney died in his undisclosed location and they're keeping it a secret? (They keep everything else secret.) Or maybe some rogue Army colonel got so pissed at Rummy and company that he ordered the action himself?

In any case, it would seem to indicate the end of Chalabi's influence over our government, and that can only be good. Maybe they'll finally extradite him to Jordan and let him serve his twenty years there.

[Update] Okay, I've checked the blogs I mentioned above, and a couple of others, and none has anything to add to the story so far except a pithy comment or two. I will say that I'm wondering if those boxes removed in the raid contained those records that gave Chalabi so much control.