I think that any one drawing the inference from my criticism of Chalabi that my adverse comments could possibly be used as a way to edge America towards a war with Iran lacks any capacity for logic.
Chalabi has always had strong ties with the Iranians. If he worked as their agent, it is something that we should have countered by filling him full of disinformation or channeling erroneous nonsense to Iran about US intentions. The CIA cut him off, so he went to Capitol Hilll and later the Pentagon who kept sending him large checks.
Chalabi does have his backers. Former CIA case officer Warren Marik told me that Chalabi truly wanted Iraq to be rid of Saddam and didn’t care how that came about, an opinion echoed by Ned Walker, former Assistant Sec of State. That Chalabi was directly responsible for an incredible amount of crap to be channeled into the White House simply shows his skill of pretense, and the unscrupulousness of the administration who was going to use the information to market the war whether it was true or not. To push INC information to the topmost levels of the White House without its being vetted by intelligence professionals is iobscene but it happened.
That Chalabi falsified and hyped reports from his own emigre field agents on WMD is a proven fact. I spoke with one case officer who had taken notes when he interviewed these people, and when he saw the information retailed in 51 US news outlets, he said he could barely recognize it. He could recognize the source but the information had been transformed and exaggerated. I will go into my files and find the name, but it happened.
I will also post additional intelligence on Chalabis government and business dealings in Iraq.
But as I say, he has his defenders: Marik says that the real traitor in the case of the blown operation to read Iran’s codes was "the drunken American idiot" who told Chalabi about the operation, not Chalabi. Former CIA agent Bob Baer, while excoriating Chalabi in many ways, also says of the exile, "He never told me a lie."
But on the subject of Iran, I think the United States should be talking with them about their program. I think we in America ignored "the will to status" — the feeling on the part of countries they think it their destiny to fulfill, expand and perfect ther powers to their fullest extent. They feel they should not be relegated to a permanent second class place.
The United States has thrown a hissy fit every time another power has developed a nuclear weapon. The Russians surprised us by exploding one in 1949, but we were opposed to De Gaulle getting one, to the British getting one — we had plaid rabbits trying to make sure israel didn’t get one. When it came to Pakistan and India, there was a faction within the agency who thought that perhaps it would tame the virulent hatreds between the two by producing some sort of MAD equilibrium, a doctrine many other intelligence officials thought quite mad.
In any case, I think it unhelpful for view Iran and Iranians as being incapable of reason and common sense.
With greetings to all,