"There was the money issue, too. Throughout the 1990’s, as the C.I.A. and Congress funneled millions of dollars to Chalabi’s organization, the Iraqi National Congress, rumors swirled about corruption. One of the skeptics was W. Patrick Lang, a senior official at the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 1995, Lang told me, he was sitting in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, when he overheard a group of Iraqis talking about the money they had received from the American government.
“I knew who these guys were, and I heard them speaking Arabic, and it was obviously Iraqi Arabic,” Lang said. “So I went over and sat next to them and listened. So what they were talking about was how to spend the Americans’ money, going on shopping trips, stuff like that. Oh, they were talking about going shopping for jewelry for women, toys for kids. Consumer goods. They were also talking about Las Vegas. ‘We will sneak out of here and go to Las Vegas. We have a lot of money now.’ ”
A couple of years later, Lang said, he visited the office of Senator Trent Lott, then the Senate majority leader. After introducing an Arab businessman to Lott, Lang sat in Lott’s anteroom with a number of Capitol Hill staff members who helped draft the Iraq Liberation Act, which provided millions of dollars to Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. They were praising Chalabi: “They were talking about him, that Chalabi fits into this plan as a very worthwhile, virtuous exemplar of modernization, somebody who could help reform first Iraq and then the Middle East. They were very pleased with themselves.” Lang, an old Middle East hand who had worked in Iraq in the 1980’s, said he was stunned. “You guys need to get out more,” Lang recalls saying at the time. “It’s a fantasy.”
Years later, Lang said, many of the same men who were sitting in Lott’s office that day became key players in the Pentagon’s plans for an invasion of Iraq." Dexter Filkins
At the time of the incident in the Four Seasons I was no longer working for DIA, having left about a year before. Pat Lang