Gen. Ray Odierno, who replaced David Petraeus as the senior U.S. commander in Iraq, quotes “direct intelligence” for the claim that Ahmed Chalabi is “clearly influenced by Iran.” According to Odierno, Chalabi and his ally Ali Faisal al-Lami met in Iran with someone on the terrorist watch list.
al-Lami has been in the news as the head of the panel that disqualified hundreds of candidates in the forthcoming Iraqi elections, including the #2 and #3 candidates on the “Iraqiya” list headed by former Prime Minister Ayad al-Allawi’s secularist (and bi-confessional) Iraqiya. The #2, a serving member if the Majlis, was disqualified for his Ba’athist ties; he was expelled from that party in 1977.
So the project of Iraqi democratization is being derailed by a pair of Iranian agents of influence, one of whom has long enjoyed high-level political sponsorship in the U.S.
Given our current rather fraught relationships with the Iranian government, it seems to me that some Congressional hearings on Iranian influence operations in Washington would be in order. Some special attention might be paid to the conditions under which the Iraq Liberation Act passed in 1997. I doubt Chalabi would accept an invitation to appear, but perhaps his friends Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz could speak for him. Certainly the management of the American Enterprise Institute ought to be invited to explain how AEI decided to promote Chalabi.
It’s called “accountability.”