Odierno: Chalabi “clearly influenced by Iran”

Time for some hearings about how an Iranian agent acquired so much political sponsorship in the United States?

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.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

3 thoughts on “Odierno: Chalabi “clearly influenced by Iran””

  1. "Certainly the management of the American Enterprise Institute ought to be invited to explain how AEI decided to promote Chalabi. "

    I'll help 'debrief' AEI; I've already got pliers and jumper cables.

  2. At least here we disqualify candidates based on their party membership, not ethnicity. That's the effect of putting Democrats and Republicans on the ballot automatically, while combining expensive ballot access requirements for all other parties with laws making it practically impossible to raise the money to pay for those efforts. (With the added benefit of making sure that, if they should make the ballot, they start out broke again.)

    A far more justifiable system, of course.

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