The Chalabi raid

Is this from the newspaper, or from a Len Deighton novel?

Okay, I give up. WTF?

Matt Yglesias’s take on this makes a twisted kind of sense, I guess. But when the polls in Iraq show 88% calling the Coalition forces “occupiers and 68% saying they support Moqtada al-Sadr either “strongly” (32%) or “somewhat” (36%), is this really a time to be dumping our chief weasel just because he’s weaseling on us?

As long as we’re playing spy novels, how about this one: Maybe someone thinks Chalabi or his playmates were involved in the Salim hit. Hard to fit that in with the claims by al-Qaeda splinters to have done the deed, but at least it would make sense of the timing and brutality of the raid.

The Washington Post reports that arrest warrants were issued for eight of Chalabi’s cronies on charges of “kidnapping, fraud, and associated matters.”

The judge said the men had illegally detained and tortured people, stolen government cars for personal use and illegally taken over government facilities.

Maybe it has something to do with the supposed UN Oil-for-Food scandal that Chalabi has supposedly been investigating.

I’m waiting with bated breath for the reaction from the neocons and the warbloggers. Yesterday, they loved Bush and they loved Chalabi. Now that Bush’s people have turned on Chalabi (there’s no way this wasn’t cleared all the way up the chain), which side are they on?

Update: Reuel Marc Gerecht, who has the grossly unfair advantage over the rest of us of knowing something about Iraq, thinks the raid shows that the CIA and the State Department hae gotten the upper hand on the Pentagon in a bureaucratic battle.

Second update Rumsfeld says he didn’t know????? What is this, the Keyston Kops?

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