Monday, February 21, 2005

The Chalabi Files

Abu Aardvark brings up the old question of the Iraqi secret police files that somehow wandered into the possession of Ahmed Chalabi after the fall of Baghdad. It was widely accepted that ownership of the papers might be a potent source of political pull, permitting blackmail of almost anyone. The Aardvark points out that they have disappeared, strangely enough, from the political stage.

This brings up a couple of questions: for a start, with the orgy of coalition-making (always the most evil and twisted form of politics, its crack cocaine) now bubbling in Baghdad, you'd have thought Chalabi would be pulling out all the blackmail he could. But so far, nothing. Curious. And then, there's the international issue. So far, the various Oil-for-Food scandals have all been based on documents allegedly issuing fromm exactly those files. This is why so many of the allegations, like those against George Galloway, end up being taken back or ripped to shreds by libel lawyers.

Now, back when Chalabi fell out with the Americans, you may recall that auditors were commissioned to investigate the allegations of fraud. They had a problem, though, because Chalabi and his organisation wouldn't let them see the documents. Not just that, but a computer belonging to the auditors was mysteriously hacked and wiped on the same day as the US raid on Chalabi's house. (Rant here) So - either Ahmed Chalabi is indeed using the documents, frenziedly blackmailing his way back up the tree, or perhaps we don't hear of them because he's discovered that, in fact, they are much less useful than he thought, or possibly discreditable to his good self. Question for extra points: what would Hunter have made of Chalabi?

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