View Full Version : U.S. and Iraqi forces raid Ahmad Chalabi's home

05-21-2004, 09:42 AM
Why did U.S. and Iraqi forces raid Ahmad Chalabi's home? The real reason was a widening trail of corruption that has little to do with his political agenda


Updated: 5:58 p.m. ET May 20, 2004May 20 - The raid came as a shock to many: U.S. soldiers breaking into the home and offices of Ahmad Chalabi, the exile whom Pentagon hawks once saw as Iraq’s future leader. Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress promptly put its spin machine into overdrive. This was all about politics, the INC said—the souring of Chalabi’s reputation in Washington and his resistance to a United Nations-led plan for Iraqi sovereignty that would cut out the Iraq Governing Council, of which Chalabi is a member. "It's a provocative operation, designed to force Dr. Chalabi to change his political stance," fumed Chalabi aide Qaisar Wotwot.

In fact, sources close to the investigation tell NEWSWEEK that Thursday’s raid stems from a long-running probe by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq into financial corruption and criminal charges linked to the INC and its alleged efforts to profit illegally from Iraq’s reconstruction. Among the documents police were searching for relate to charges that INC officials profited from the introduction of a new currency. According to an official with the Coalition Provisional Authority, an INC-affiliated company was placed in charge of destroying the old currency, but “a lot of money was coming out again into circulation instead of being burned. Some of it had signs of partial burning.” The currency handover was supposed to be a one-to-one exchange, he said, “but we got a lot less in old money then we gave out.”

Among the felony counts already filed are theft of government property, theft of government money, misrepresentation and abuse of power, he said. Some of the other charges are connected to the INC’s seizure of government-owned homes and cars, especially through the group’s effective control of the Ministry of Finance, the CPA official said.

The CCCI is also investigating whether INC officials, including Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Habib, misused the Baath Party files they seized upon being helped into Iraq early by the U.S. military. Chalabi ultimately became head of the De-Baathification Committee, and U.S. officials believe that some Iraqis have been threatened with blackmail by being identified as Baath Party members if they declined to do the INC’s bidding, the CPA official said. “Just recently we learned of a situation where a senior official in the Ministry of Science and Technology refused to sign off on a contract brought in by the INC. He felt it was overpriced or that there was something else wrong with it. Because he refused, the minister and the De-Baathification Committee included his name on the list [of Baath Party] members, and they sent a letter saying you’re a Baathist and you’ll be eliminated.” The official also said about 1 billion dinars allocated for de-Baathification has mysteriously disappeared.

While the investigation is largely Iraqi-run, the CPA official admitted that the Iraqis until now have lacked the enforcement capacity: in fact, a warrant for Habib’s arrest was issued more than two weeks ago, he said. “But the Iraqi police were scared to go after such a high-profile target,” he told NEWSWEEK. Only U.S. troops could bring it off. As a result, the timing of the raid may have been politically motivated. CPA administrator L. Paul Bremer III is said to have grown increasingly disgusted with Chalabi’s behavior in recent months, officials said. And Bremer is keen to distance the CPA from Chalabi before the June 30 handover. “This is a wakeup call to the INC that you’re not above the law,” said one U.S. official. It may also signal the beginning of the end for Ahmad Chalabi.

05-22-2004, 05:56 PM
Now they say he was a Iranian Spy. Wow, we really got raped by this double agent.

05-22-2004, 11:25 PM
Backing this guy was a mistake from day one. He's a whore looking for the big payoff. They were blind...but then they have been blind about so many things in the last year in Iraq.