November 10, 2005


Iraqi Deputy, Back in U.S., Strives to Rebuild Reputation (DEXTER FILKINS, 11/09/05, NY Times)

Ahmad Chalabi, once an Iraqi exile leader and now a deputy prime minister, began his campaign for American rehabilitation here on Wednesday by dismissing the claim that he lured the Bush administration into war with inaccurate intelligence on Iraqi weapons.

Appearing before a friendly audience at the American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Chalabi declined to address why so many people, Iraqi and American, were so wrong about Saddam Hussein's capabilities to produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

"It is not useful for me to comment on it," Mr. Chalabi told the audience.

To his critics Mr. Chalabi, who was once the Pentagon's favorite to lead Iraq after Mr. Hussein, had the most to gain from an American invasion.

But on Wednesday he maintained that the intelligence that he had passed on had little to do with the administration's insistence that the United States had to go to war to disrupt Mr. Hussein's ability to use illegal weapons.

"This is an urban myth," Mr. Chalabi said.

WMD had little to do with our going to war, but to the extent he may have tricked some folks into supporting regimne change, Mr. Chalabi is a great Iraqi patriot.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 10, 2005 7:02 PM
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