Is that really how it is?
There are a handful of articles out yesterday or today in which various partisans of Ahmed Chalabi claim that top level government officials say that the spying charges against Ahmed Chalabi are not to be taken seriously — they’re merely the product of bureaucratic infighting within the US government, payback from his enemies at State and CIA.
I have sources too. And I hear quite the opposite. From what I’m told, what really cooked Chalabi’s goose was that the evidence against him was sufficiently damning that his one-time advocates and protectors inside the government — folks very high up the ladder — simply washed their hands of him, wouldn’t try to defend him.
Another point: look at these sorta-kinda defenses of Chalabi and you’ll often see the argument that Chalabi’s main enemies at the State Department and the CIA — particularly at State — are hopeless hypocrites because, while attacking Chalabi for his contacts with the Iranians, they are the very ones who endorse fuller engagement with the Iranians. (A finger is often stuck in the eye of Armitage at State.) So why can’t Chalabi talk with the Iranians when these jokers have been saying we should do that for some time?
Why do inane arguments like this even catch flight out of the mouths of their proponents?
This is a logic that can’t distinguish between Alger Hiss (notorious spy) and Henry Kissinger (signature detentist). Does this one even require explanation?
Let’s remember that nothing is proven against Chalabi specifically at this point. Even the charges and claims are coming to us through the press. And engagement or non-engagement with Iran is a legitimate question of policy. But can’t we all agree that there is a rather clear-cut distinction between a policy of ‘engagement’ with the Iranians on the one hand and acting as double agents for them on the other?