File this one under friggin' unbelievable.
You'll remember the much-touted mobile biological weapons labs which now seem never to have existed. The overwhelming consensus within the US Intelligence Community now seems to be that those trailers we found soon after the war ended were actually for making hydrogen for weather balloons.
That didn't stop Dick Cheney from claiming less than two months ago that they were in fact for making biological weapons. But, alas, I digress.
In any case, in all the investigations now underway, we're trying to retrace our steps and see how we went wrong on these trailors.
According to an article by Walter Pincus in tomorrow's Post, it turns out that the main source for the claim -- an Iraqi chemical engineer -- was never even interviewed by American intelligence officers.
In fact, we didn't even know his name. We relied entirely on a foreign intelligence agency -- in whose custody he then was and in which he apparently remains -- to vouch for his credibility.
Really, this goes beyond issues of credibility since we'd want to have our own people interview the guy to get an idea whether he even had any idea what he was talking about, let alone whether he was on the level.
The only other person who could support or confirm this guy's story was another defector, a Iraqi major supplied to the US by Chalabi's folks at the INC.
He, it turns out, had already been "red-flagged" by the DIA for having provided unreliable information about Iraq's mobile bioweapons program. But DIA analysts, it seems, hadn't circulated that judgment widely enough through the rest of the Intelligence Community.
Now we know the engineers name. And that's only made us more eager to have him sit down with our guys. Because it turns out that the engineer is related to a senior member of the INC.
It's bad enough that Chalabi and the INC helped scam us into war. But the ultimate indignity they've subjected us to has to be forcing us to endure investigations of our own intelligence services that read like Monty Python scripts.