Current affairs are off the radar for the moment, pushed to the side -- understandably -- by remembrance of Reagan and D-Day. But let me avert your gaze for a moment to update one of our running stories: that of Ahmed Chalabi and his ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
You've probably noticed that Richard Perle and a few others are still making regular appearances on chat shows and in quotes in newspaper articles about the Chalabi story. He, Gingrich and a few others even marched over to the White House a couple weeks ago and demanded an end to the investigations into Chalabi. And this has raised an intriguing question: with so many friends on the inside, if Chalabi were really as guilty as people say, wouldn't some of those folks go to Perle and the others and tell them to back off, if only in the interests of his own credibility?
It's a good question. And to some, it suggests that on the inside there's much more debate than we might imagine over whether the charges against Chalabi are true.
To try to figure out what might be going on I talked to several folks over the last few days who have a very good view into not only what folks in the intel community make of this stuff but what the prime neo-cons and/or Iraq hawks at DOD think too.
So what did I hear?
From what I can tell, they all think Chalabi is guilty as sin. They may have questions about how Chalabi got the information -- here there is some interagency skirmishing. But none seem to seriously question that he passed it on.
Yes, Chalabi still has a few diehards. I guess we might call them 'dead-enders'. Whether they're just in denial or, shall we say, more heavily invested in Chalabi than we understood, I just don't know. But as nearly as I can tell, with the exception of these few Chalabi dead-enders -- most, but not all, of whom aren't in government -- even those inclined toward sympathy to Chalabi think the charges are true.