The foundation of John McCains Presidential bid is his foreign policy experience and judgement. The motive engine of his candidacy is his stated ability to protect America from its enemies, and as he has repeatedly said, first among those who threaten us are the rulers of Iran.
McCain recently claimed that Obamas willingness to engage Iran in dialogue
shows "naivete' and "inexperience and lack of judgement". According to ABC News McCain will make the issue "front-and-center in the upcoming election. In response, Barack Obama expressed an eagerness to engage McCain "anywhere, anyplace" on this central concern of voters. Recent events have shed light on how McCains judgement and his own naivete may be his downfall.edition of Time magazine is reporting from two U.S. officials that Americas diplomats and military liasons have been ordered to cut all relations with Amad Chalabi.
This action was taken in the wake of Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki removing Chalabi from the Baghdad Services Committee. Chalabis extensive and on-going contacts with Iranian officials becoming too repugnant for Maliki to ignore any longer.
A brief survey of John McCains relationship with Ahmed Chalabi, and Chalabis role in the making of the Iraq war leads to the inescapable conclusion that John McCain has been unwittingly manipulated by Iranian Intelligence Services since 1997.
The entire story of the realtionship between McCain, Chalabi, and Iran spans fifteen years, three administrations and two wars. In the interests of conciseness, I will restrict the discussion to the two salient points: the close relationship of John McCain and Chalabi; and Chalabis identification as an Iranian Intelligence agent.
John McCain was one of Chalabis first patrons, dating their relationship to 1991, when McCain offered unqualified support to Chalabi and his International Committee for a Free Iraq, and was Chalabis man in the Senate to push for funding. In 2000, Chalabi endorsed McCains Presidential bid, knowing that McCain was working to free up 97 million in funding for Chalabis new group, the Iraqi National Congress.
In 1997, despite opposition from the Pentagon and the State Department, McCain co-sponsored The Iraq Liberation Act, whicht--McCain co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act, which committed the United States to overthrowing Saddam's regime and to funding opposition groups. McCain welcomed Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), to Washington and pressured the administration to give him money. When General Anthony Zinni cast doubt upon the effectiveness of the Iraqi opposition, McCain rebuked him at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
On November 24, 2003, Sally Quinn, on the pages of the Washington Post, quoted McCain as saying:
"He's a patriot who has the best interests of his country at heart," says Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Six months later, the Pentagon cut off funds to Chalabi, arrested Chalabi's aides, and raided Chalabi's house....as part of an investigation into the complete compromise of virtually all U.S. intelligence networks in Iran. Some patriot, huh? Chalabi sold us out....and he's the guy McCain--with all his "National Security" experience--went and championed."
Then, on May 23, 2004, Bob Drogin broke this story in the LATimes:
MORE CHALABI SPIES....A couple of months ago, the LA Times broke the story of "Curveball," a key Iraqi informant who showed up in a German refugee camp and claimed that he had built biological warfare trucks for the Iraqi army. Only later did the CIA learn that he was actually the brother of one of Ahmed Chalabi's top aides and had probably been coached to provide false information.
Ahmad Chalabi, the onetime White House favorite who has been implicated in an alleged Iranian spy operation, sent Iraqi defectors to at least eight Western spy services before the war in an apparent effort to dupe them about Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's illicit weapons programs, current and former U.S. intelligence officials said.
Because even friendly spy services rarely share the identities of their informants or let outsiders meet or debrief their sources, it has only in recent months become clear that Chalabi's group sent defectors with inaccurate or misleading information to Denmark, England, Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, as well as to the United States, the officials said.
...."We had a lot of sources, but it was all coming from the same pot," said a former senior U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They were all INC guys. And none of them panned out."
Chalabi was central to the dis-information campaign that led this country to invade Iraq. This was known back at least as far as 2004, when a State Department counter terrorism official told reporters:
"When the story ultimately comes out, we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history - it persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy."
A recent article by the Council of Foreign Relations President Lester Gelb acknowledged in hindsight that Chalabi "played us like the proverbial violin."
So there is this large body of evidence and a concensus of professionals, that Chalabi was the source of the disinformation that got us into Iraq.
Until 2005, however, although Chalabi furthered the interests of Iran, there wasn't any evidence linking him directly to Iranian intelligence.
That changed when highly classified accurate information was found to be relayed to Tehran from Chalabi. Only a hand full of US government officials knew that we had broken Iranian military communications coding, and intercepts proved Chalabis role.
Sidney Blumenthal informs us:
"At a well-appointed conservative think tank in downtown Washington and across the Potomac River at the Pentagon, FBI agents have begun paying quiet calls on prominent neoconservatives, who are being interviewed in an investigation of potential espionage, according to intelligence sources. Who gave Ahmed Chalabi classified information about the plans of the U.S. government and military?"
Vince Cannistraro, formerly at the CIA and the Pentagon, was so "very, very sensitive" that only a few U.S. government officials had access to it:
"The evidence has pointed quite clearly, not only the fact that Chalabi might be an agent of influence of the Iranian government and that [Chalabi's intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib] may be a paid agent of the Iranian intelligence service, but it is shown that there is a leak of classified information from the United States to Iran through Chalabi and Karim and that is the particular point that the FBI is investigating. In other words, some U.S. officials are under investigation on suspicion of providing classified information to these people that ended up in Iran."
Senior Bush aides described the evidence at the time as "rock solid."
Bush cut off relations with Chalabi and the FBI investigation as to who tipped Chalabi, was unresolved. So how was it that Chalabi was re-born as head of Bagdhad Services Committee and charged with reconstructing vital services in Iraq?
As recently as October, the Bush administration called him a "central figure in the latest US strategy."
Why was Chalabi, a known Iranian intelligence agent, made a central figure in the surge? A person in a position to know would be Charles Black, the Repub strategist who is and has been for years, head of the PR firm that represents Chalabi. Black is also McCains senior campaign advisor. Story is still unfolding as Obama and McCain begin debate. The Arizona Senator is bringing a slingshot to a gunfight.