After all the bad press Chalabi got before the war started, during it and since, the fact that he is still a major player, and may well end up in charge after June 30th. I hope those who will decide exactly who ends up in the government we hand over power to in a month in a half have some sense and don't let this guy be in charge, but given past history, I have no faith whatsoever that will happen. We will probably end up doing exactly the WRONG thing.
Interesting posting by Juan Cole, one of the expert speakers in front of recent Senate hearings along with Richard Perle, one of Chalabi's big pushers in the past.
Perle at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
(Juan Cole, Informed Consent)
It is deeply shameful that Perle is still pushing Chalabi, and may well succeed in installing him. Chalabi is wanted for embezzling $300 million from a Jordanian bank. He cannot account for millions of US government money given him from 1992 to 1996. He was flown into Iraq by the Pentagon (Perle was on the Defense Advisory Board, a civilian oversight committee for the Pentagon) with a thousand of his militiamen. The US military handed over to Chalabi, a private citizen, the Baath intelligence files that showed who had been taking money from Saddam, giving Chalabi the ability to blackmail large numbers of Iraqi and regional actors. It was Chalabi who insisted that the Iraqi army be disbanded, and Perle almost certainly was an intermediary for that stupid decision. It was Chalabi who insisted on blacklisting virtually all Baath Party members, even if they had been guilty of no crimes, effectively marginalizing all the Sunni Iraqi technocrats who could compete with him for power. It was Chalabi who finagled his way onto the Interim Governing Council even though he has no grassroots support (only 0.2 percent of Iraqis say they trust him).