June 03, 2004

What Bothers Me About the Chalabi Scandals

From what I can understand, the main evidence that is being held against Chalabi is that the Iranians used a broken code to send a message that the code was broken and that Chalabi was the source of the information. After that, they changed the code. At a minimum, this is incredibly rude spycraft. You're burning your source on purpose, something that will always dry up any further intelligence from any of your sources at a certain level and up. Everybody wonders who else you will burn and ruin their lives.

There is one exception to this rule. If Chalabi isn't actually the source but they were just mad at Chalabi and claimed he was the source, the message makes perfect sense as a false trail away from their real source. The fact that this scenario makes perfect sense in spycraft terms doesn't mean that it is true. However, it does mean that everybody piling on Chalabi as an Iranian spy are very much jumping the gun. There is an investigation going on. Chalabi should be treated warily in case the accusation is true and the investigation is entirely appropriate to determine the facts. An awful lot of people are going to owe the man an apology if it turns out that Chalabi pissed off the Iranians and got savaged by the US for it.

Posted by TMLutas at June 3, 2004 07:22 AM