Thursday, May 20, 2004

I've been reading about the raid on Ahmad Chalabi's offices -- the New York Times story, the AP story, blog posts by Juan Cole and Kevin Drum.

The U.S. is souring on Chalabi -- his intel was lousy; he's doing outreach to Iran. American money isn't going to him anymore. The stories suggest that there's a dispute about an investigation he's doing on his own into the UN's Oil for Food program.

But I'm thinking of something else. This is wild speculation, but remember that, as was reported a year ago, Chalabi has

25 tonnes of intelligence documents detailing Saddam Hussein's relationship with foreign governments and Arab leaders.

The files [were] seized by his Iraqi National Congress supporters from Ba'ath party offices and secret police stations...

And recall that Chalabi's nephew, Salem Chalabi, is heading the Iraqi tribunal that will try Saddam Hussein and other aides.

Is it possible that computers and documents were seized at Chalabi's offices out of fear that those files might contain something that's very embarrassing to the Bush administration, or members of it, or former GOP administrations? Something that would make the famous 1983 Rummy-Saddam handshake seem like the tip of the iceberg? Something we could count on Chalabi to keep under his hat back when he was our friend? Something especially embarrassing now, with Abu Ghraib fresh in our minds?

Just a thought.

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