Tinker, Banker, NeoCon, Spy

Old Blog Import

He is shunned by all Western powers save the United Kingdom, ostracized in the Arab world and disdained even by many of his erstwhile comrades in the Iraqi opposition. Among his few friends, however, are the men running the Bush administration’s willy-nilly war on Iraq. And with their backing, it’s not inconceivable that this hapless, exiled Iraqi aristocrat and London-Washington playboy might end up atop the smoking heap of what’s left of Iraq next year.


Though the CIA cut off the INC after that, Chalabi was undeterred and went about working with congressional Republicans to pass the Iraq Liberation Act. That law set up a pool of funds and in-kind contributions for the INC and other opposition forces. In its implementation, however, the INC has been embroiled in repeated disputes with the State Department over its accounting for funds received. (In 1999, when asked about secrecy in accounting for certain INC expenditures, Chalabi blurted: "Damn right! It was covert money.") "He’s a criminal banker," says Akins, the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia. "He’s a swindler. He’s interested in getting money, and I suspect it’s all gone into his bank accounts and those of his friends."”

The American Prospect