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Tuesday, March 16

Disinformation Campaign  

"As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important." Thus spake Chalabi. Knight-Ridder, which is making the rest of the major media outlets look like pikers, has an expose today of the INC's disinformation campaign. While what was said before is not important to Chalabi, it is extremely important that we all examine the various nefarious elements that got us into Iraq. Here is the list of the 100 articles for which the INC provided disinformation. The timeframe is October 2001 to May 2002. I would love to see a list covering June 2002 to March 2003. Note that the first article comes from a WaPo editorial one month after 9/11. Here, then, is a corrupt exile group bragging to the Senate Appropriations Committee that it was feeding information (which we now know to be false) to the major media outlets (including Knight-Ridder) one month after al-Qaeda attacked the U.S.; information that played no small part in convincing the American people that invasion was the best course of action against Saddam. Chalabi continues to be the benefactor of American tax dollars even after his Information Collection Program has been shown to be a total farce. One would think that an administration that had been duped so badly by a man, who is now bragging about it and laughing all the way to the bank with his $4m in US taxpayer money, would seek some retribution or at least restitution; one would think. The gutless sops in the administration aside, it is important that Americans in general follow this story carefully because it is part and parcel with how this administration conducts business. So blinded are they by their own ideology and self-rightousness that they will defy all logic, evidence and even public humiliation to continue their self-appointed mission of world reconfiguration. This is true on the domestic front as well as the foreign one. From the WaPo editorial:
Take Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami, a 47-year-old former Iraqi army captain who from 1994 until 1998 was a military instructor in the elite militia known as Saddam's Fighters. He escaped with his family into Iraqi Kurdistan and then to Turkey in 1999 and received U.S. permission to settle as a refugee in Fort Worth last May. Alami, a soft-spoken man with the engaging quiet smile endemic to the Tigris and Euphrates delta, guardedly outlined to me here Wednesday details of the training given for airliner hijacking and assassinations in the Salman Pak area of Baghdad while he was there. The Iraqi National Congress had tracked Alami to Fort Worth and made him available for an interview here while he sought a meeting with the FBI. Discussing Iraq's links to terrorism with an American was a novel experience, Alami said. The Immigration and Naturalization Service official who interviewed him in Turkey for his refugee visa did not probe his military specialties. More surprising: An Iraqi ex-intelligence officer who has told the Iraqi National Congress of specific sightings of "Islamicists" training on a Boeing 707 parked in Salman Pak as recently as September 2000 says he was treated dismissively by CIA officers in Ankara this week. They reportedly showed no interest in pursuing a possible Iraq connection to Sept. 11.
From today's KR piece:
Many of the articles relied on interviews with the same defectors, who appeared to change facts with each telling. For instance, one defector first appeared in several stories as an Iraqi army former captain, but a later story said he was a major. Another defector told one interviewer that the aircraft fuselage on which Islamic extremists received training in hijacking belonged to a Boeing 707 and was quoted in a later story as saying that it came from a Russian-made Tupolev. Intelligence debriefers look for such differences when trying to determine the reliability of defectors, who sometimes exaggerate their importance or try to tell interviewers what they think the interviewers want to hear. The Information Collection Program (ICP) was financed out of the more than $18 million that Congress approved for the Iraqi National Congress, led by Chalabi, now a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, between 1999 and 2003. The group remains on the Pentagon's payroll.


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