Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 25, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

CHALABI UPDATE....What information did Ahmed Chalabi hand over to the Iranians? Here is theory #2 courtesy of the Guardian:

An intelligence source in Washington said the CIA confirmed its long-held suspicions when it discovered that a piece of information from an electronic communications intercept by the National Security Agency had ended up in Iranian hands. The information was so sensitive that its circulation had been restricted to a handful of officials.

"This was 'sensitive compartmented information' - SCI - and it was tracked right back to the Iranians through Aras Habib," the intelligence source said.

In other words:

  • The NSA intercepted some information.

  • This information was known to very few people in the U.S. government.

  • It ended up in Iranian hands.

  • The CIA figured out how the Iranians got hold of it, and the answer turned out to be Aras Habib, Chalabi's intelligence chief.

This is definitely different from Michael Ledeen's theory that Chalabi informed the Iranians that we had broken their codes. But it's possible that both theories are correct: Chalabi told the Iranians about the code breaking, while Habib passed on some other information. It appears there are at least two distinct breaches that the CIA is investigating.

As usual, Laura Rozen is your one-stop-shop for Chalabi speculation. In addition to the stuff about Habib, she also asks "Who did Ahmad Chalabi piss off?" (Answer: lots of people, but most disastrously White House envoy Robert Blackwill and, eventually, George W. Bush) and also has a bit more speculation about "the real line that Chalabi is believed to have crossed." Go read.

Kevin Drum 2:54 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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