Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 6, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THE NOT-LONG-ENOUGH ARM OF THE LAW....More scuttlebutt on Chalabi:

An arrest warrant has been issued for Ahmed Chalabi's right-hand man in Baghdad, the American consultant Francis Brooke, who tried to stop the recent raid on the politician's headquarters in the Iraqi capital.

...."He stopped the raid by telling the police they didn't have the legal power to do it because he was an American and they were Iraqis," said Judge Zuhair Al-Maliky, of the central criminal court in Baghdad."

Hmmm, so Chalabi is in Iraq where the Americans can't get to him and Brooke is in America where the Iraqis can't get to him. Thank goodness for cell phones, eh?

Further down the story, we also learn that the Chalabi friend who has been investigating the UN oil-for-food scandal (based, you might recall, on documents Chalabi collected last year from burned out ministry buildings and has not allowed anyone to see since) has suffered a setback:

Last night, it emerged that on the same day as the raid, computer files belonging to the British consultant investigating the oil-for-food scandal were destroyed by hackers and a back-up databank in his Baghdad office wiped out.

Claude Hankes Drielsma, a British businessman and long-time acquaintance of Mr Chalabi, accused America and Britain of mounting a "dirty tricks" campaign to obstruct his inquiry.

Wow. They got both his computer and his backup database! Those are some pretty sharp hackers!

It's been known for years that Saddam Hussein managed to skim off money from the oil-for-food program, and I'm perfectly willing to believe that the corruption also includes the UN and runs deeper than previously imagined. But it certainly is peculiar that it was Chalabi of all people who managed to sweep up all the relevant documents after the war; that he's been unwilling to show them to any outside investigators ever since; and that his own investigation has suddenly been delayed several months. Peculiar indeed.

Kevin Drum 6:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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