The internetosphere has buzzed about Sy Hersh’s latest piece in the New Yorker, where he breaks the wobbly-minded president story out of the tabloids and into his mainstream (Carpetbagger, natch, has some very good commentary). Given the way the White House has leaked lately I’m sure that it won’t be the last story along those lines. For my money though, this paragraph hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention:
Blair has assigned a small team of operatives to provide political help to Allawi, the former adviser told me. He also said that there was talk late this fall, with American concurrence, of urging Ahmad Chalabi, a secular Shiite, to join forces in a coalition with Allawi during the post-election negotiations to form a government. Chalabi, who is notorious for his role in promoting flawed intelligence on weapons of mass destruction before the war, is now a deputy Prime Minister. He and Allawi were bitter rivals while in exile.
There was talk? Really? I didn’t buy into it personally, but I could almost understand the prewar Chalabi mystique. Setting aside the irony of promoting ‘democracy’ by handing over power to an unelected crony, Chalabi is ostensibly friendly to Israel, pro-west, secular-oriented and provided scads of apparently useful intel. But now that makes no sense at all. On top of the embezzlement that we already knew about, Chalabi turned against Israel when it suited his political interests. He spied for Iran, against us, and his prewar intelligence turned out to be as credible as a three-dollar bill. Where’s the appeal? It’s like the most powerful people in the world are stuck in this codependent relationship with a conman. If you’re a DC insider or an armchair psychologist, or you can fake it believably, have at it in the comments.