Jun 01, 2004

This is Really Bizarre

I had to check about three times to make sure this came from the .gov address, but sure enough Condoleeza Rice had this exchange with a reporter today at a press briefing:

Q Dr. Rice, for many years, Mr. Chalabi was the savior of the White House and the Pentagon and the Washington circle. What is the present relationship between the White House and Mr. Chalabi?

DR. RICE: Well, look, Ahmed Chalabi did, I think, a lot of good work on behalf of his country when he was in exile. And, yes, there was a relationship. It has not been an easy relationship of late—I think that you can see that, that’s not hard to see. But Iraq is a complicated place and we’re going to continue to work with whomever we need to in that complicated place. The United States has never wanted to try and pick and choose among Iraqi’s future leaders. I think we made that clear months ago, that really at the time of the liberation, that the United States was not going to bet on a particular horse or bet on a particular candidate. And that’s been proven out here. There was a process in place instead, and that’s what has gone on. So it has been a not easy relationship, but there’s no reason that it has to remain that way.

Now granted, emphasis added, but is she serious?  No reason?  I am going to leave it with just this one Newsweek headline:

The Rise and Fall of Chalabi: Bush’s Mr. Wrong

Commentors are encouraged to list other reasons that come to mind, but even more perplexing, is Rice trying to indicate that we might yet work with Chalabi in Iraq?  We were certainly not inclined to believe this was all a hoax to allow Chalabi to gain credibility while he prepared to run in elections, but the question now has to be asked with tremendous seriousness:  We have raided his compund twice now, and it has been confirmed from myriad sources that he did in fact give intelligence to Iran - so why is he still walking around like cock of the walk preparing to campaign rather than locked up or deported to Jordan to serve his bank fraud sentence?  If the administration has forgiven Chalabi, or never had a problem with him to begin with, that is fine.  But he has betrayed all of us, our entire nation, and it is not the administration’s purview to simply forgive and forget.

...Election results, 3 1/2 hours away…

Update:  This meeting have anything to do with this?


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