Thursday, June 03, 2004

Chalabi gave U.S. code listening secrets to Iran?

This article from the Washington Post claims that U.S. intelligence read an encoded Iranian cable from an Iranian agent in Bagdad. This cable stated that Chalabi told Iranian Intelligence that the U.S. was reading its secret cables. This, supposedly, then led to the U.S. dumping of Chalabi.

Chalabi, of course, is the highly controversial member of former Iraqi Governing Former who supposedly convinced the U.S. to go to war.

Last week, the claim was Chalabi, together with Iranian intelligence, had manipulated the U.S. into attacking Iraq using false WMD claims --- hence Chalabi's fall from grace.

This week, it is because he told Iranian Intelligence we were able to read their secret cables.

In fact, according to the Post story, we've been reading Iranian secret cables since 1995, which when we first learned Chalabi was an Iranian spy. He fell out of grace with the CIA, but he was nevertheless able to manipulate DoD into going war. (Yes, Chalabi's intel was very controversial in early 2003 --- the CIA discredited, as numerous press stories reported, but a tiny and highly controversial group formed in DoD by the Bush Administration considered it credible).

So, the CIA has known that Chalabi was an Iranian spy since 1995, but the Bush Administration decided to use his intel to go to war anyway, anyway. And now that we've found (for the second time) that he's such as slippery fish, we've decided to axe him to save face, axe Tennet (who was interfering with DoD plans to wrest control over intelligence), and confirm in the Washington Post of all places that we can read Iranian cables.

Does this make sense? No.

What if the Iranians have known for some time that we can read their secret cables and have been trying to manipulate us.

What if, we know that the Iranians know that we know what they are saying in their secret cables.

But the Iranians don't know that we know that they know that we know what their cables say, and don't know that we know they are trying to manipulate us.

With me so far? Ok good.

And we think the Iranians are trying to manipulate us into axeing Chalabi, their former spy, by putting out this secret cable, knowing that we know what these cables say.

And we think that Iranians don't know that we know they know we know what their cables say.

So we try to manipulate them into thinking their plan is working by axeing Chalabi. And the we carefully publish our reasoning by leaking it to Washington Post (which the DoD has in the past demonized --- related article) where the Iranians will read it.

Does this make sense? No.

But it makes more sense than either of the two previous stories: (1) That we didn't know Chalabi was an Iranian spy until we saw the secret Iranian cable, even though we know he was an Iranian spy since 1995 AND (2) The Chalabi and Iranian intelligence manipulated the Bush Administration into believing WMDs were located in Iraq, when the CIA knew prefectly well (since 1995) that Chalabi was an Iranian spy, even without seeing the secret Iranian cables.

Two things are for sure: (1) That Chalabi guy is a rather slippery fish. (2) The Bush Administration should have listened more to the CIA and less to tiny groups it set up in DoD to "interpret" intelligence in innovative ways.