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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Iraqi Election Watch: Chalabi, Once Darling of Bush Administration Neocons, Is 'Doing the Bidding of Iran,' Says Former Top CIA Officer

Michael Isikoff Feb 28, 2010 09:41 PM
U.S. General Ray Odierno, the senior U.S. commander in Iraq, recently unleashed an extraordinary attack on Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, accusing the one time darling of U.S. neo-conservatives of attempting to "hijack" the country's March 7 parliamentary elections in an effort to promote the interests of Iran.
Odierno's charge that Chalabi is "clearly influenced" by Iran caused a stir in Baghdad, but was no surprise to the U.S. intelligence community. Odierno's comments echo more than a decade of private warnings by CIA officials that, even while he was being embraced by Paul Wolfowitz and others in the Bush administration, Chalabi was secretly aligned with the regime in Tehran. Chalabi "is doing the bidding of Iran," said John Maguire, formerly one of the CIA's top Iraqi operations officer who served as a deputy station chief in Baghdad following the U.S. invasion in 2003. "He's getting specific instructions [from the Iranians] and he's responding to them. This has been going on since 1996, but there's no hiding it anymore."


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