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Profile: Ahmed Chalabi

 
  

Positions that Ahmed Chalabi has held:

  • President of the Iraqi National Congress


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, September 2002

   “American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil.” [Washington Post, 9/15/02]

Associated Events

Undefined, April 13, 2003

   “After (Gen. Jay Garner) finishes his job of restoring basic services, the interim Iraqi authority will be established. And that interim authority will be an authority of Iraqis, chosen by Iraqis. And it will be able to function as an authority in the country immediately after Gen. Garner's job is finished, which should be only a few weeks.” [US Department of Defense, 4/13/2003]

Associated Events

Undefined, (Late May 2003)

   Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress“They told us, ‘Liberation now,’ and then they made it occupation. Bush said he was a liberator, not an occupier, and we supported the United States on this basis.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/29/2003]

Associated Events

Quote, February 18, 2004

   “As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if he wants.” [Telegraph, 2/19/04]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

Ahmed Chalabi actively participated in the following events:

 
  

September 19, 2001-September 20, 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Defense Policy Board (DPB) meets in secrecy in Rumsfeld's Pentagon conference room on September 19 and 20 for nineteen hours to discuss the option of taking military action against Iraq. This is reported in detail by the New York Times three weeks later on October 12 [New York Times, 10/12/01] Among those attending the meeting are the 18 members of the Defense Policy Board, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld, Ahmed Chalabi, and Bernard Lewis. [New York Times 10/12/01; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 236] Secretary of State Colin Powell and other State Department officials in charge of US policy toward Iraq are not invited and are not informed of the meeting. A source will later tell the New York Times that Powell was irritated about not being briefed on the meeting. [New York Times 10/12/01] During the seminar, two of Richard Perle's invited guests, Princeton professor Bernard Lewis and Ahmed Chalabi, the president of the Iraqi National Congress, are given the opportunity to speak. Lewis says that the US must encourage democratic reformers in the Middle East, “such as my friend here, Ahmed Chalbi.” Chalabi argues that Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists and asserts that Saddam's regime has weapons of mass destruction. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 232] During another part of the meeting, the attendees write a letter to President Bush calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein. “[E]ven if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism,” the letter reads. The letter is published in The Washington Times on September 20 (see September 20, 2001) in the name of The Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a conservative think tank that believes the US needs to shoulder the responsibility for maintaining “peace” and “security” in the world by strengthening its global hegemony. [Project for a New American Century, 9/20/01; Manila Times, 7/19/03] They also discuss how to overcome some of the obvious diplomatic and political pressures that will impede a policy of regime change in Iraq. [New York Times 10/12/01] Bush reportedly rejects the proposal, as both Cheney and Powell agree that there is no evidence implicating Saddam Hussein in the attacks. [New York Times 10/12/01 Sources: Unnamed senior administration officials and defense experts]
People and organizations involved: Adm. David E. Jeremiah, James Woolsey, Henry A. Kissinger, Newt Gingrich, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Harold Brown, Defense Policy Board, Dan Quayle, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, Bernard Lewis, James R. Schlesinger, Ahmed Chalabi
          

December 2001      Complete Iraq timeline

       In early December, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri flees Iraq and defects to the United States. He tells US intelligence that he was a civil engineer until the end of 2000 and that he was involved in rebuilding Iraqi facilities that would produce chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. He claims “that as many as 300 secret weapons facilities ... [have] been ‘reactivated’ since the withdrawal of UN inspectors.” He describes a biological weapons program consisting of small underground labs and mobile labs concealed within specially modified trucks. “In some areas, houses or a small factory would get converted into labs,” Saeed tells his debriefers. [Washington Post, 7/31/2002; Washington Post, 12/21/01; New York Times, 12/20/2001] In late December, Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress arranges for Saeed al-Haideri to be interviewed by New York Times reporter Judith Miller in Thailand. In the interview, Saeed describes visits he made to the secret weapons labs. He says “that he had personally visited at least 20 different sites that he believed to have been associated with Iraq's chemical or biological weapons programs,” reports the New York Times. “[S]everal of the production and storage facilities were hidden in the rear of government companies and private villas in residential areas, or underground in what were built to look like water wells which are lined with lead-filled concrete and contain no water. He said that he was shown biological materials from a laboratory that was underneath Saddam Hussein Hospital, the largest hospital in Baghdad.” [New York Review of Books 2/26/04; New York Times, 12/20/2001] After the invasion of Iraq, no evidence will be found to substantiate Saeed's claims, and Judith Miller will be widely criticized for her heavy—almost exclusive—reliance on the INC and its members as the main sources for her stories. [Slate, 8/29/03; Slate, 7/25/03]
People and organizations involved: Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, Judith Miller, Iraqi National Congress (INC), Ahmed Chalabi
          

Summer 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, says that “informants within the Iraqi intelligence community,” have revealed “that Hussein's VX stockpile is far larger than the 3.9 tons Iraq reported—something UNSCOM inspectors have long suspected,” reports The Washington Post. “Chalabi also says that the VX had been converted into a dry salt for long-term storage and was positioned in various sites across Iraq for use in the event of a foreign attack. UNSCOM officials said the account seemed credible, given what was learned about Iraq's VX program in the final months of weapons inspections.” [Washington Post, 7/31/2002]
People and organizations involved: Iraqi National Congress (INC), Ahmed Chalabi
          

October 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the London-based Iraqi National Congress (INC) meets with the executives of “three US oil multinationals to negotiate the carve-up of Iraq's massive oil reserves post-Saddam.” Also in attendance are “leading oilmen, exiled Iraqis and lawyers.” The meeting, titled, “Invading Iraq: dangers and opportunities for the energy sector,” meets “behind the closed doors of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.” Several weeks after the meeting one delegate will tell the Guardian that the whole day could have been summarized with: “Who gets the oil?” The meeting is confirmed by INC spokesman Zaab Sethna. [Observer, 11/3/02; Guardian, 11/22/02]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Chalabi
          

December 20-21, 2002      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Oil and Energy Working Group, one of 17 such groups working under the US State Department's “Future of Iraq” project (see April 2002-March 2003), meets to discuss plans for the oil industry in a post-Saddam Iraq. People who are likely members of this group include Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, Sharif Ali Bin al Hussein of the Iraqi National Congress; recently defected personnel from Iraq's Ministry of Petroleum; the former Iraqi head of military intelligence; Sheikh Yamani, the former Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia; and unnamed representatives from the US Energy Department. The responsibilities of this working group include: (1) developing plans for restoring the petroleum sector in order to increase oil exports to partially pay for a possible US military occupation government. (2) reconsidering Iraq's continued membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and “whether it should be allowed to produce as much as possible or be limited by an OPEC quota.” (3) “consider[ing] whether to honor contracts made between the Hussein government and foreign oil companies, including the US $3.5 billion project to be carried out by Russian interests to redevelop Iraq's oilfields.” [Oil and Gas International, 10/30/2002; Observer, 11/3/02; US Department of State, 12/19/02]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Chalabi, Sheikh Yamani
          

Early 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       The US Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA] concludes early in 2003 that the intelligence being provided by dissidents supplied by the Iraqi National Congress is of little value. The New York Times reports that an internal DIA study has found that “dissidents invented or exaggerated their credentials as people with direct knowledge of the Iraqi government and its suspected unconventional weapons program.” [New York Times, 9/29/03; Independent, 9/30/03 Sources: Unnamed US officials] Unnamed officials interviewed by the Times say the defectors have been considered by the Defense Intelligence Agency to be dubious sources from the start. It is believed that the dissidents' motivation for talking has been money and their opposition to Saddam Hussein. The Times' sources say “they would not speculate on whether the defectors had knowingly provided false information and, if so, what their motivation might have been.” [New York Times, 9/29/03; Independent, 9/30/03 Sources: Unnamed US officials] The document reveals that more than $1 million was paid to Chalabi's group for information about Saddam Hussein's alleged banned weapons programs. [New York Times, 9/29/03; Independent, 9/30/03 Sources: Unnamed US officials]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi National Congress (INC)
          

April 13, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Appearing on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, says: “After (Gen. Jay Garner) finishes his job of restoring basic services, the interim Iraqi authority will be established. And that interim authority will be an authority of Iraqis, chosen by Iraqis. And it will be able to function as an authority in the country immediately after Gen. Garner's job is finished, which should be only a few weeks.” [US Department of Defense, 4/13/2003]
People and organizations involved: Jay Garner, Ahmed Chalabi
          

(Late May 2003)      Complete Iraq timeline

       Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, complains about the US occupation of Iraq that he played a pivotal role in bringing about. “They told us, ‘Liberation now,’ and then they made it occupation,” he says. “Bush said he was a liberator, not an occupier, and we supported the United States on this basis.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/29/2003]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Chalabi
          

February 18, 2004      Complete Iraq timeline

       Ahmed Chalabi, president of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), tells the London Telegraph during an interview in Baghdad that he has no regrets that the intelligence he fed to the US turned out to be wrong. Though his group has been accused of intentionally providing misleading information to US intelligence through the Pentagon offices under Douglas Feith, he believes its members should be regarded as “heroes in error.” “As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful,” he contends. “That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if he wants.” One of the most significant claims Colin Powell had made to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003 had been supplied by a source supplied by the INC. In that case, a defected Iraqi major had claimed that Iraq possessed mobile bilogical weapons labs. [Telegraph, 2/19/04]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi National Congress (INC)
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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