Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Everybody is talking about who passed on the word to Ahmed Chalabi that the US had broken the Iranian code. Josh Marshall thinks he knows who it is.
Hmmm. People who were close to Chalabi and had access to the highly restricted information about the Iran code. Hmmm. Who would be caught in the sweet spot of that Venn Diagram?

I'll try not to be too coy. There are a number of folks who could fit that bill. But for anyone who's followed this story, there's one guy who's just got to jump right to the top of the list: an expert on Iran who is extremely close to Chalabi, served as his civilian Pentagon handler for some time in Iraq after the war, and is known for comparing Chalabi to Mohammed and other equally august worthies.

Anyway, that's one pretty good possibility.
The man in the sweet spot is most likely Michael Rubin.

1. Rubin poses as a neocon expert on Iran and the Middle East in general, writing a book in 2001 titled Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran;

2. He is currently at the famed neocon think tank American Enterprise Institute, but between 2002 and 2004 was a staff assistant/advisor on Iran and Iraq to Donald Rumsfeld and worked in the Office of Special Plans, Rummy's parallel CIA in the DOD designed to give him the "right" intelligence on Saddam, giving him ample access to US state secrets re Iraq and Iran;

3. He spent 8 months in Iraq as an advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority, from July 2003 to March 2004, giving him plenty of opportunity to share drinks with Chalabi.

Rubin has been a steadfast champion of Chalabi, but I can't find anything linking him to the "George Washington of Iraq" terribly closely. Let Rubin stand as the General's educated guess.

Stay tuned.

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