Chalabi's Hands Now
Deep In The Cookie Jar
May 17, 2005
If you ask anyone who the most powerful person is in
Iraq, you may get varied answers: the stooge prime
minister; the stooge president; or even Sistani. They
are all wrong. The most powerful person is Ahmed
Chalabi. That is not a typo.
A few days ago, he was named as the Minister of Oil
for Iraq , albeit on a "temporary" basis until a
permanent minister is appointed. Anybody who knows
Chalabi realizes that he will turn the temporary
position into a lifetime grant.
The person who controls the oil controls the money in
Iraq . That is whatever money is left over after the
U.S.-stolen booty. Money (of the illicit kind) is
Handing the Oil Ministry to Chalabi is akin to giving
him a printing press for money. His past is laden with
schemes in various countries, the most recent in
bilking the U.S. out of millions from the late 1990s
until even today. Despite the U.S. saying it has cut
the cash spigot to Chalabi's group, some finances
still make their way in that direction.
Chalabi's past is laden with fraud, embezzlement and
outright theft. In 1992, he was tried in absentia in
Jordan and convicted to 22 years in prison with hard
labor for his participation in the collapse of the
Soon after, he began an organization called the Iraqi
National Congress (I.N.C.), which had its headquarters
in London . It was neither Iraqi, nor national, nor a
congress. It was a front for Chalabi to gain more
revenues with which to line his pockets.
One of the first marks he acquired was Washington ,
D.C. The Clinton administration embraced Chalabi and
laid out $87 million for the I.N.C.
A few years later, Chalabi was asked to present an
accounting for the money and could not even give one
sheet of figures. By that time, even the
administration was suspicious. Chalabi and his
entourage were all living in expensive apartments in
London , wearing thousand-dollar suits, and driving
In Iraq , the only venture he made was to be a part of
a plot to overthrow Saddam Hussein. In 1996, in Irbil ,
the INC base was shattered by the Iraqi army and
Chalabi fled the country.
When the Bush junta took over, it embraced Chalabi. He
gave the warmongers much of the false information that
Bush used to tell the world that Iraq was a huge
military power just waiting to gas the entire world.
And, even though that information was bogus beyond
belief, Chalabi always got a financial cut from the
U.S. for supplying drunken liars for interviews.
Until the illegal invasion of March 2003, Chalabi
appeared to be the U.S. choice to run the country.
Chalabi, in a false statement of humility said, "I am
not seeking any position. My job will end with the
liberation of Iraq from Saddam's rule."
On April 6, 2003, Chalabi was flown into Iraq by the
U.S. He had promised that he had more than 100,000
armed freedom fighters who would meet him and trek on
to Baghdad . When the plane landed, there was not one
warrior. This was the first instance in which the U.S.
began to question the validity of its man in London .
During the chaos of the beginning of the occupation,
Chalabi did well. He laundered old Iraqi money and
laundered new Iraqi money as well as U.S. dollars. For
awhile, he was a wanted man as the stooge government
put out an arrest warrant for his financial
shenanigans. But, as quickly as he was considered a
fugitive, the charges were dropped. It was easy to pay
Not much has been said about Chalabi for the past six
months or so. His name has been out of the press. And,
with no fanfare, it was announced that he is now the
Oil Minister of Iraq . Some palms were definitely
The proverbial cat that has nine lives is nothing
compared to Chalabi's life and career. He has
The San Diego , California , area has a handful of
I.N.C. operatives. They pursue similar goals to those
of Chalabi ($$$$), but on a smaller basis.
One of my best friends is an Iraqi-American who
opposes the current occupation. During the 1990s, he
attended many an event to get donations for the Iraqi
people who were suffering from the embargo. His
father, on the other hand, is a friend of Chalabi and
is the local I.N.C. agent. You can imagine the
political discussions that go on at their house.
Currently, the big thing in the Chaldean community is
temporary work given to Chaldeans who get paid a
handsome salary to go to a U.S. military base for a
few weeks and act as demonstrators with U.S. troops
trying to control them. This is supposed to get the
troops ready for the real thing in Iraq .
Now, my friend's father was not remiss in thinking he
could make money off this. He charges each participant
$400 as an agent's fee. He also tells them that if
they don't pay this amount, they will not get work. Of
course, this is a scam.
The same man, for years, has charged many Iraqi
immigrants a fee for entering the U.S. He coaches them
in what to say at the immigration point at the border:
"Saddam killed my family," or "Saddam kills Christians
in Iraq ." The lies work. However, hundreds, or
possibly thousands, of Iraqi immigrants did not have
to pay a fee that he says is necessary.
I have written a few articles about the Chaldean
community in the past and mentioned the scams some of
the people use. They are identical to those of
Chalabi, but not as lucrative.
A similar situation to naming Chalabi as head of the
Oil Ministry would involve a retail store owner.
Imagine a proprietor hiring someone who just was
released from prison for a charge of embezzlement.
And, the same person for the past 20 years had been in
and out of prison for theft and fraud. Then, the store
owner lets the person run the cash register. Chalabi
is now running the cash register in Iraq .