Magazine article The American Prospect

Chalabi-Palooza

Magazine article The American Prospect

Chalabi-Palooza

Article excerpt

THE CONQUERING fabricator has returned. On November 9, Ahmad Chalabi, the notorious Iraqi exile who fed a hungry Pentagon and hungrier press corps fantastic tales of Saddam Hussein's bristling arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and joint ventures with Osama Bin Laden, was greeted as a hero at Washington's most influential pro-war think tank.

Escorted by a phalanx of Secret Service officers and D.C. police, Chalabi, once president of the dissident Iraqi National Congress and now deputy prime minister of Iraq, strode triumphantly into his den of true believers. Chalabi-fest at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) was about to begin.

Inside the plush conference center, a beaming Michael Rubin, AEI fellow and former aide to Iraq viceroy Paul Bremer, bounced around like a 6-year-old at Hanukkah. Fellows Danielle Pletka and Reuel Mare Gerecht stood on the side of the room exchanging smiles. And over by the cookie table, Laurie Mylroie, the terrorism "expert" and certifiable wing nut who believes that Hussein was behind the Oklahoma City bombing, was overheard telling a colleague, "The problem is, there are so few people with real knowledge of the Middle East. …

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