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StateSide:Policy
Chalabi's Head on the Block
Hagel Calls for Record on Iraqi's 'Service' to the U.S.
01/25/2007 11:39 AM ET
The Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing descended into an uncharacteristic vitriole today when the subject turned to Ahmed Chalabi.

Sen. Joe Biden stated, among other negative assessments of Chalabi, that he had "zero, zero, zero confidence" in the man.

Sen. Chuck Hagel then stepped in out-of-turn to aggressively interject that he agreed with the things Biden was saying, and added that he thought Chalabi was "duplicitous." Hagel went on to request that the State Deptartment send the committee all records on Chalabi, specifically mentioning that he wanted to know what bad information Chalabi had sold the government.

When it was later Hagel's turn to address the hearing, he returned more calmly to the topic of Chalabi, articulating all the information he would like to receive.

What Hagel would like to know:

--the history of Chalabi's relations with the U.S. government

--what contracts he was awarded

--how much money he was paid

--what was required from him in return

--the history of his record of success/failure

--his involvement with the Iranians

And Hagel said he wants records from both the State Department and the Department of Defense.

Chalabi was one of the key figures propelling the invasion, wheeling and dealing in bad information and questionable sources.

Sen. Hagel requesting such an extensive dossier of his potential deviance could indicate a growing impetus for holding future hearings on faulty intelligence and the drive towards the invasion.

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