It looks like Judy Miller isn't the only discredited war instigator who might be making a comeback.
Ahmad Chalabi, the neocon-darling-turned-persona-non-grata-turned-Iraqi-Deputy-Prime-Minister, is coming to Washington this month -- his first visit to DC since the White House soured on him back in May 2004 and those Pentagon checks stopped coming. For his comeback tour, Chalabi has lined up meetings with Condi Rice, John Snow, and national security advisor Stephen Hadley (no word on whether he and Hadley will have a friendly showdown to see who helped pass along the most bogus pre-war intel. I can see Chalabi offering up Curveball only to have Hadley top him with the phony yellowcake info he passed along).
And no word on whether Chalabi will be calling on his old pal Scooter Libby, to whom he turned when the CIA stopped buying his bull, and who gave him a direct line to the White House. Just as he once convinced Libby that American troops would be greeted as liberators, Chalabi could now convince him there is light at the end of the indictment tunnel: "Trust me, Scooter, I've been through much worse. You just gotta put your head down and keep scheming!"
Chalabi's visit is the political version of getting the band back together.
And, having orchestrated the greatest career makeover since Paris Hilton went from Internet porn curiosity to Vanity Fair cover girl, Chalabi has now set his sights on becoming Iraq's new prime minister following the next round of voting on Dec. 15.
Not bad for a guy who, less than two years ago, was being accused by the Bush administration of passing intelligence to Iran that could 'get people killed.'
But, apparently, now that Chalabi is a power player in Iraq, all appears forgiven. At least around the White House. The rest of us, on the other hand, would do well to remember that this is still the guy who:
- was a prime source of trumped up claims about Saddam's WMD
- bamboozled the Bushies while pocketing $340,000 a month from the US government
- tried to sabotage the UN's efforts to put in place an interim government in Iraq
- helped the White House Iraq Group sell the war by regularly passing faulty intel to Judy Miller
- introduced Curveball, another bogus source on WMD, to the intelligence community
- was accused of spying for the Iranians
- controlled a group of thugs accused of fraud, torture, kidnapping, and misuse of U.S. funds
- was convicted in abstentia of embezzling millions of dollars in Jordan in the 1980s
No word on whether Chalabi and Miller are going to get together to discuss old times while he's here. Although it probably won't be as exciting as the time Judy stopped by Ahmad's compound in Iraq while she was embedded with the MET Alpha unit, which, in a show of hospitality, was given custody of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Sultan. Miller was even allowed to sit in on the initial questioning of Sultan. Misty water-colored memories...
I'm not sure what this all proves. You can't keep a good double-agent down? Nasty guys finish first? There is no God?
So what's next for these would-be Comeback Kids? Who knows, maybe six months down the road, we'll see Chalabi as the new top dog in Iraq and Judy as the chief of the Times' new Tikrit bureau.