Ahmed Chalabi to meet Cheney



Washington D.C.—Ahmed Chalabi, deputy prime minister of Iraq and once a U.S. favorite to replace Saddam Hussein, has not lost his luster with Vice-President Dick Cheney. Mr. Chalabi will hold a private meeting with Vice-President Cheney during his visit to Washington D.C. this week, the first such trip in more than two years.

Though not on his official schedule, Mr. Chalabi is counting on meeting his biggest backer in the Bush administration, Vice-President Dick Cheney. Among other heavy hitters, Mr. Chalabi is also scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Mr. Chalabi will arrive in Washington D.C. late Tuesday, November 8th, on a British Airways Flight from London. He will stay at the Ritz-Carleton Hotel in the Georgetown section of Washington D.C., where he has booked no less than eight hotel suites for himself and staff.

Though he has been accused in the past by Washington officials of giving Iran classified intelligence before Saddam Hussein was toppled, Mr. Chalabi has been telling Vice-President Cheney’s aides that he is the only Iraqi leader who can control the Iranians. Chalabi’s message is short and simple: support me or Iran will become a greater adversary than you could ever have imagined.

Chalabi’s camp is likely to receive a few surprises during his visit to Washington D.C. Anti-war demonstrators will likely greet him at his hotel and other destinations during his visit, such as the headquarters of the American Enterprise Institute, where he speaks at noon on Wednesday. Other anti-war groups like Military Families Speak Out, Iraqi Vets Against The War and Goldstar Mothers, may have their representatives confront Mr. Chalabi as well.

Legal analysts are studying the proposition of serving Mr. Chalabi with legal documents involving him in “wrongful death claims” associated with American soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq.

Meanwhile, anti-war Members of Congress are planning to send a letter to Mr. Chalabi demanding a meeting with him to discuss pre-war intelligence. “They want to talk to Mr. Chalabi because he deliberately provided false information to the U.S. government regarding a series of intelligence issues,” according to one congressional aide.