The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Friday, May 21

money and chalabi

This won't mean much to readers but we at bpost have been looking for more info on $33 million in Iraqi National Congess funding* for over a year. This specific funding was first mentioned by Chalabi in an article in the UK Telegraph but never corroborated in any public statements on INC funding. What is still a mystery is State supposedly cut off funding in August of 2002 and the Department of Defense picked it up from there. Yet, the following article in the Washington Post implies the funding from the State Department continued.

Chalabi Aides Suspected of Spying for Iran
On Thursday, Iraqi police, backed by U.S. soldiers, raided [Ahmed] Chalabi's home and the offices of the Iraqi National Congress [INC], a coalition of parties that opposed the government of Saddam Hussein. Until recently, the group received $335,000 a month from the Pentagon for help in gathering prewar intelligence about Hussein's government and in finding his top lieutenants after the invasion.


In interviews Friday, INC members, senior officers of the Iraqi police force and U.S. officials outlined three distinct investigations into the INC, which in addition to Defense Department funding received $33 million from the State Department over the past four years.


Brooke, the INC adviser, said the raids were likely related in part to the investigation of Sabah Nouri, a German national whom Chalabi picked to be the Iraqi Finance Ministry's anti-corruption officer. Nouri was arrested in April after auditors discovered a $22 million shortfall in the program overseeing Iraq's transition to a new currency this year. Brooke called him "a low-level" INC official.
As you may have already heard, the monthly funds of $335,000 a month to the INC have been cut off. We may never really know just how much money was funnelled to the INC or what it was used for. There is a little clarification on funding after October 2002.
In October 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency took over a State Department program that paid the INC $335,000 a month to gather intelligence.
* see this link for a rough break down on the history of INC funding.

Can we just ask why no one in the mainstream media pursued an in-depth story on recent funding of the Iraqi National Congress?


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