Friday, May 21, 2004
The conspiracy theories and counter-theories are already starting:
"American troops and Iraqi police yesterday raided the home and offices of Ahmad Chalabi, once Washington's favourite son, who accused the US of trying to sideline him and cover up a United Nations bribery scandal...I guess we might know more over the next few days. One thing is certain - Chalabi has a lot of enemies, ranging from the left generally, which sees him as a crook and an American stooge, through the UN's man in Iraq Lakhdar Brahimi, all the way to the US State Department and the CIA. You might recall the allegations aired a few weeks ago that Chalabi was leaking sensitive information to Iran. With hindsight it might have been considered a sign that something was up. Now we know.
"Mr Chalabi's allies claimed a key motive was to stop him revealing more details of the scandal over the UN's oil-for-food programme...
"Mr Chalabi has seized volumes of Saddam-era documents, but it was not clear whether those were taken.
"Mr Chalabi's friends claimed that Washington was trying to shield the UN from further scandal because it desperately needed the world body's help to devise an 'exit strategy' from Iraq."