Monday, May 24, 2004

The plot thickens:
The information that Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile leader, is believed to have passed to Iran was so highly classified that federal investigators have intensified their inquiry to find out whether anyone in the American government gave the material to Mr. Chalabi, government officials said Sunday.

Federal investigators now suspect that Mr. Chalabi funneled a wide array of Pentagon and C.I.A. secrets to Iran — much more material than they believe he might have obtained through his political contacts with Americans, they said. "This was not the kind of stuff that he would have gotten by accident," one official said.

Intelligence officials have said the investigation centers on a handful of officials in Washington and Iraq who dealt regularly with Mr. Chalabi, and an even smaller number who also had access to the compromised information. Most of them are at the Pentagon, which was Mr. Chalabi's main point of contact with the Bush administration.

Asked in the Fox interview how much senior Bush administration officials relied on him before the war in Iraq, Mr. Chalabi said that he "met Mr. Rumsfeld less than four times, I believe," adding that the meetings with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were not "substantial." He said he recalled meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney twice and had a "general discussion."

"There was no exchange of intelligence," he said.
Yeah. I can believe that one...