May 18, 2004

Long, Long Overdue

Ah. Even the Bush administration occasionally smells the coffee:

The Agonist: U.S. to Halt Payments to Iraqi Group Headed by a Onetime Pentagon Favorite: The United States government has decided to halt monthly $335,000 payments to the Iraqi National Congress, the group headed by Ahmad Chalabi, an official with the group said on Monday.

What took them so long?

Posted by DeLong at May 18, 2004 07:56 AM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post


My educated guess is that someone in Congress let them know that this would be attacked to the $25b supplemental package, so they did it voluntarily in an attempt to keep the option open for later.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff on May 18, 2004 08:02 AM


Busy with other things. Regardless of whether charges of micromanagement hurled at Rumsfeld et al. are correct, they are very busy people, and they probably haven't taken a look at it in a while.

Posted by: Ray on May 18, 2004 09:03 AM


If it's true Chalabi has possession of all or some of Saddam's internal intelligence files, he could make life very unpleasant for the Bushies. I wonder if they're still on good terms...

Posted by: David Yaseen on May 18, 2004 09:23 AM


Please remember that Chalabi provided some very valuable services to the administration, such as intel cooked to order.

Posted by: Barry on May 18, 2004 10:15 AM


Further to Matthew Saroff's comment: The supplemental appropriation for Iraq currently under consideration would seem to allow SECDEF to pay the INC out of discretionary funds. Perhaps that's what's being contemplated.

Posted by: alkali on May 18, 2004 12:25 PM


"If it's true Chalabi has possession of all or some of Saddam's internal intelligence files, he could make life very unpleasant for the Bushies."

Anyone taking bets on how long Chalabi stays alive? I'll give him three months tops.

Posted by: Kosh on May 18, 2004 02:16 PM


He's probably got enough money now to set up another bank and ripoff another hundred million or so. Hell, his DOD backers will probably make sure he gets an FDIC stamp of approval.

Posted by: paulo on May 18, 2004 04:20 PM


My educated guess is that this is a simple accounting gimmick, which happens when corporations can taken over. The INC used to be paid by the US government in the absence of a sovereign Iraqi government. After June 30, the new sovereign Iraqi government will cut the checks for the INC for the same useless services.

Posted by: eswn on May 18, 2004 06:09 PM


it seems to me that a short drive to Jordan for Mr. C would clear the air

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