Fool Me Once

by TChris

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on the Bush administration's Department of Defense.

The Defense Department continues to pay millions for information from the former Iraqi opposition group that produced exaggerated intelligence that President Bush used to argue his case for war.

The Pentagon has set aside between $3 million and $4 million this year for the Information Collection Program of the Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmed Chalabi, said two senior U.S. officials and a U.S. Defense Department official.

The Defense Department official who anonymously revealed the spending said that it would be "too negative" to call all of the purchased intelligence useless, and contended that it is worth sifting through the rubbish to find an occasional "golden nugget." Still, it seems odd that our government arrests its own citizens every day for providing false information to the government, while it pays known liars in Iraq in the hope that they might occasionally tell the truth.

A "senior administration official" argued that, absent intelligence alternatives, we had little choice before the war but to ignore the self-interest of the Iraqi National Congress. The same official thinks the "evidence now suggests that ... we may have been duped by people who wanted to encourage military action for their own reasons.” The official questioned whether the United States should continue funding the program. Sounds like a good question to ask. Maybe he should ask his boss.

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