Chalabi and Iran Secrets

The story of Ahmed Chalabi and his possible provision of U.S. secrets to Iran is growing. It's now alleged that he gave an important, specific secret to Iran:

Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi leader and former ally of the Bush administration, disclosed to an Iranian official that the United States had broken the secret communications code of Iran's intelligence service, betraying one of Washington's most valuable sources of information about Iran, according to United States intelligence officials.

The New York Times says it was asked by the Bush Administration to sit on the details. Then, the information began getting out, and the request was withdrawn.

Billmon at Whisky Bar has a thorough recap and analysis.

American officials said that about six weeks ago, Mr. Chalabi told the Baghdad station chief of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security that the United States was reading the communications traffic of the Iranian spy service, one of the most sophisticated in the Middle East. According to American officials, the Iranian official in Baghdad, possibly not believing Mr. Chalabi's account, sent a cable to Tehran detailing his conversation with Mr. Chalabi, using the broken code. That encrypted cable, intercepted and read by the United States, tipped off American officials to the fact that Mr. Chalabi had betrayed the code-breaking operation, the American officials said.

Billmon says:

The details of the crime itself are interesting, but the really burning question - who in the administration leaked the NSA's family jewels to Chalabi - isn't addressed until deep in the story.....You've probably heard some of the names that are allegedly on the FBI's short list: Doug Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy, William Luti, the deputy undersecretary for Near East and South Asia, and Scooter Libby, Cheney's chief of staff.

Josh Marshall says if the story's true, someone in the Pentagon is in a world of trouble.

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