Matthew Yglesias shoots down the latest line of conservative apologia in the wake of the Chalabi implosion - that Chalabi was never that important to the neocons anyway: When it comes to policy ideas, though, they certainly seem to have been on the same page for quite some time. Way back on December 1, 1997 Wolfowitz teamed up with Zalmay Khalilzad to write an article about Iraq policy for The Weekly Standard called "Overthrow Him," him being Saddam Hussein...[advocating] Chalabi agenda pure and simple, complete with the gratuitious swipes at the CIA. In September 1998 Wolfowitz offered some congressional testimony on Iraq policy...Chalabi through-and-through. Ten days later Robert Kagan penned an article in the Standard endorsing the Wolfowitz plan. In November of that year the Standard waxed eloquent about the just-passed Iraq Liberation Act which funnelled large sums of taxpayer dollars to Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, specifically citing Wolfowitz's testimony as the genesis of the idea. By January 1999 some people were starting to notice that this exile-based Iraq policy was a bad idea. Mark Lagon of the Kristol-run Project for a New American Century reponded...[his] argument -- it'll work if we help them more -- doesn't make much sense if you're contemplating the possibility that your erstwhile democratic opposition is run by a crooked lying Iranian spy. Lest there by any doubt, Wolfowitz wrote a letter to the editor (co-authored with Stephen Solarz) in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs saying the same thing. So were Wolfowitz and Chalabi personally close? I have no idea. Is Wolfowitz a long-time advocate of a Chalabi-centric Iraq policy? He most certainly is.


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