Ahmed Chalabi

Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi[1] (Arabic: أحمد عبد الهادي الجلبي‎; 30 October 1944 – 3 November 2015) was an Iraqi politician, a founder of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) and the President of the Governing Council of Iraq (37th Prime Minister of Iraq)

He was interim Minister of Oil in Iraq[2] in April–May 2005 and December 2005 – January 2006 and Deputy Prime Minister from May 2005 to May 2006. Chalabi failed to win a seat in parliament in the December 2005 elections, and when the new Iraqi cabinet was announced in May 2006, he was not given a post. Once dubbed the "George Washington of Iraq"[3] by American supporters, he later fell out of favor and came under investigation by several U.S. government sources.

In the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi National Congress (INC), with the assistance of lobbying powerhouse BKSH & Associates,[4] provided a major portion of the information on which U.S. Intelligence based its condemnation of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, including reports of weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda. Most, if not all, of this information has turned out to be false and Chalabi has been called a fabricator.[5][6] Along with this, Chalabi also subsequently boasted, in an interview with the British Sunday Telegraph, about the impact that their alleged falsifications had on American policy,[7] — these factors led to a falling out between him and the U.S. government.[6] Furthermore, Chalabi was found guilty in the Petra Bank scandal in Jordan.

In January 2012, a French intelligence official stated that he believed Chalabi to be "acting on behalf of Iran".[8]

Ahmed Chalabi
أحمد الجلبي
Chalabi
Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq
In office
1 May 2005 – 20 May 2006
Prime MinisterIbrahim al-Jaafari
Preceded byRowsch Shaways
Succeeded byBarham Salih
Minister of Oil
In office
16 April 2005 – 1 January 2006
Prime MinisterIbrahim al-Jaafari
Preceded byBahr al-Ulloum
Succeeded byHussain al-Shahristani
President of the Governing Council of Iraq
In office
1 September 2003 – 30 September 2003
LeaderPaul Bremer
Preceded byIbrahim al-Jaafari
Succeeded byAyad Allawi
Personal details
Born
Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi

30 October 1944
Kadhimiya, Iraq
Died3 November 2015 (aged 71)
Kadhimiya, Iraq
Political partyIraqi National Congress
Spouse(s)Leila Osseiran
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Chicago

Early life

Chalabi was the son of a prominent Shi'a family,[9] one of the wealthy power elite of Baghdad. He was born at Kadhimiya in 1944. His family, who dated back 300 years to the Sultanate ran Iraq’s oldest commercial bank under the British-backed Kingdom of Iraq.[10] His father, a wealthy grain merchant and member of the Iraqi parliament, became head of the senate when King Abdullah was assassinated.

His family retired from public life to a farmhouse near Baghdad when the military seized power. Chalabi left Iraq with his family in 1958, following the 14 July Revolution,[10][11] and spent most of his life in the United States and the United Kingdom.[12] He was educated at Baghdad College and Seaford College in Sussex, England before leaving for America.

Western education

In exile, following the Ba'ath party takeover, his family acted as the Iraqi Shia clergy’s bankers.[10] In the mid-1960s, he studied with cryptographer Whitfield Diffie at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from which he received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics.[13] In 1969, he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago under the direction of George Glauberman on the Theory of Knots.[14] after which he took a position in the mathematics department at the American University of Beirut. He published three mathematics papers between 1973 and 1980, in the field of abstract algebra.

In 1971, Chalabi married Leila Osseiran, daughter of Lebanese politician Adil Osseiran. They had four children.[15] Whilst still at Beirut the civil war broke out in 1975, so he moved to Jordan and found work as an interpreter.

Business career

Chalabi was a bold and shrewd investor, amassing a fortune of $100 million. During his life he was accused of corruption many times. In 1977, he founded the Petra Bank in Jordan with Crown Prince Hassan, the King's brother.[12] In May 1989, the Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan, Mohammed Said Nabulsi, issued a decree ordering all banks in the country to deposit 35% of their reserves with the Central Bank.[16] Petra Bank was the only bank that was unable to meet this requirement. An investigation was launched which led to accusations of embezzlement and false accounting. The bank failed, causing a $350 million bail-out by the Central Bank.[17] Chalabi fled the country, in the trunk of a Jordanian prince's car,[10] before the authorities could react. Chalabi was convicted and sentenced in absentia for bank fraud by a Jordanian military tribunal to 22 years in prison. Chalabi maintained that his prosecution was a politically motivated effort to discredit him sponsored by Saddam Hussein.[12]

Exile in the UK

Living abroad by 1992 in London, and unable to return home for fear of his life, he set up the Iraqi National Congress with an agenda of regime change for his homeland. The organization was open to all ethnic Iraqis - Kurds and Arabs - as well as Sunnis and Shias. Already a fluent English speaker, he turned his attention to Washington DC.

In 1995 after preparation and lobbying he persuaded President Bill Clinton to fund an expedition into northern Iraq to use subterfuge to start an insurgency. Chalabi was convinced that the Iraqi military would rise up to overthrow the dictator. The commanders to whom he had spoken, were the same who openly supported Saddam and crushed his opponents in the Kurdish and Shi'ite revolts. The insurgency failed, lacking the promised ground troops, and 100 insurgents were killed by the military. The command structure of INC fell apart with factional infighting. Chalabi was banned from those frequent visits to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia. Nonetheless Chalabi was doggedly determined: in 1998 Congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act passing into American law the objective of "regime change" in Iraq.

It was reported by BBC News in May 2005 that the Jordanian government was considering whether to pardon Chalabi, in part to ease the relations between Jordan and the new Iraqi government of which Chalabi was a member.[18] According to one report, Chalabi proposed a $32 million compensation fund for depositers affected by Petra Bank's failure. The website for Petra Bank contains a press release stating that Chalabi would refuse the pardon.[19] Although Chalabi always maintained the case was a plot to frame him by Baghdad, the issue was revisited when the U.S. State Department raised questions about the accounting practices of the Iraqi National Congress (INC).[12] According to The New York Times, "Chalabi insisted on a public apology, which the Jordanians refused to give."[15]

Chalabi headed the executive council of the INC, an umbrella Iraqi opposition group created in 1992 for the purpose of fomenting the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.[11] The INC received major funding and assistance from the United States.[17] Chalabi was involved in organizing a resistance movement among Kurds in northern Iraq in the early mid-1990s.[12][17] When that effort was crushed and hundreds of his supporters were killed, Chalabi fled the country.[12] Chalabi lobbied in Washington for the passage of the Iraq Liberation Act (passed October 1998). This earmarked US$97 million to support Iraqi opposition groups.[12] But in 2001 it was revealed that INC was accused of false accounting and irregularities. During the period from March 2000 to September 2003, the U.S. State Department paid nearly $33 million to the INC, according to a General Accounting Office report released in 2004,some of which was used to purchase office artefacts.[20]

Invasion of Iraq

Ahmed Chalabi in discussion with Paul Bremer and Donald Rumsfeld
Chalabi in discussion with Paul Bremer and US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Before the Iraq War (2003), Chalabi enjoyed close political and business relationships with some members of the U.S. government, including some prominent neoconservatives within the Pentagon. Chalabi was said to have had political contacts within the Project for the New American Century, most notably with Paul Wolfowitz, a student of nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter, and Richard Perle. He also enjoyed considerable support among politicians and political pundits in the United States, most notably Jim Hoagland of The Washington Post, who held him up as a notable force for democracy in Iraq.[21] He was a special guest of First Lady Laura Bush at the 2004 State of the Union Address.[22]

The CIA was largely skeptical of Chalabi and the INC, but information allegedly from his group (most famously from a defector codenamed "Curveball") made its way into intelligence dossiers used by President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to justify an invasion of Iraq. "Curveball", Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, fed officials hundreds of pages of bogus "firsthand" descriptions of mobile biological weapons factories on wheels and rails.[23] Secretary of State Colin Powell later used this information in a U.N. presentation trying to garner support for the war, despite warnings from German intelligence that "Curveball" was fabricating claims.[23] Since then, the CIA has admitted that the defector made up the story, and Powell said in 2011 the information should not have been used in his presentation.[23] A later congressionally appointed investigation (Robb-Silberman) concluded that Curveball had no relation whatsoever to the INC, and that press reports linking Curveball to the INC were erroneous.[24]

The INC often worked with the media, most notably with Judith Miller, concerning her WMD stories for The New York Times starting on 26 February 1998.[25] After the war, given the lack of discovery of WMDs, most of the WMD claims of the INC were shown to have been either misleading, exaggerated, or completely made up while INC information about the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein's loyalists and Chalabi's personal enemies were accurate. Another of Chalabi's advocates was American Enterprise Institute's Iraq specialist Danielle Pletka. Chalabi received advice on media and television presentation techniques from the Irish scriptwriter and commentator Eoghan Harris prior to the invasion of Iraq.[26]

In April as U.S. forces took control during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, Chalabi entered with allied troops the southern town of Shatrah. 300 US-trained FIF (Freedom for Iraq Fighters) expected opposition, but none emerged. Thousands of Iraqis cheered the troops. Chalabi returned under their aegis and was given a position on the Iraq interim governing council by the Coalition Provisional Authority. He served as president of the council in September 2003. He denounced a plan to let the UN choose an interim government for Iraq. "We are grateful to President Bush for liberating Iraq, but it is time for the Iraqi people to run their affairs," he was quoted as saying in The New York Times.[27]

In August 2003, Chalabi was the only candidate whose unfavorable ratings exceeded his favorable ones with Iraqis in a State Department poll.[28] In a survey of nearly 3,000 Iraqis in February 2004 (by Oxford Research International, sponsored by the BBC in the United Kingdom, ABC in the U.S., ARD of Germany, and the NHK in Japan), only 0.2 percent of respondents said he was the most trustworthy leader in Iraq (see survey link below, question #13). A secret document written in 2002 by the British Overseas and Defence Secretariat reportedly described Chalabi as "a convicted fraudster popular on Capitol Hill."[29]

In response to the WMD controversy, Chalabi told London's Daily Telegraph in February 2004,

We are heroes in error. As far as we're concerned, we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat.[7]

Falling out with the U.S., 2004–05

As Chalabi's position of trust with the Pentagon crumbled, he found a new political position as a champion of Iraq's Shi'ites (Chalabi himself was a Shi'ite). Beginning 25 January 2004, Chalabi and his close associates promoted the claim that leaders around the world were illegally profiting from the Oil for Food program. These charges were around the same time that UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi indicated that Chalabi would likely not be welcome in a future Iraqi government. Up until this time, Chalabi had been mentioned formally several times in connection with possible future leadership positions. Chalabi contended that documents in his possession detailed the misconduct, but he did not provide any documents or other evidence. The U.S. sharply criticized Chalabi's Oil for Food investigation as undermining the credibility of its own.

Additionally, Chalabi and other members of the INC were investigated for fraud involving the exchange of Iraqi currency, grand theft of both national and private assets, and many other criminal charges in Iraq. On 19 May 2004 the U.S. government discontinued their regular payments to Chalabi for information he provided. Iraqi police, supported by U.S. soldiers, raided his offices and residence on 20 May, taking documents and computers, presumably to be used as evidence.[30] A major target of the raid was Aras Habib, Chalabi's long-term director of intelligence, who controlled the vast network of agents bankrolled by U.S. funding. The U.S. announced that they had stopped funding the INC, having previously paid the organization $330,000 per month.[30]

In June 2004, it was reported that Chalabi gave U.S. state secrets to Iran in April, including the fact that one of the United States' most valuable sources of Iranian intelligence was a broken Iranian code used by their spy services.[31] Chalabi allegedly learned of the code through a drunk American involved in the code-breaking operation.[31] Chalabi denied all of the charges, which nothing ever came of.

An arrest warrant for alleged counterfeiting was issued for Chalabi on 8 August 2004, while at the same time a warrant was issued on murder charges against his nephew Salem Chalabi (at the time, head of the Iraqi Special Tribunal), while they both were out of the country.[32] Chalabi returned to Iraq on 10 August planning to make himself available to Iraqi government officials, but he was never arrested. Charges were later dropped against Chalabi, with Judge Zuhair al-Maliki citing lack of evidence.[32]

On 1 September 2004, Chalabi told reporters of an assassination attempt made on him near Latifiya, a town south of Baghdad. Chalabi reported he was returning from a meeting with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (whose trust Chalabi enjoyed)[10] in Najaf, where a few days earlier a cease-fire had taken effect, ending three weeks of confrontations between followers of Muqtada al-Sadr and the U.S. military, at the time.

He regained enough credibility to be made deputy prime minister on 28 April 2005.[32] At the same time he was made acting oil minister,[32][33] before the appointment of Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum in May 2005. On protesting IMF austerity measures, Al-Uloum was instructed to extend his vacation by a month in December 2005 by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, and Chalabi was reappointed as acting oil minister. Al-Uloum returned to the post in January 2006.[34]

In November 2005, Chalabi traveled to the U.S. and met with top U.S. government officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley.[35] At this time Chalabi also traveled to Iran to meet with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Political activity in Iraq, 2005–15

The Iraqi National Congress, headed by Chalabi, was a part of the United Iraqi Alliance in the 2005 legislative election. After the election, Chalabi claimed that he had the support of the majority of elected members of United Iraqi Alliance and staked claim to be the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iraq; however, Ibrahim al-Jaafari later emerged as the consensus candidate for prime minister.[36]

Prior to the December 2005 elections, the Iraqi National Congress had left the United Iraqi Alliance and formed the National Congress Coalition, which ran in the elections but failed to win a single seat in Parliament, gaining less than 0.5% of the vote.[37] Other groups joining the INC in this list included: Democratic Iraqi Grouping, Democratic Joint Action Front, First Democratic National Party, Independent List, Iraqi Constitutional Movement, Iraqi Constitutional Party, Tariq Abd al-Karim Al Shahd al-Budairi, and the Turkoman Decision Party. He was refused a seat in the cabinet. Dogged by allegations, still unproven, of corruption he retorted that he had never "participated in any scheme of intelligence against the United States."[38]

Chalabi attended the 2006 Bilderberg Conference meeting outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In October 2007, Chalabi was appointed by Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to head the Iraqi services committee, a consortium of eight service ministries and two Baghdad municipal posts tasked with the "surge" plan's next phase, restoring electricity, health, education and local security services to Baghdad neighborhoods.[39] "The key is going to be getting the concerned local citizens—and all the citizens—feeling that this government is reconnected with them.... [Chalabi] agrees with that," said Gen. David Petraeus. Chalabi "is an important part of the process," said Col. Steven Boylan, Petraeus' spokesman. "He has a lot of energy."[39] In April 2008, journalist Melik Kaylan wrote about Chalabi, "Arguably, he has, more than anyone in the country, evolved a detailed sense of what ails Baghdadis and how to fix things."[40]

After the invasion Chalabi was placed in charge of "de-Ba'athification"—the removal of senior office holders judged to have been close supporters of the deposed Saddam Hussein. The role fell into disuse, but in early 2010 Chalabi was accused of reviving this dormant post to eliminate his political enemies, especially Sunnis. The banning of some 500 candidates prior to the general election of 7 March 2010 at the initiative of Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress was reported to have badly damaged previously improving relations between Shias and Sunnis.[41]

On 26 January 2012, The New York Times reported Western intelligence officials expressing concern that Chalabi was working with the leading opposition group in Bahrain, Al Wefaq National Islamic Society. A French intelligence official said, "When we hear that some members of the opposition are in touch with Hezbollah or with shady figures like the Iraqi Ahmed Chalabi, of whom we think he is acting on behalf of Iran, then this worries us". The connection between Chalabi and Al Wefaq was acknowledged by Jawad Fairooz, secretary general of Wefaq and a former member of Parliament in Bahrain. Fairooz said, "Mr Chalabi has helped us with contacts in Washington like other people have done and we thank them."[43]

During an interview in 2014, he was shown to be frail and depressed about his country's future:

Iraq is a mess. Daesh is organised, with one command, united and well run, and we are so fragmented. We have no discipline, no command structure, no effective plans.[38]

Death

Chalabi died on 3 November 2015, four days after his 71st birthday, having apparently suffered a heart attack at his home in Kadhimiya, Baghdad.[9][44] When he died, he was a current Member of the Iraqi Parliament, serving as the chairman of the Finance Committee.[45]

References

  1. ^ Sometimes transcribed as Ahmad al-Jalabi.
  2. ^ "Chalabi Named Iraq Oil Minister". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  3. ^ The New Republic, "Are Foreign Rebel Leaders Duping The American Right, Again?", 11 August 2003
  4. ^ Adam Roston, Chalabi's Lobby The Nation 3 April 2008
  5. ^ "The Scribe". typepad.com. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Salaheddin, Sinan (3 November 2015). "Ahmed Chalabi: Politician who furnished Bush and Blair with the false information that led to the allied invasion of Iraq". www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b Fairweather, Jack; La Guardia, Anton (19 February 2004). "Chalabi stands by faulty intelligence that toppled Saddam's regime". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  8. ^ Mekhennet, Souad (25 January 2012). "In Bahrain, Worries Grow of Violent Shiite-Sunni Confrontation". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Al Jazeera English and agencies (3 November 2015). "Veteran Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi dies at 71". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e "The unexpected end of the man who helped deceive America into war in Iraq". The Economist. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  11. ^ a b Muir, Jim (3 November 2015). "Ahmed Chalabi death highlights Iraq war legacy". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Profile: Ahmed Chalabi". BBC News. BBC. 3 October 2002. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  13. ^ Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau, Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, MIT Press, 1998, p. 108.
  14. ^ Dissertation title: On the Jacobson Radical of a Group Algebra, see Ahmed Chalabi at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  15. ^ a b Dexter Filkins. "Where Plan A left Ahmad Chalabi". The New York Times. 3 November 2006. Accessed 20 January 2008.
  16. ^ Aram Roston (1 January 2009). The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Obessions of Ahmad Chalabi. Nation Books. pp. 52–. ISBN 978-0-7867-4429-9.
  17. ^ a b c Scott-Joynt, Jeremy (17 April 2003). "Chalabi's chequered finances". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  18. ^ Leyne, Jon (16 May 2005). "Jordan considers clearing Chalabi". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Response to press reports about the resolution of Petra bank case". Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-26.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). INC Press Statement. Undated. Page dated 5 January 2005 archived at Wayback Machine Internet Archive. Accessed 20 January 2008.
  20. ^ "State Department: Issues Affecting Funding of Iraqi National Congress Support Foundation". Report to Congressional Requsters. United States General Accounting Office. April 2004. Accessed 20 January 2008.
  21. ^ "Iraqi minister: Chalabi will be arrested: One-time U.S. confidant to face bank fraud charges in Jordan." CNN. 22 January 2005. Accessed 20 January 2008.
  22. ^ "Special Guests of Mrs. Bush at the State of the Union". archives.gov. 20 January 2004. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  23. ^ a b c Pilkington, Ed; Pidd, Helen; Chulov, Martin (16 February 2011). "Colin Powell demands answers over Curveball's WMD lies". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  24. ^ Miller, Greg; Drogin, Bob (1 April 2005). "Intelligence Analysts Whiffed on a 'Curveball'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 3 August 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2007.
  25. ^ William J. Broad and Judith Miller. "The Deal on Iraq: Secret Arsenal: Hunt for the Germs of War – A special report.; Iraq's Deadliest Arms: Puzzles Breed Fears". The New York Times. 26 February 1998. Accessed 20 January 2008.
  26. ^ "Iraq: Reduced To A State Of Nature In The Name Of Progress" Archived 12 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Editorial. Irish Political Review. December 2006. Accessed 20 January 2008.
  27. ^ Sanger, David (21 May 2004). "THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: THE EXILE; A Seat of Honor Lost to Open Political Warfare".
  28. ^ Diamond, Larry (2005). Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq. New York: Times Books, Henry Holt & Co.
  29. ^ Smith, Michael (24 September 2004). "Ministers were told premier was seen as stooge". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  30. ^ a b Hardy, Roger (21 May 2004). "Analysis: Rise and fall of Chalabi". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  31. ^ a b James Risen and David Johnston. " The Reach of War: The Offense; Chalabi Reportedly Told Iran That U.S. Had Code". The New York Times. 2 June 2004. Accessed 20 January 2008.
  32. ^ a b c d "Profile: Ahmed Chalabi". BBC News. BBC. 28 April 2005. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  33. ^ "Chalabi Named Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Acting Oil Minister". newstandardnews.net. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  34. ^ (Reuters). "Iraqi oil minister Al Uloum back at work after quitting – Khaleej Times". khaleejtimes.com. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  35. ^ "Chalabi US trip stirs controversy". BBC News. BBC. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  36. ^ Iraq's Shiite ticket picks prime minister
  37. ^ Arango, Tim (19 March 2010). "Early Backer of War, Finally Within Grasp of Power". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  38. ^ a b The Daily Telegraph, p.33
  39. ^ a b Nancy A. Youssef. "Chalabi back in action in Iraq" Archived 29 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine. McClatchy Newspapers. 28 October 2007. Accessed 20 January 2008.
  40. ^ Perseverance Pays Off in Baghdad, Melik Kaylan, The Wall Street Journal, 12 April 2008
  41. ^ The Economist, 30 January 2010
  42. ^ "الشيخ د. همام حمودي يشارك في مجلس فاتحة أحمد الجلبي" (in Arabic). Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  43. ^ Souad Mekhennet (25 January 2012). "In Bahrain, Worries Grow of Violent Shiite-Sunni Confrontation". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  44. ^ "Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi politician who championed US invasion, dies". BBC News. BBC. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  45. ^ Matt Bradley; Margaret Coker (3 November 2015). "Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi Politician and Former U.S. Ally, Dies". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 November 2015.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Ibrahim al-Jaafari
President of the Governing Council of Iraq
2003
Succeeded by
Ayad Allawi
Adel Osseiran

Adel Osseiran (Arabic: عادل عسيران) was a prominent Lebanese statesman, a former Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, and one of the founding fathers of the Lebanese Republic.

Adel Osseiran played a significant role at various points in the history of modern Lebanon, such as the struggle for independence (1943), the mini-civil war of 1958, and the Lausanne Conference for Peace (1984).

Aras Habib

Aras Habib was a colonel in the Free Iraqi Fighters and the long-term director of intelligence for Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress (INC). He may have been the man in charge of the INC’s quest to hunt down former high-level Ba’athists in Iraq, using Ba'athist Party archives they had seized; in this area information relayed to US-led forces proved far more reliable than the inferences of weapons of mass destruction that had lured the US into Iraq. Chalabi's Pentagon connection, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, decided to close off funding following emerging disclosures that some of Chalabi's INC aides supplied sensitive information about U.S. security operations in Baghdad to the Iranian government.

After the US Pentagon's public break with Chalabi surface, a warrant for Aras Habib's arrest was released but not executed. He remains at large.

Barham Salih

Barham Ahmed Salih (Kurdish: بەرھەم ئەحمەد ساڵح‎, translit. Berhem Ehmed Salih; Arabic: برهم أحمد صالح‎; born 12 September 1960) is an Iraqi Kurdish politician who serves as President of Iraq. He is the former prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan and a former deputy prime minister of the Iraqi federal government.

Burn notice (document)

A "burn notice" is an official statement issued by an intelligence agency to other agencies. It states that an asset or intelligence source is unreliable for one or several reasons, often fabrication, and must be officially disavowed. This is essentially a directive for the recipient to disregard or "burn" all information derived from that individual or group.

Chalabi (surname)

Chalabi (Arabic: جلبي‎) is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Ahmed Chalabi (born 1944)

Mona Chalabi

Salem Chalabi (born 1963)

Selma Chalabi

Mhd Naser Chalabi

Fadhil Chalabi

Fadhil Jafar al-Chalabi (born 1929) is an Iraqi economist, and was Acting Secretary General of OPEC from 1983 to 1988. He is a second cousin of the politician Ahmed Chalabi.

Farid Ghadry

Farid Al-Ghadry (Arabic: فريد الغادري) (born June 18, 1954) is the Syrian-born co-founder and current president of the United States-based Reform Party of Syria, a party lobbying for regime change in Syria. Al-Ghadry has been compared to Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi exile who lobbied the US government to liberate his home country from Saddam Hussein.

George Glauberman

George Glauberman (born March 3, 1941, New York City) is a mathematician at the University of Chicago who works on finite simple groups. He proved the ZJ theorem and the Z* theorem.

Glauberman did his undergraduate studies at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, graduating in 1961, and earned a master's degree from Harvard University in 1962. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1965, under the supervision of Richard Bruck. He has had 22 Ph.D. students, including Ahmed Chalabi and Peter Landrock, the president and founder of Cryptomathic. He has co-authored with J. L. Alperin, Simon P. Norton, and Zvi Arad.

In 1970 he was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians at Nice. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

Hazim al-Shaalan

Hazim al-Shaalan al-Khuzaei (born 1947) was Iraq's Defence Minister from June 2004 until May 2005 under the Iraqi Interim Government of Ayad Allawi.

Shaalan was born in Diwaniyya, southern Iraq, into a leading family of the Ghazal tribe. He is a Shia Arab. He graduated from Baghdad University with a degree in Economics and was an inspector general of the Iraqi Real Estate Bank from 1983 until he left Iraq in 1985. He managed a real estate firm in London until the invasion of Iraq in 2002, after which he returned to Iraq. An Iranian news agency reported documents showing that al-Shaalan had been a member of Saddam Hussein's secret police, the Mukhabarat.A member of Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, he was appointed Governor of Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate in 2003 and then as Iraq's Defence Minister from June 2004 until May 2005 under the Iraqi Interim Government of Ayad Allawi. He appointed Ziyad Cattan, as the Defence Ministry's procurement chief, who has since fallen under suspicion of involvement in the greatest theft in history- embezzling $1bn intended for weapons purchase. al-Shaalan had received an exemption from the cabinet for having his ministry's expenditures overseen by the cabinet's audit committee. al-Shaalan claimed that the Coalition Provisional Authority's interim administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer, had signed off the appointment of Cattan, but Bremer claims he had never heard of Cattan.

In August 2004 he said Iran was Iraq's "prime enemy."

He stood with Ghazi al-Yawar's Iraqi List in the Iraqi legislative election of January 2005. Shortly before the election he threatened to arrest Ahmed Chalabi for "tarnishing the reputation of the Defense Ministry and the Defense Minister." His bodyguards also clashed with Iraqi security forces in Diwaniya during campaigning for the January electionAli Allawi, the Finance Minister in the Iraqi Transitional Government, accused al-Shaalan of embezzlement in 2005, and Iraq's anti-corruption watchdog, the Commission for Public Integrity, sought to bar him from running in the following parliamentary elections. He formed the "Parliament of Patriotic Forces" list for the Iraqi legislative election of December 2005, but failed to win any seats.The Independent says both Shaalan and Cattan left Iraq in 2005 for Jordan.In May 2007 al-Shaalan was convicted in absentia of embezzlement and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. An investigation by the BBC in 2008 claimed he was using a private jet to fly around the world and still owns commercial properties near Marble Arch in London. The January 2012 report from the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said that the crimes were covered by Amnesty legislation passed by the Council of Representatives of Iraq in 2008 and that Shaalan was "living comfortably abroad".

Ibrahim Mohammad Bahr al-Ulloum

Ibrahim Mohammad Bahr al-Ulloum (born 1954) served as the Iraqi Minister of Oil from May 2005 until December 2005, while he was a member of the Islamic Virtue Party. He had also previously served in this position as part of the cabinet appointed by the Interim Iraq Governing Council in September 2003 until June 2004. A Shia Muslim, Ibrahim is the son of Shia Sayed Mohammad Baharalaloom. Bahr al-Ulloum is an Iraqi from Holy City of Najaf.

Ibrahim was educated in the United States, earning a Ph.D. in petroleum engineering from the New Mexico Tech; he later worked for the Kuwaiti oil ministry, for the Petroleum Recovery Research Center in New Mexico, and as an independent consultant in London (from 1992 to 2003).

Ibrahim ran for parliament by forming his own independent political group, the Future Iraq Grouping, but failed to receive a single seat in the December 2005 election.

Ibrahim survived an assassination attempt in Iraq in 2003 and another in 2005.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari

Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari (Arabic: إبراهيم الأشيقر الجعفري‎; born 25 March 1947) is an Iraqi politician who was Prime Minister of Iraq in the Iraqi Transitional Government from 2005 to 2006, following the January 2005 election. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2014–2018.

He was one of the two Vice Presidents of Iraq under the Iraqi Interim Government from 2004 to 2005, and he was the main spokesman for the Islamic Dawa Party. He withdrew his nomination for premiership for the permanent government because he disagreed with some of the Kurdish leaders with regards to securing Kirkuk as part of Iraq. Members of his own group, the United Iraqi Alliance, conspired with Sunni and Kurdish politicians who pressured President George W. Bush and British prime minister Tony Blair to convince al-Jafari to withdraw his nomination. Al-Jafari refused any foreign interference in Iraqi politics and instead gave the United Iraqi Alliance the choice to decide whom they wanted, be it him or another political figure as Prime Minister.

Iraqi Governing Council

The Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) was the provisional government of Iraq from July 13, 2003 to June 1, 2004. It was established by and served under the United States-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). The IGC consisted of various Iraqi political and tribal leaders who were appointed by the CPA to provide advice and leadership of the country until the June 2004 transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government (which was replaced in May 2005 by the Iraqi Transitional Government, which was then replaced the following year by the first permanent government).

The Council's ethnic and religious breakdown included 13 Shias, five Sunnis, five Kurds (also Sunnis), one Turkmen and an Assyrian. Three of its members were women.

In September 2003, the Iraqi Governing Council gained regional recognition from the Arab League, which agreed to seat its representative in Iraq's chair at its meetings. On June 1, 2004, the Council dissolved after choosing member Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer as the president of the new Iraq interim government. Full sovereignty was transferred to the interim government (and the CPA dissolved) on June 28.

Iraqi International Law Group

Iraqi International Law Group (IILG) was created in 2003 by Salem Chalabi and Marc Zell as "the first international law firm" based in Iraq.The firm received widely publicized criticism when it was revealed that Salem Chalabi, nephew of Ahmed Chalabi, a highly controversial expatriate Iraqi closely involved in the Second Gulf War ousting Saddam Hussein, was its creator, along with Zell, a U.S.-born Israeli citizen.The firm's website was initially registered in the name of Marc Zell, whose address given was that of the Washington office of Zell, Goldberg & Co, which claims to be "one of Israel's fastest-growing business-oriented law firms".Zell had previously been a law partner with Douglas Feith who was given a Pentagon post as undersecretary of defence for policy.Zell was to help lead clients interested in reconstruction to the firm, which would in turn help them meet U.S. and Iraqi officials.In interviews, Salem Chalabi spoke of his daily contacts with his uncle [Ahmed Chalabi], and the fact that one of his 26 first cousins was the Iraqi minister of trade." At the time, Salem Chalabi also played an important role in the new government: as an advisor on the writing of commercial laws and a national constitution, among other issues. At the time, Salem Chalabi was reported to be on two committees which advised the new Iraqi government on finance, trade and investment.After "an outpouring of publicity", Salem Chalabi disbanded the partnership, saying, “I have to be more careful about the appearance of a conflict of interest.”".The website address listed for the firm in articles of the time (www.iraqlawfirm.com) currently is occupied by Iraqi International Law Firm Gulf International Legal Strategies, S.A., a law firm which does not list its lawyers or other professionals and states on the website "Difficult as this is to maintain under the current circumstances, we take extraordinary steps to remain anonymous to the public and low key."(http://www.iraqlawfirm.com/about_firm.html, access date of 2008-09-18). The website further states, "it is not our policy to comment in reply to general inquiries or press inquiries" (http://www.iraqlawfirm.com/contact.php, access date of 2008-09-18).

The mirror image of content on www.iraqlawfirm.com is contained in http://www.gulflegalstrategies.com/, access date of 2008-09-18.

It is thus not publicly established what role, if any, Chalabi and Zell play in any International Law Firm in Iraq at present.

The original IILG website was reported to have stated, "Our clients number among the largest corporations and institutions on the planet. They have chosen IILG to provide them with real-time, on the ground intelligence they cannot get from inexperienced local firms or from overburdened coalition and local government officials," as well as "The simple fact is: you cannot adequately advise about Iraq unless you are...working closely with officials at the CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority], the newly constituted governing council and the few functioning civilian ministries [oil, labour and social welfare, etc]." As of September 28, 2008, both www.iraqlawfirm.com and www.gulflegalstrategies.com have been removed from the web, showing only the words "this account has been suspended," in each case.

Iraqi National Congress

The Iraqi National Congress (INC; Arabic: المؤتمر الوطني العراقي Al-Moutammar Al-Watani Al-'Iraqi) is an Iraqi political party that was led by Ahmed Chalabi who died in 2015. It was formed as an umbrella opposition group with the aid and direction of the United States government following the Gulf War, for the purpose of fomenting the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi National Intelligence Service

The Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) is an intelligence agency of the Iraqi government that was created in April 2004 on the authority of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Kanan Makiya

Kanan Makiya (born 1949 in Baghdad) is an Iraqi-British academic and a professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. He gained international attention writing Republic of Fear (1989), which became a best-seller after Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, and Cruelty and Silence (1991), a critique of the Arab intelligentsia. Makiya would later lobby the US government to invade Iraq in 2003 and oust Hussein.

Makiya was born in Baghdad and left Iraq to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, later working for his father's architectural firm, Makiya & Associates which had branch offices in London and across the Middle East. As a former exile, he was a prominent member of the Iraqi opposition, a "close friend" of Ahmed Chalabi, and an influential proponent of the 2003 Iraq War.

Petra Bank

Petra Bank was a Jordanian bank. It beginning is in 1956 when Prince Hassan bin Talal, the Crown Prince of Jordan approached Ahmad Chalabi, an Iraqi economist while the latter was teaching at the American University of Beirut to launch a new Jordanian bank, and wanted Chalabi to help him form and run the venture. By 1958, Petra Bank was incorporated and running for business in Amman and throughout Jordan. The Crown Prince's support also enabled Petra to open a string of branches for the first time in the occupied West Bank. Members of Chalabi's family also ran an investment company, Socofi, in Geneva, another bank, MEBCO, in Geneva and Beirut, as well as a Washington arm of Petra Bank known as Petra International.

Petra Bank became the third largest bank in Jordan. But when the Central Bank of Jordan, through a decree issued by its governor Mohammed Said Nabulsi imposed tough liquidity ratios on Jordanian banks to reduce the outflow of foreign exchange from Jordan, forcing banks to deposit 30% of their foreign holdings as reserves at the Central Bank, Petra Bank became the only Jordanian bank that could not comply with the liquidity ratios imposed. An investigation was launched which led to accusations of embezzlement and false accounting by the bank. Many of the bank's bad loans were to Chalabi-linked companies. The Swiss and Lebanese firms, Mebco and Socofi, were subsequently put into liquidation too.Petra Bank collapsed on August 2, 1989 and was put under government supervision and an audit was imposed on the bank's books. Two weeks later, Ahmed Chalabi fled Jordan through the help of Prince Hassan bin Talal. The audit investigation subsequently uncovered further evidence of massive fraud committed by the bank. A $350 million bail-out was announced by the Central Bank of Jordan to pay out to depositors to avert a potential collapse of the country's entire banking system. According to an Arthur Anderson audit report, there was $80 million in bad loans at Petra Bank, $20 million lost to "unsupported foreign currency balances at counter-party banks" and another $60 million that could simply not be found. The affair cost Jordan around $200 million in losses. The Jordanian attorney-general charged that Ahmed Chalabi was directly responsible for the collapse of Petra Bank. Chalabi was convicted and sentenced in absentia for bank fraud by a Jordanian military tribunal to 22 years in prison on 31 charges of embezzlement, theft, misuse of depositor funds and currency speculation. Chalabi maintained that his prosecution was a politically motivated effort to discredit him. Chalabi never served the sentence dying on 3 November 2015 from a heart attack.

Salem Chalabi

Salem Chalabi (aka "Sam Challabi") (born 1963, in Baghdad) is an Iraq-born, British- and American-educated lawyer. He was appointed as the first General Director of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, set up in 2003 to try Saddam Hussein and other members of his regime for crimes against humanity. His appointment, by an order signed by Paul Bremer, the head of the occupation authority, was widely criticized for perceived nepotism (his uncle, Ahmed Chalabi, was critically involved in the US-led war against Iraq and Hussein) and he himself lacked any significant trial experience (he was a corporate securities lawyer). He was ultimately dropped from the Tribunal after an arrest warrant was issued for investigation into his role in the murder of a director-general of the Iraqi Ministry of Finance who was investigating Chalabi family properties acquired in Iraq; the charge was ultimately dismissed citing lack of evidence.

British Mandate of Mesopotamia (1920–1932)
Kingdom of Iraq (1932–1958)
Republic of Iraq (1958–2003)
Iraqi Governing Council (2003–2004)
Republic of Iraq (since 2004)
Spanish–American War
Spanish Civil War
World War II
Sino-Japanese War
Korean War
Iraq War
Vietnam War
Gulf War
Falklands War
Libyan Civil War

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.