EXILE UPDATE….Last week the LA Times ran a story suggesting that before the war the CIA and the Pentagon had been duped by phony WMD stories from Iraqi exiles, especially exiles associated with Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. Today, Josh Marshall dredges through his memory banks to bring us the backstory to the whole CIA/Pentagon/INC relationship.

It’s worth reading, but I have to love his concluding paragraph:

A real investigation into this long sordid history is what we need. Not just one into the White House’s handling of the lead-up to war, but everything. The CIA, the INC, the Clinton administration, the defectors, the WMD evidence or lack thereof. Everything. We’ve got many of the big players in custody now and lots of the former regime’s archives. They may not be telling us what we want to hear about weapons of mass destruction. But there are any number of other questions and mysteries they should be able to clear up. The point wouldn’t be to find bad-acting, mistakes or incompetence (though I’m sure we’ll find plenty of each), but to get as close as we can get to a reliable understanding of our Iraq policy since the close of the Gulf War. No agency involved in this history is going to be capable of the objectivity and distance required to do the job right.

Unfortunately, a real investigation would almost certainly reveal a “deeply flawed culture” within the entire administration, and we can’t have that, can we? Why, people might start to get ideas….

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