clap clap blog: we have moved
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
A story in the Guardian reveals that Ahmad Chalabi, the neo-cons' choice to lead Iraq (see below), was sentenced in absentia to 21 years in prison in Jordan for "embezzlement, theft, misuse of depositor funds and currency speculation" totalling (US?)$200 million in losses connected to the bank he used to run there, Petra Bank. The losses occurred in 1989 and the Jordanian government repaid the money to depositors, after discovering that the bank had lost the money due to hiding it in, among other places, dummy corporations set up by Chalabi himself. Chalabi fled to Britain. "As Mr Chalabi was eventually tried in a military state security court, he cannot be extradited, though if he became Iraqi leader he would be unable to visit Jordan."
I guess it might be useful for the leader of a mideast country to be familiar with the techniques of graft, bribery, and quid pro quo, but I thought we were trying to install regimes different from the ones there now, and this would just be more of the same. It seems doubtful that he'd get much popular support for screwing over Jordan and fleeing to England, although I could be wrong.
To put it unequivocally: Do not let this guy run Iraq.