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Congress Members Write to Chalabi
Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Maurice Hinchey and other Members will send the attached letter to Mr. Ahmed Chalabi asking for a meeting to discuss his role in manipulating the intelligence that led to war with Iraq. The current list of signers (18 in all) is attached below and will be updated later today.
November 8, 2005
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi
Iraqi National Congress
c/o The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown
3100 South Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Dear Mr. Deputy Prime Minister:
In the months leading up to the present conflict in Iraq, information from your close circle of associates was a key element in the Bush Administration's effort to convince the public of the need to go to war. As one of the leading Members of the Iraqi National Congress, you were responsible for providing a major portion of the information the Bush Administration used to persuade Members of Congress and the American people that a war with Iraq was neccessary.
Most notably, an "Iraqi chemical engineer" designated "Curveball" supplied hundreds of pages "firsthand" descriptions of mobile biological and chemical weapons facilities to the United States Defense Intelligence Agency. Secretary of State Colin Powell later used this information in his February 2003 address to the United Nations detailing the state of Iraq's weapons programs.
Since then, the Congress and the American public have determined that these "firsthand" accounts were entirely fabricated. Moreover, we have learned that "Curveball" is, in fact, the brother of one of your top lieutenants within the Iraqi National Congress. Secretary Powell has since apologized for the use of such "intelligence" in making his case for the invasion of Iraq. However, neither you nor your associatees have ever fully accounted for the role you played in the buildup to this war, or for the $340,000 you and your associates received every month from the United States intelligence community for your efforts in gathering "evidence."
We respectfully request that you make yourself available to us to explain the details and reasons for your involvement in the manipulation of intelligence as the Bush Administration pushed for war. It is vital to the integrity of both our democracies that the truth behind these terribly destructive events be known.
In 2002, you told the New York Times that the Iraqi people "are grateful to President Bush for liberating Iraq, but it is time for the Iraqi people to run their affairs." As members of Congress and concerned citizens, we, too, seek an end to this war and a conclusion to the violence that has plagued both our countries for years. Your cooperation in this investigation will serve as an invaluable aid to the American people as we labor towards a final resolution in Iraq.Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi
November 8, 2005
We therefore encourage you to meet with us during your visit to the United States this week, explain your actions to the public, and help the people of both Iraq and the United States to understand why we are at war today. Please reply through the Judiciary Committee Democratic office, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (tel: 202-225-6504; fax: 202-225-4423).
John Conyers, Jr.
Raul M. Grijalva
Chris Van Hollen