Chalabi!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 1 2010 12:28 PM

Chalabi!

I just wrote a post about the surreal nature of the Washington Ideas Forum, a largely useful event that really feels like the Bizarro version of the grassroots political events I've spent two years covering. Mercifully, perhaps, it was erased when my finger slipped -- an obvious commentary on the incompetence of the Washington media elite. But the post was an attempt to understand why I sat through a 15 minute segment with Ahmed Chalabi, a fraud and a liar who helped sucker America into the invasion of Iraq, handled gently and respectfully by the Washington Post's Sally Quinn.

"The issue of WMD, from our perspective, was a marginal issue," said Chalabi. "We did not vouch for information about WMD. What we did was introduce people to the U.S. government who might know about WMD. We didn't vouch for information, we vouched for people who said they had information."

Advertisement

Well, there you go.

"Various investigations afterward showed that our input was marginal," he said.

Terrific. I'm not a huge fan of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the "Black Swan" author -- I think he has packaged something obvious as something extraordinary -- but he was the one speaker here who opened his speech by pronouncing the preceding speech, by Tim Geithner, as useless, coming from a guy who'd failed.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.