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McCain’s Intelligence

While this Mother Jones article raises several disturbing issues, for me the worst is the connection between McCain’s main foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, and Ahmed Chalabi. This article says that Scheunemann was one of Chalabi’s acolytes, along with Cheney and Rumsfeld among others, in his effort to get the US to invade Iraq. Chalabi wanted to replace Saddam Hussein, but ran into too much opposition. He has remained a central figure in the new Iraq, although usually just below the public appearance level. The last I saw he was the head of rebuilding Baghdad, a job that gives him lots of money to siphon off to his Swiss bank accounts.

This MJ article sheds some light on my concern that there may be some truth to the Russian allegations that Bush and the Republicans encouraged Georgia to invade South Ossetia in order to help John McCain’s campaign. McCain apparently shares my view that there is no love lost between the CIA and President Bush, and perhaps by extension other Republicans, including McCain. Thus, I think it’s unlikely that there would have been an official CIA operation encouraging Georgia to invade. I’m less sanguine about the military, and the MJ article says that’s where McCain wants to shift intelligence responsibilities. That would certainly reinforce suspicions that if there were some kind of clandestine effort to foment a war in Georgia to help McCain, the effort would have been led by the US military, not the CIA.

I doubt that the US did anything official to foment war in Georgia, but Scheunemann’s connection to Chalabi makes him even sleazier than I thought he was before. He may well have done something to stir things up through his unofficial contacts with Georgians. It also helps explain McCain’s rabid stance in favor of the Iraq war. If looks like if you vote for McCain, you’re also buying Scheunemann and all his lobbying clients.

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