Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Whodunnit? (2)

The corpse of Christopher Hitchens defended Chalabi in a Slate article last week. As of right now, this is the salient passage :

As to the accusation that Chalabi has endangered American national security by slipping secrets to Tehran, I can only say that three days ago, I broke my usual rule and had a "deep background" meeting with a very "senior administration official." This person, given every opportunity to signal even slightly that I ought to treat the charges seriously, pointedly declined to do so. I thought I should put this on record.

If Hitchens's pattern holds true, his "senior adminstration" source is Paul Wolfowitz. Even if it's not I'm pretty sure it's an underling at the Pentagon, not at Cheney's office. My gut's telling me that this ass-covering through Hitch is coming through the DoD, and probably because they themselves are to blame for the whole debacle.

Notice the curious wording, also -- whether or not Chalabi passed secrets was then still, awful phrase, "plausibly deniable." But the "answer given" is that those secrets didnt threaten national security. Of course one wonders what Hitchens's question was, if one indeed was posed. At any rate, surely Hitchens's source knew that, IF Chalabi's crime did come out, its very nature would render Hitchens's proxy-denial ridiculous?

Even three years ago, I would have assumed that Hitchens wrote this in good faith. Now I'm not disposed to giving that benefit of doubt. Yet if his faith is good here, how can he feel about being used and lied to? Back when Hitch was still human Isaiah Berlin bullshitted him, which Hitch didn't take very kindly. Even now that he's a shill Hitchens still should realise that he's been used and made to look (even more) foolish. Now's your chance for redemption, old comrade...