Yesterday, the President denied having "had any extensive conversations" with INC leader Ahmed Chalabi, now being investigated as an Iranian spy.
Atrios easily punctured this lie. Bush previously said he met privately with Chalabi in the Oval office and in Iraq on his Thanksgiving visit. And, of course, Chalabi was Laura Bush's guest at the State of the Union address.
Perhaps more importantly, for a variety of reasons (some legal), Dick Cheney acknowledged in December 2001 that he had met frequently with Chalabi:
"THE VICE PRESIDENT: The policy towards Iraq clearly is going to evolve over time. But they remain very much an area of concern for us because of the threat that Saddam Hussein has represented in the past and does in the future.Atrios posted a photo of Bush posing with Chalabi, and others have posted the photo of Chalabi sitting near Laura Bush -- so I decided to fill out this little photo book.
In the course of addressing that threat, we'll want to work with our friends and allies in the region. We'll want to work, I think, with the Iraqi opposition, with the Iraqi National Congress. I personally met with Mr. Chalabi myself in years past, and I would expect that they will be a part of a continuing effort as we think about how best to deal with that threat."
Remember, images matter.
I found these with minimal effort:
That's Ahmed Chalabi with Senator Trent Lott (R-MS).
Chalabi and Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC)
Chalabi with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA).
That's Chalabi with "dictator of Iraq" Paul Bremer looking at the coffin of the UN's Vieira de Mello (who died in the bombing of the UN headquarters last year).
In case you missed it, current UN envoy to Iraq Lakhdar Brahimi just called Bremer the "dictator of Iraq," so this entire mess is becoming more colorful. As are the photo captions.
Oh, and war enthusiast Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins wrote this in the New York Times in response to Bush's recent War College address:
"Let’s face it: Iraq is not going to be America’s showcase in the Arab-Muslim world The president's insistence that he had sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free, "not to make them American" is now — painfully — beside the point. The unspoken message of the speech was that no great American project is being hatched in Iraq. If some of the war's planners had thought that Iraq would be an ideal base for American primacy in the Persian Gulf, a beacon from which to spread democracy and reason throughout the Arab world, that notion has clearly been set aside.Anyone know of other images I could add to the gallery?
...We shall not chase the Syrian dictator to a spider hole, nor will we sack the Iranian theocracy."
Update: I found a website that has photos of Chalabi with Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, and James Woolsey.