Tuesday, March 22, 2005
And you thought they couldn't find anybody shadier than Ahmad Chalabi? You thought wrong. From the American Prospect article to which Aunt Deb refered in her comment here:
The Prospect has learned that the true identity of “Ali” is Fereidoun Mahdavi, formerly the shah’s minister of commerce and, more importantly, the close friend and business partner of Ghorbanifar, legendary arms dealer, infamous intelligence fabricator, and central ﬁgure in the Iran-Contra scandal that almost brought down the Reagan administration. It was “Gorba,” as he was known back then to Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, the rogue National Security Council ofﬁcer, who lured the Reagan administration into secretly selling U.S. missiles to the Islamic regime in exchange for the release of Western hostages.Of course, as becomes clear over and over again, the current administration (and it's think-tank cohorts) don't care much for the character of their sources or the veracity of their claims, so long as they say what it is that they want to hear. As we also know, if their claims ultimately turn out to be exaggerated, falsified, unprovable -- well, at that point you just change the message. And then bully others who dare to "distract" the public from the American success story. The sweet smell of success.
“I knew him to be a liar,” North eventually acknowledged. Robert McFarlane, the national-security adviser who approved the Iran-Contra arms trades, once described Ghorbanifar as “one of the most despicable characters I have ever met.”