Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Friday, December 17, 2004

The New Republic Online: Mossad's Man in the Pentagon OSP - Harold Rhode

The New Republic Online: Campaign Journal: "BUSH'S MAN IN BAGHDAD: In light of recent events, this item from the September issue of The Washington Monthly sure does make interesting reading:


Another person whose name certainly deserves to be better known is Pentagon official Harold Rhode. When we first met Rhode, in the early days of the Bush administration, he was the "Islamic affairs advisor" to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz who got into some trouble for poking Saudi diplomat Adel al Jubeir in the chest during an argument.

Rhode later landed on his feet in Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith's Office of Special Plans, the Pentagon's in-house intelligence shop charged with uncovering sundry links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Rhode got another big break when Pentagon hawks sent him to Baghdad this spring as their chief liaison (read: handler) to Iraqi National Congress chief Ahmed Chalabi, the hawks' favorite exile.

But problems cropped up then, too, when, during his stay at the occupation headquarters in Baghdad, Rhode quickly alienated most of the American military and civilian pros in the country by saying all manner of unfortunate things about Arabs, Iranians, and Muslims in general.

Later he holed himself up with Chalabi at the latter's hunt-club headquarters and bombarded Washington with faxes about plans to install Chalabi as the George Washington of Iraq. Following his subsequent recall--not so voluntarily, we hear--Rhode showed up sitting next to Chalabi in the front row at Vice President Dick Cheney's rally-the-neocon-troops speech at the American Enterprise Institute in July. Most recently, Rhode landed in the news again for a series of meetings he held in August with one of the most colorful characters from Washington's last major foreign policy scandal: exiled Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghorbanifar, of Iran-Contra fame. But with certain journalists and congressional investigators starting to dig, we think we may be hearing more about Rhode very soon."

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