Chalabi's Revenge

Two sources, one in Iraq, the other in Washington, told me that Ahmed Chalabi was key in Maliki's decision to rather ostentatiously endorse Barack Obama's Iraq withdrawal time-line. Chalabi, of course, has been in and out -- mostly out -- of favor with the Bush Administration, but it's not merely revenge that motivated his advice to Maliki. "Chalabi knows American politics better than nearly every other Iraqi politician, and he knows it's time to line up with the candidate who has the better-than-even shot of becoming President," one source told me.

I can't imagine that Obama will be adding Chalabi anytime soon to his roster of 300 foreign policy advisers, despite the favor Chalabi has apparently done on his behalf.

UPDATE: My paisan Eli Lake had this story before I did, though I didn't know. This happened mainly because I'm so slow to blog, of course. Though he's a hell of a reporter.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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