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May 23, 2004

US-appointed Iraqi Ambassador Contradicts US over Chalabi

Iraqi ambassador Rend Rahim Francke has denied the US government story that the Iraqi Governing Council requested an investigation of Ahmed Chalabi's home, as the Pentagon has been saying.

They DID, however, get an Iraqi judge to sign the request. But as Francke - appointed by the CPA in Nov. 2003 (Well, ostensibly by the Iraqi foreign minister.) - seems to indicate, we don't know who requested it, except that, she says, it was not the Iraqi council.

She spoke on Wolf Blitzer's Late Editoion, transcripts will eventually be
here.

Francke was, prior to her appointment, a Washington lobbyist, born in Baghdad but had not lived there in more than 30 years. She became a US citizen in 1987. (which you know, however way you slice it seems odd that an American citizen can be the Iraqi ambassador, but maybe this is not as unprecedented as it sounds.)

By the way, she was a lobbyist for the prosecution of key figures in the Iraq leadership for war crimes.