Raiding Mr. Chalabi

I’m last guy to shed a tear for Ahmad Chalabi, but I did raise an eyebrow at the manner in which his house was searched. It seemed a bit much. Now we learn this:

When Iraqi police raided the Baghdad home and offices of politician Ahmad Chalabi on May 20, U.S. officials hurried to distance themselves, saying that the operation was an Iraqi affair and that no U.S. government employees were involved.

But eight armed American contractors paid by a U.S. State Department program went on the raid, directing and encouraging the Iraqi police officers who eyewitnesses say ripped out computers, turned over furniture and smashed photographs.

Some of the Americans helped themselves to baklava, apples and diet soda from Chalabi’s refrigerator, and enjoyed their looted snacks in a garden outside, according to members of Chalabi’s staff who were there.

The contractors work for DynCorp, a subsidiary of California-based Computer Sciences Corp. and the company in charge of training and advising Iraqi police through a State Department contract.

A State Department official confirmed the DynCorp workers’ presence during the raid. A DynCorp spokesman declined to comment.

The participation of gun-toting American contractors paid by U.S. taxpayers in a raid that the U.S. government has insisted it did not order is only the latest instance of problems posed by the estimated 20,000 contract security workers serving with more than 60 companies in Iraq.

(Via The Agonist)