Jeffrey LewisThe Allawi Factor

There is lots of good coverage on Allawi out there, especially from the New Republic and Josh Marshall. Digging out who did what to whom will take some time on this story, but – as a little background – I highly suggest a January 2004 Associated Press expose of Allawi/’s “expensive, carefully crafted strategy to spread his views to influential Americans, an example of how those seeking power in Iraq continue to curry favor in the United States.”

The story reported that Allawi had paid “prominent Washington lobbyists and New York publicists more than $300,000 in recent months to help him contact policy-makers and journalists,” including Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP at $100,000 a month. AP reports that “No other governing council member has reported spending nearly as much over the last year” citing Justice Department/’s Foreign Agent Registration Unit. For example, Shea & Gardner reported receiving “just” $52,000 over six months to shill for Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.

Nick Theros, a consultant for Allawi on retainer for 10 g/’s a month, told AP the fees were “the going rate here in Washington. It doesn/’t really happen for less.” Guess not.

For Sale: Large Oil Producing Middle Eastern Country (Population: Approximately 25 million): $300,000 or OBO. As is.