Last January, the Associated Press published a fascinating and thorough feature story about a $300 million deal awarded by the Iraqi Defense Ministry to a consortium that included Robert Irey and his brother William Irey. The Irey brothers had joined up with a shadowy arms dealer named Dale Stoffel, whose Iraqi patron was none other than Ahmed Chalabi — the former exile leader and alleged conman who provided deceptive intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” and who has remained a favorite of Pentagon neoconservatives despite his checkered history. With Chalabi’s support, Stoffel and the Ireys won a bid to rebuild military equipment for the Iraqi armed forces and market military scrap metal from all over the war-ravaged country.
Clever as Stoffel’s scheme may have been, it ended very badly. He soon became embroiled in bitter financial disputes with the Iraqi Defense Ministry, which he accused of corruption. In December 2004, not long after Stoffel started making official complaints to Washington, unknown assailants murdered him and an American associate in a mysterious drive-by shooting near Baghdad.
Explaining her husband’s involvement in this bloody mess could prove difficult for Irey. According to the AP, the huge deal won by her husband’s consortium was obtained by hiring the same “powerful Washington lobbyists” who had represented Chalabi in his quest for American money and support.
So , you see, continuing the war in Iraq isn’t just about the War on Terror and bringing democracy to Iraq. It’s also about new granite counter-tops and a pair of Ferragamo stilettos that are to die for.