Assuming that ethics still matter, a number of people in Washington DC should be feeling disgusted with themselves. These would be congressmen, journalists, academics, philanthropists and other assorted anti-Bush administration gadflies who were busily promoting Iraqi parliamentarian Mohammad al-Daini for the span of several weeks back in May 2007.

While Daini was making the rounds on Capitol Hill, spinning caustic rhetoric on America’s perfidy and the crimes of the Shias against the Sunnis, and being listened to raptly by those longing to hear whatever confirmed their preset notions about Iraq, he neglected to tell his hosts that his own hands were drenched in innocent blood.

Today Daini stands accused of mass murder. His nephew and his chief of security both gave testimony last week that they had conducted tens of crimes at Daini’s behest. A particularly gruesome one involved rounding up 110 random civilians and killing them in a reprisal. Another crime that made the news at the time had it that Daini enabled a suicide bomber to enter the parliament building and blow himself up, killing one of Daini’s own parliamentary colleagues. This event happened two weeks before Daini made his appearances in the U.S. Congress.

Surely the man should have his day in court. But I have no doubt that most of these allegations are true. During the first few weeks after being elected to parliament, Daini walked up to a friend of mine, a businessman, and told him that ‘they’ (meaning the insurgent group that Daini was part of) were planning to kill him, but Daini stopped them because the businessman was a fellow Sunni. The comment was made so as to elicit gratitude, and protection money. I do not doubt the veracity of this anecdote; these new allegations of mass murder brought against Daini would make sense—he is a mass murderer, after all.

Which brings us back to Washington and the chorus of useful idiots who were feigning anguish over the plight of the Iraqi people, only because it would make former President George W. Bush, their ideological enemy, look bad. The perverted irony was that they were making their case by staging meet-’n-greet events for a guy who was actually responsible for the plight of Iraqis. And they knew it too: allegations of terrorism had already been swirling about Daini before he set foot in America.

A war came and went without Americans even having much clarity as to who the enemy was. Well, men like Daini were the enemy. And some Americans colluded with him. In another time, this would have been called treason. But in our ethically-lapsed times, such collusion is called activism.

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