BREAKING: Chalabi Meets with Cheney & Rumsfeld; White House Bans Photos, Press Access

The Associated Press is reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld met today with Ahmad Chalabi, the discredited neocon darling currently under FBI investigation for allegedly passing U.S. secrets to Iran:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld discussed Iraqi security and political developments on Monday with Ahmad Chalabi, the former Iraqi exile tainted by the since-discredited claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. […]

Chalabi met later with Vice President Dick Cheney, and he also had talks with Robert Zoellick, the deputy secretary of state.

Not surprisingly, Cheney and Rumsfeld preferred to have their meetings stay under the radar. Here’s Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank from MSNBC’s Hardball [transcript updated]:

Chalabi’s group, in particularly, had to do with, remember, the [intelligence claims over] mobile biological weapons laboratories and restarting the nuclear program. So he certainly has a key role in this. He is not exactly getting the full red carpet state dinner treatment here. They spirited him in to talk to the Vice President today without allowing any photos, any public coverage of it, wouldn’t even allow him to go to a stake-out afterwards. So, they are giving him some of that treatment, but they also don’t want it to be observed. You’re not going to get that photo of the handshake.