Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi exile who helped spur U.S. invasion, dies of heart attack | The Washington Post

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“But his legacy will be forever linked to the build-up of the Iraq invasion. Chalabi, who had lived outside Iraq since the 1950s, was central in peddling questionable and bogus information about Hussein’s weapons program and linking him to al-Qaeda.” Full story here.

Also see: The Manipulator | The New Yorker

“When Chalabi was thirteen, the Iraqi Communist Party and the Army overthrew the royal family, and he was sent to Jordan for safety. Thus began thirty-four years of exile. … Chalabi, who had become an international banker and financier, had surfaced almost immediately as the C.I.A.’s favored opposition figure. … A secular Shiite who was passionately dedicated to overthrowing Saddam, he spoke excellent English, dressed elegantly, and was well organized and impressively connected. He also displayed a facility for backroom political maneuvering. … The C.I.A.’s sponsorship of Chalabi came at an opportune moment. He had recently been convicted, in absentia, by a military court in Jordan for his part in a spectacular bank fraud that imperilled the country’s fragile economy. With the help of the U.S. government, Chalabi was able to recast himself from an accused swindler to a charismatic political leader and a champion of liberal democratic values.”