Fully credentialed for the new Iraqi government

The man who conned the neocons is back in the pipeline. In fact, he's now in charge of it.

Published April 28, 2005 6:28PM (EDT)

He once was the Bush administration's heavy favorite to lead the new Iraq, and even appeared alongside Laura Bush during the president's 2004 State of the Union speech. But by the summer of 2004, he'd been accused of duping the White House on Iraqi WMD, spying for the Iranians, and, though he was still closely allied with neoconservatives at the Pentagon, had his headquarters in Baghdad ransacked in broad daylight by the CIA. A former law partner of Defense Department neocon Doug Feith went so far as to call him "a treacherous, spineless turncoat." (His resumé had already long ago been burnished by an in-absentia conviction and 22-year prison sentence for ripping off hundreds of millions from a Jordanian bank.)

A fall from grace like that gives gravity new meaning -- you'd think it'd be kind of tough to recover. So where is Ahmed Chalabi now?

He's just been anointed the interim deputy prime minister in charge of Iraq's oil.

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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