So much for Ahmed Chalabi

The Bush administration's one-time favorite is humiliated at the polls.

By Tim Grieve

Published December 23, 2005 2:46PM (EST)

Remember how Dick Cheney and the neocons at the Pentagon fancied Ahmed Chalabi as the future leader of a free and democratic Iraq? The voters of Iraq have now had something to say about that, and it's not pretty. As Josh Marshall notes, Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress was a blip in last week's Iraqi elections. NBC News has the numbers: Chalabi's group got 0.36 percent of the votes in Baghdad and just 0.34 percent of the vote in Basra.

Like another Iraqi the Bush administration has embraced, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Chalabi is arguing that last week's elections were tainted by fraud. But that's not a claim that fits well in the purple-thumb story the White House is telling, so don't look for Chalabi's friends in Washington to come to his aid anytime soon.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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