Iraqi Who Pushed Bogus WMD Intel Is Dead

Ahmad Chalabi helped persuade US to topple Saddam
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2015 6:44 AM CST
Updated Nov 3, 2015 6:49 AM CST
Iraqi Who Pushed Faulty WMD Intel Is Dead
A 2010 photo of Ahmad Chalabi.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)

Ahmad Chalabi was once a US darling who was supposed to lead Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. But with his death of a heart attack Tuesday at the age of 71, Chalabi's legacy is a much different one: He's now known mostly as the Iraqi figure who used faulty information about weapons of mass destruction to persuade the US to topple Saddam, reports the Wall Street Journal. It's unclear whether Chalabi himself knew the information was bogus. Here's how the New York Times puts it: "As it became clear that the evidence he promoted as proving that Mr. Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction was, if not fabricated, then manipulated and exaggerated, the Bush administration distanced itself from him."

The split became even more pronounced a year after the invasion when US forces invaded his home looking to prove accusations that he was spying for Iran. The only charges that resulted, however, involved forged bank notes, reports the Guardian. "There are some people who will remember him in a good way, and there are others, to be honest, [who] do not like and did not want his politics," former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi tells Reuters. "But regardless, Iraq lost a man who had an important contribution, important commitments towards the nation and he tried to offer what he could to this country." Chalabi was a member of Parliament at the time of his death. (More Iraq war stories.)

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