Behind the end of the neo-conservative affair with Ahmed Chalabi:

A year ago, as U.S. troops swept toward Baghdad, Ahmed Chalabi and about 400 hastily assembled fighters were secretly airlifted into southern Iraq to rally other Iraqis and begin a march toward Baghdad to help topple Saddam Hussein. Chalabi had predicted that he would become Iraq’s Spartacus, mobilizing vast numbers behind him, according to U.S. officials…U.S. officials point to that early April 2003 covert operation as the turning point in their dealings with the charismatic U.S.-educated banker and convicted felon. Instead of being the warrior-king who liberated town after town, “he was jeered more than cheered. Iraqis were shouting him down. It was embarrassing,” said another U.S. official familiar with Chalabi’s first public appearance in the Iraqi heartland after 45 years in exile. “We had to help bail him out.”


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