Dr. Ahmed Chalabi (also spelled "Ahmad") is part of a three-man leadership council for the Iraqi opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress (INC), which was created at the behest of the U.S. government for the purpose of fomenting the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Chalabi, a secular Iraqi Shiite Muslim and mathematician by training, previously served as chairman of the Petra Bank in Jordan, where he engaged in various cloak-and-dagger operations that ended abruptly in August 1989 when he fled the country "under mysterious circumstances" and in 1992 was convicted in absentia for embezzlement, fraud and currency-trading irregularities, sentencing him to 22 years' hard labour. ,
In August 2003 a petition was circulating among Jordanian deputies to hold a special session soon in the 110-member house to demand the government take legal steps to seek Chalabi's extradition from Iraq. 
During 2004 Chalabi's influence with the U.S. has waned to the point where government funding for him is likely to be discontinued.
In March 2002, Seymour Hersh reported in The New Yorker that "A dispute over Chalabi's potential usefulness preoccupies the bureaucracy" within the U.S. government, "as the civilian leadership in the Pentagon continues to insist that only the INC can lead the opposition. At the same time, a former Administration official told me, 'Everybody but the Pentagon and the office of the Vice-President wants to ditch the INC.' The INC's critics note that Chalabi, despite years of effort and millions of dollars in American aid, is intensely unpopular today among many elements in Iraq. 'If Chalabi is the guy, there could be a civil war after Saddam's overthrow,' one former CIA operative told me. A former high-level Pentagon official added, 'There are some things that a President can't order up, and an internal opposition is one.'" 
Notwithstanding these concerns, Hersh reported that "INC supporters in and around the Administration, including Paul Dundes Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, believe, like Chalabi, that any show of force would immediately trigger a revolt against Saddam within Iraq, and that it would quickly expand." In December 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the administration of George Walker Bush actually preferred INC-supplied analyses of Iraq over analyses provided by long-standing analysts within the CIA. "Even as it prepares for war against Iraq, the Pentagon is already engaged on a second front: its war against the Central Intelligence Agency.," he wrote.
"The Pentagon is bringing relentless pressure to bear on the agency to produce intelligence reports more supportive of war with Iraq. ... Morale inside the U.S. national-security apparatus is said to be low, with career staffers feeling intimidated and pressured to justify the push for war." Much of the pro-war faction's information came from the INC, even though "most Iraq hands with long experience in dealing with that country's tumultuous politics consider the INC's intelligence-gathering abilities to be nearly nil. ... The Pentagon's critics are appalled that intelligence provided by the INC might shape U.S. decisions about going to war against Baghdad. At the CIA and at the State Department, Ahmed Chalabi, the INC's leader, is viewed as the ineffectual head of a self-inflated and corrupt organization skilled at lobbying and public relations, but not much else." 
"The [INC's] intelligence isn't reliable at all," said Vincent Cannistraro, a former senior CIA official and counterterrorism expert. "Much of it is propaganda. Much of it is telling the Defense Department what they want to hear. And much of it is used to support Chalabi's own presidential ambitions. They make no distinction between intelligence and propaganda, using alleged informants and defectors who say what Chalabi wants them to say, [creating] cooked information that goes right into presidential and vice-presidential speeches." 
In February 2003, as the Bush administration neared the end of its preparations for war, an internal fight erupted over INC's plan to actually become the government of Iraq after the U.S. invasion. Chalabi wanted to "declare a provisional government when the war starts," a plan that "alienated some of Mr Chalabi's most enthusiastic backers in the Pentagon and in Congress, who fear the announcement of a provisional government made up of exiles would split anti-Saddam sentiment inside Iraq." 
- "What he did was pander to the dreams of a group of powerful men, centered in the Pentagon, the Defense Policy Board, the vice president's office, and various think tanks scattered around Washington,² according to Thomas Engelhardt, a New York writer who produces a daily web log on the war.
- The thing that needs to be grasped here is that since 1991 these men have been dreaming up a storm about reconfiguring the Middle East, while scaling the heavens (via various Star Wars programs for the militarization of space), and so nailing down an American earth for eternity. Their dreams were utopian and so, by definition, unrealizable. Theirs were lava dreams, and they were dreamt, like all such burning dreams, without much reference to the world out there. They were perfect pickings for a Chalabi.
- Of course, the fact that Chalabi is now scarcely mentioned as a possible political force in Iraq is barely acknowledged by the hawks who still insist, albeit with less conviction, that things are going their way and that there is no reason to panic.
- --Jim Lobe, 11 July 2003 
Chalabi even participated in a secret Defense Policy Board meeting just a few days after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon in which the main topic of discussion, according to the 'Wall Street Journal', was how 9/11 could be used as a pretext for attacking Iraq. 
Jim Lobe reports on 20 Februrary 2004 to IPS that "It appears that Chalabi, whose family, it was reported this week, has extensive interests in a company that has already been awarded more than 400 million dollars in reconstruction contracts, is signalling his willingness to take all of the blame, or credit, for the faulty intelligence." 
During the occupation, he became Deputy Prime Minister.
In the December 15, 2005 election Chalabi won only 0.5% of the vote. Once hailed by U.S. neoconservatives as the "George Washington of Iraq," Chalabi's humiliating defeat at the polls makes him something of an embarrasment now. "The election results in Iraq may present Chalabi’s ardent U.S. supporters with a quandary: Chalabi, as well as other losing candidates, is alleging fraud in the election, even though the Bush administration hailed the vote as a historic step for democracy in Iraq," reports Aram Roston. 
Electoral humiliation, however, did not end Chalabi's political career. In December 2005 "the government" discharged the the Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum for criticism and installed Chalabi into the post. 
- The Rise and Fall of Ahmed Chalabi
- Ahmed Chalabi: Fall from Grace
- Ayad Allawi
- Salem Chalabi (Ahmed's nephew and second-generation U.S. favorite)
- civil war in Iraq
- Iran-Contra II
- Iraqi sovereignty: June 30, 2004
- war profiteering
- Rendon Group
- When George W. Bush met Ahmad Chalabi
Speeches by Chalabi
- "An Insider's View: Democratic Politics at Work in Iraq: A Foreign Policy Briefing from Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi", American Enterprise Institute, November 9, 2005.
Articles about Chalabi
- "An Interview with Dr. Ahmad Chalabi," from "Frontline: The Survival of Saddam," PBS, January 25, 2000.
- Robert Dreyfuss, Tinker, Banker, NeoCon, Spy. Ahmed Chalabi's long and winding road from (and to?) Baghdad, The American Prospect, November 18, 2002.
- Warren P. Strobel, "Plan to give Iraqi exiles big role spurs feud," Mercury News, March 27, 2003.
- Christophe Boltanski, "How the Dissidents Fooled the Washington Hawks," La Liberation, April 1, 2003.
- Eric Schmitt and Steven R. Weisman, U.S. to Recruit Iraqi Civilians to Interim Posts, The New York Times, April 10, 2003. Numerous references to Chalabi.
- "Fresh bank scandals hit Iraq's leader in waiting," Sydney Morning Herald, April 18, 2003.
- Marian Wilkinson and Peter Fray, "The thief of Baghdad", Sydney Morning Herald, May 9, 2003.
- Jim Lobe, "Analysis: Anatomy of a Quack-Mire", Inter Press Service, July 11, 2003.
- "War, Truth and Consequences," PBS Frontline, October 9, 2003, includes a lengthy interview with Chalabi.
- Knut Royce, Start-up Company With Connections. U.S. gives $400M in work to contractor with ties to Pentagon favorite on Iraqi Governing Council, Newsday, February 15, 2004: "... to a start-up company that has extensive family and, according to court documents, business ties to Ahmed Chalabi, ... The most recent contract, for $327 million to supply equipment for the Iraqi Armed Forces, was awarded last month and drew an immediate challenge from a losing contester, who said the winning bid was so low that it questions the 'credibility' of that bid."
- "Iraq's Chalabi Says 'Blame CIA, Not Me' About WMD," Reuters, March 5, 2004.
- Isabel Hilton, "Ready to rule, despite his errors", Sydney Morning Herald, March 10, 2004.
- Tabassum Zakaria, "Exile group still on US payroll", The Age, March 12, 2004: "The US is still paying the Iraqi National Congress exile group, headed by Ahmed Chalabi, about $US340,000 ($A450,000) a month for intelligence - despite internal government reviews finding that much of the intelligence provided before the war was faulty or even fabricated..."
- Dexter Filkins, "Chalabi, Nimble Exile, Searches for Role in Iraq," New York Times, March 26, 2004.
- Mark Hosenball and Michael Hirsh, "Chalabi: A Questionable Use of U.S. Funding", Newsweek, April 5, 2004: "Under investigation: Congress is examining whether Ahmad Chalabi inappropriately used U.S. taxpayer dollars to prod America towards war in Iraq."
- Timothy M. Phelps, "U.S. backing knocked," New York Newsday, April 22, 2004. Kenneth Pollack, a former Clinton administration official and one of the most prominent Democrats to support the war in Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday that it was a 'disgrace' that the United States 'continues to push [Ahmed Chalabi] the way we do' for a leadership position in Iraq. Committee Chairman Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Vice Chairman Joseph Biden (D-Del.) said they agreed with Pollack."
- "Transcript: Ahmed Chalabi on 'Fox News Sunday', April 25, 2004.
- Robin Wright and Walter Pincus, "Washington's chosen ones face the axe", Sydney Morning Herald, April 26, 2004. (This is a syndicated story originally published in the Washington Post).
- "Chalabi says no to U.N. oversight", Washington Times, April 29, 2004.
- Joshua Micah Marshall, More on Chalabi, Talking Points Memo, May 2, 2004.
- Mark Hosenball, "Intelligence: A Double Game," Newsweek, May 10, 2004.
- Andrew Cockburn, "The Truth About Ahmed Chalabi," Counterpunch, May 20, 2004.
- Interview with Michael Rubin, "Ahmad Chalabi: 'The Biggest Error Was Occupation'," Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2004.
- Douglas McCollam, "THE LIST: How Chalabi Played the Press," Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2004.
- Dexter Filkins, "Race for Top Iraq Post Narrows to 2 Shiites", New York Times, February 16, 2005.
- Ahmad Chalabi, "Curveball Strikeout?", Letters, Columbia Journalism Review, May/June 2005. (With responses by Douglas McCollam, Bob Drogin, Jonathan S. Landay).
- Murray Waas, "Cheney, Lobby Blocked Papers to Senate Intelligence Committee" National Journal, Oct. 27, 2005
- Murray Waas, and Paul Singer,"Addington's Role in Cheney's Office Draws Fresh Attention," National Journal, Oct.30, 2005.
- Julian Borger, "Washington elite bring Chalabi in from the cold", Guardian, November 8, 2005.
- Justin Raimondo, "The Return of Chalabi: Some Democrats are outraged, but both parties sired this scamster "liberator"", Antiwar.com, November 9, 2005.
- Christopher Hitchens, "Believe It or Not: Are you sure you want to keep saying we were fooled by Ahmad Chalabi and the INC?", Slate, November 14, 2005.
- Aram Roston, "Chalabi’s defeat puts U.S. friends in quandary. Should his backers go with his view that it was a fraudulent election," NBC News/MSNBC, December 22, 2005.
- Michael McCarthy, "Iraq Oil Minister Resigns Under Pressure; Replaced with Chalabi", Common Dreams, January 2, 2006. (This is an Associated Press story).
- Larisa Alexandrovna, "Chalabi involved US, Iran policy making again, current and former intelligence officials say," The Raw Story, May 1, 2006.
- James Bamford, Iran: The Next War, Rolling Stone, July 26, 2006.
- Patrick Cockburn, "Chalabi Speaks: An Interview with the Man Whose Lies Provided the Pretext for War," CounterPunch, May 16, 2007.
- Christian Berthelsen, "Chalabi returns to prominence and power: After spurning him, the U.S. is working with the Iraqi politician now overseeing the restoration of vital services to Baghdad," Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2007.
- Aram Roston, "Chalabi's Lobby", The Nation, April 21, 2008.
- NeoCon Europe Ahmad Chalabi