Despite some troubling episodes over the past decade, at least two top advisers to President George W. Bush think Ahmad Chalabi could be the one to save Iraq. Chalabi, 69, is also the one credited with giving the Bush administration tenuous justification for invading Iraq, delivering false intelligence that then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. He was later accused of spying on the U.S. for Iran.
He took millions of dollars from the C.I.A., founded and was accused of defrauding the second-biggest bank in Jordan and sold the Bush administration a bill of goods on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. At first championed by the Bush administration's neoconservatives as a potential leader of Iraq, Ahmad Chalabi ended up persona non grata, effectively barred from the wartime American Embassy here. Now, in an improbable twist of fate, Mr. Chalabi is being talked about as a serious candidate for prime minister. He has also been back to the embassy.