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Former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq Ahmad Chalabi (Getty Images)

Writer Aram Roston, Parsing Ahmad Chalabi's Past

Mar 14, 2008 (Fresh Air from WHYY)

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Secularist Shiite politican Ahmad Chalabi was for years part of an opposition group dedicated to overthrowing former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Son of a wealthy exile family that fled Iraq in the late 1950s, he moved easily in Washington, D.C.'s political and policy circles, making allies among neoconservatives and helping to convince journalists and intelligence agencies alike that Iraq was a threat demanding urgent action.

After the U.S. invasion, he was appointed interim oil minister and then deputy prime minister — but when parliamentary elections were held in Iraq in December 2005, he failed to win a seat and was bypassed for the cabinet. Now

Investigative journalist Aram Roston joins Fresh Air to discuss his new book on Chalabi, The Man Who Pushed America to War.

Roston has reported for CNN, the Washington Monthly and the investigative unit at NBC News. As a producer for the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, he helped produce the Emmy-nominated Iraq: Life on the Streets.

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