There is no doubt that Ahmed Chalabi was a central figure in America’s decision to go to war. Just how big a factor he was (and what a liar he has been) is well illustrated in this article.
But I’m not sure Ahmed Chalabi is the story here. Anyone who has seen even a five minute interview with this guy could tell he had the personality type of one who couldn’t be trusted. He wears his psychological symptoms on his sleeve. And U.S. higher-ups knew enough about Chalabi to know he was a phony.
As I wrote several months ago: There are just some people who make it so immediately and plainly clear that they are lying. Ahmed Chalabi makes Joe Isuzu look like Abe Lincoln.
Chalabi will now further disappoint those who based a war in part on his word. But his behavior will not surprise anyone who has dealt with him (at least it shouldn’t). Chalabi was useful because he told those who wanted to invade Iraq what they wanted to hear.