USATODAY.com – Allawi’s ascent follows extensive PR campaign: “Other calls went to officials at the National Security Council, Vice President Cheney’s office, the Defense Department, the CIA and three influential Washington think tanks: the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation and Brookings Institution.

Allawi has worked for the CIA and was in Washington as recently as December to do work there. But many of the meetings arranged by the law firm fell through because of scheduling problems.

Allawi is a member of the Iraqi National Accord, a party made up largely of exiled former members of Saddam Hussein’s military. He was trying to warn Washington officials that the Bush administration policy of expunging all former members of Saddam’s Baath Party from the new government had gone too far. Barring all people with Baathist backgrounds would make it more difficult to reconstitute an Iraqi army, Allawi said.”

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