Sorting The Bad From The Not So Bad

To get Iraq back on its feet, the U.S. needs help from officials of the former regime. But which ones are tolerable?

From his prison cell, Hilal Aboud al-Bayati used to dream of U.S. troops overthrowing Saddam Hussein's regime. A member of Iraq's Academy of Sciences and father of its national computer center, he was arrested in March 2000 at his University of Baghdad office and, in a secret trial, convicted of espionage. "All we discussed in prison was when the Americans were coming," says al-Bayati, who spent nearly three years behind bars with thousands of other political prisoners.

Today U.S. troops guard the entrance to Baghdad University, but al-Bayati, who gained his freedom in October 2002 in a general amnesty granted by...

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