The crime-fighting outlaw at Beiji

The man credited with turning the refinery at Beiji from a nest of corruption to a model of productivity has a warrant out for his arrest but holds the trust of American and Iraqi officials.

Late last year, after months of self-imposed exile, Ali al-Obaidi, the man appointed to stamp out corruption at the Beiji oil refinery, flew back to Iraq on a commercial flight from Jordan. At the airport, armed American soldiers stood waiting for him. Flanked by building-high armored personnel carriers with .50 caliber machine guns, Obaidi returned to work by military convoy.   The U.S. troops, the only armed force in Iraq he trusts, he said, were there to protect Obaidi not from insurgents ...

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