Not Race, But Class
The Hurricane Pam Drill

Die Verlorene Ehre des Colin Powell

Colin Powell wonders what it would be like to still have some of his honor left:

Former Secretary of State Says U.N. Speech Will Always Remain a "blot" on His Record - from WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday his prewar speech to the United Nations accusing Iraq of harboring weapons of mass destruction was a "blot" on his record. "I'm the one who presented it to the world, and (it) will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It is painful now," Powell said in an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC-News.

The presentation by the soldier-diplomat to the world body in February 2003 lent considerable credibility to President Bush's case against Iraq and for going to war to remove President Saddam Hussein. In the speech, Powell said he had relied on information he received at Central Intelligence Agency briefings. He said Thursday that then-director George Tenet "believed what he was giving to me was accurate." But, Powell said, "the intelligence system did not work well." "There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at the time that some of those sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up," Powell said. "That devastated me," he said.

Powell in the TV interview also disputed the Bush administration's linking of Saddam's regime with terrorists. He said he had never seen a connection between Baghdad and the 9-11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. "I can't think otherwise, because I'd never seen evidence to suggest there was one," he said...

Curious. The first rule of Washington is that most people you talk to have every incentive to tell you lies--either what they think you want to hear, or what they want you to believe. So you check. And you cross-check. You cross-check everything.

The Secretary of State has mighty powers to check everything he or she is told. Yet Powell claims that it never occurred to him to use them.

This is not credible.

It is also the direct opposite of what Powell's then-chief of staff Wilkerson says. Wilkerson and Powell knew what they were doing when they were putting Powell's speech together. It was, Wilkerson says, 'the lowest point of my life' and the material they were working from 'were anything but an intelligence document'.

Powell doesn't even dare tell it straight now.