TruthDig | posted April 11, 2006 (web only)
Now Powell Tells Us

Robert Scheer



The President played the scoundrel--even the best of his minions went along with the lies--and when a former ambassador dared to tell the truth, the White House initiated what Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald calls "a plan to discredit, punish or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson." That is the important story line.

If not for the whistleblower, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, President Bush's falsehoods about the Iraq nuclear threat likely would never have been exposed.

On Monday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told me that he and his department's top experts never believed that Iraq posed an imminent nuclear threat, but that the President followed the misleading advice of Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA in making the claim. Now he tells us.

The harsh truth is that this President cherry-picked the intelligence data in making his case for invading Iraq and deliberately kept the public in the dark as to the countervailing analysis at the highest level of the intelligence community. While the President and his top Cabinet officials were fear-mongering with stark images of a "mushroom cloud" over American cities, the leading experts on nuclear weaponry at the Department of Energy (the agency in charge of the US nuclear-weapons program) and the State Department thought the claim of a near-term Iraqi nuclear threat was absurd.

"The activities we have detected do not, however, add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons," said a dissenting analysis from an assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research (INR) in the now infamous 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which was cobbled together for the White House before the war. "Iraq may be doing so but INR considers the available evidence inadequate to support such a judgment."

The specter of the Iraqi nuclear threat was primarily based on an already discredited claim that Iraq had purchased aluminum tubes for the purpose of making nuclear weapons. In fact, at the time, the INR wrote in the National Intelligence Estimate that it "accepts the judgment of technical experts at the US Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose."

The other major evidence President Bush gave Americans for a revitalized Iraq nuclear program, of course, was his 2003 State of the Union claim--later found to be based on forged documents--that a deal had been made to obtain uranium from Niger. This deal was exposed within the Administration as bogus before the President's speech in January by Ambassador Wilson, who traveled to Niger for the CIA. Wilson only went public with his criticisms in an op-ed piece in the New York Times a half year later in response to what he charged were the Administration's continued distortion of the evidence. In excerpts later made available to the public, it is clear that the Niger claim doesn't even appear as a key finding in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, while the INR dissent in that document dismisses it curtly: "[T]he claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment highly dubious."

I queried Powell at a reception following a talk he gave in Los Angeles on Monday. Pointing out that the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate showed that his State Department had gotten it right on the nonexistent Iraq nuclear threat, I asked why did the President ignore that wisdom in his stated case for the invasion?

"The CIA was pushing the aluminum tube argument heavily and Cheney went with that instead of what our guys wrote," Powell said. And the Niger reference in Bush's State of the Union speech? "That was a big mistake," he said. "It should never have been in the speech. I didn't need Wilson to tell me that there wasn't a Niger connection. He didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. I never believed it."

When I pressed further as to why the President played up the Iraq nuclear threat, Powell said it wasn't the President: "That was all Cheney." A convenient response for a Bush family loyalist, perhaps, but it begs the question of how the President came to be a captive of his Vice President's fantasies.

More important: Why was this doubt, on the part of the secretary of state and others, about the salient facts justifying the invasion of Iraq kept from the public until we heard the truth from whistleblower Wilson, whose credibility the President then sought to destroy?

In matters of national security, when a President leaks, he lies. By selectively releasing classified information to suit his political purposes, as President Bush did in this case, he is denying that there was a valid basis for keeping the intelligence findings secret in the first place. "We ought to get to the bottom of it, so it can be evaluated by the American people," said Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I couldn't have put it any better.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I have not always been right, but I have always been sincere." ~ W.E.B. Du Bois ~~~~~~~~~~~
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fine:

Powell was a patsy. I knew it then...!


Honestly, I wouldn't go that far. There's a reason why he's not still working in the administration - and I think that has to do with his integrity.
Powell a bad boy. If you heard the stories I heard about him in the army you would see him different. You don't get that high if your nuts aint made of steel.
quote:
MBM-Honestly, I wouldn't go that far. There's a reason why he's not still working in the administration - and I think that has to do with his integrity.


When news finally started to 'leak' questioning the WMD, I saw this fool on TV dancing around in a chorus line routine, I thought, hmmm this is so out of character, because he is always pictured and protrayed in more serious lite....

He knew from the start, that the WMD fiasco was bogus, but, he went along with that fool Bush, his 6th cousin. Yes, he was a patsy...!

quote:
Madness-You don't get that high if your nuts aint made of steel.


...or made from the same DNA as the current President.
quote:
Originally posted by Fine:

When news finally started to 'leak' questioning the WMD, I saw this fool on TV dancing in a chorus line routine, I thought, hmmm this is so out of character, because he is always pictured and protrayed in such a serious lite....

He knew from the start, that the WMD fiasco was bogus, but, he went along with that fool Bush, his 6th cousin. Yes, he was a patsy...!


IMO he did what he thought was his job. He's a military guy and he follows his command. At the same time, could you ever see Condoleeza getting up at the RNC convention supporting affirmative action? IMO that put Powell way out of the "patsy" category.
quote:
Originally posted by Fine:

IMO he did what he was instructed...period.


But that's my point. On the Iraq thing, he performed the 'good soldier' role for as long as could and at the first opportunity to step without causing others to lose face - he did. Don't get me wrong, he definitely could have called BS then and split. But by leaving an administration that almost no one from the original days has left, he demonstrates the distance between himself and Bush.
To me Colin Powell is a perfect example of a "Sambo" type negro. Just look at his record when it comes to African peoples, Where was he in Rwanda? Sudan? Congo? the fueds in Cote D'vore.And he was directly behind the overthrow of the Democratic Government in Haiti. How is he different from Sambo?
quote:
When news finally started to 'leak' questioning the WMD, I saw this fool on TV dancing around in a chorus line routine, I thought, hmmm this is so out of character, because he is always pictured and protrayed in more serious lite....

He knew from the start, that the WMD fiasco was bogus, but, he went along with that fool Bush, his 6th cousin. Yes, he was a patsy...!


FINE---- First, I'm not a huge Powell fan but I am fair. You should fully educate yourself before making such statements. What do you think would have happened if Powell had spoken out at the time? I'll help you answer----He would have been discredited by the administration and the media just as others were. Even now the neo cons are saying vicious things about him. This administration is using tactics and threats like no Administration we've ever seen and it's not easy to come forward. Today! The people have enough information to step forward and hold this president and his administration accountable but we sit and do nothing. (WHY) The tactics this administration uses makes it difficult for anyone to speak out against it. Colin Powell saw the corruption and lies and decided he could better fight by staying on the inside. Had he spoken out he would have been fired and they would have moved on without him. He took a stand and you'll hear more about it as the leak investigation comes to an end. If you read press reports it's clear he wasn't going a long with the lies and wrong doings.
It's about time! Powell should have showed his back-bone much earlier.

I always felt that Bush wanted Powell in his admin as sort of the old thinking "keep your friends close...but your enemies closer".

Powell would have given Bush a real run for his money had he run against him for the Presidency in 2000.

It's good to hear someone who can't be brushed off easily confirm what we know. Bush decided to go to war and then looked for evidence to support it instead of the other way around.

Iraq did not attack us. Iraq did not threaten us. We went to war with them for what? Not what we were told that is for sure. It was an invasion.

Bush and Cheney should be in jail. They are complete foul ups in my opinion.
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
To me Colin Powell is a perfect example of a "Sambo" type negro. Just look at his record when it comes to African peoples, Where was he in Rwanda? Sudan? Congo? the fueds in Cote D'vore.And he was directly behind the overthrow of the Democratic Government in Haiti. How is he different from Sambo?


I think you judge Powell too harshly. I see him as doing his job within an administration for as long as he could. The Sec. of State can do nothing more than give counsel regarding the nation's diplomatic endeavors, s/he does not have the power to dictate policy. Blaming Powell for this administration's foriegn relations stance is a kin to blaming the cook because your preferred meal isn't on the menu.

We do not know what Powell pushed for on Rwanda, the Sudan, the Congo, or the feuds in Cote D'vore. Further, we do not know his participation in or reasoning for his role, if any, in the overthrow of the Democratic Government in Haiti.

We do know that he stood up before the Republican National Convention and spoke of his mind regarding Affirmative Action, a position clearly hostile to his administration's. This act alone leads me to believe that Powell did speak on Rwanda, the Sudan, the Congo, Cote D'vore and Haiti. That the administration did not follow his counsel should not attributable to Powell; anymore than any worker is responsible for the policy direction of his/her employer.

Ultimately, what we know about Powell is he did the job he was hired and paid to do; and when it was no longer palatable, he quit.
He was directly involved in the over throw of President Aristede, go back and read the reports. People stand up for black people just because they are black. Some of the most damaging people to the progress of black people have been blacks themselve ie Sambo. So i disagree!
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:

He was directly involved in the over throw of President Aristede, go back and read the reports. People stand up for black people just because they are black. Some of the most damaging people to the progress of black people have been blacks themselve ie Sambo. So i disagree!


Is the current Haitian president a pawn of the U.S.?
The key is the interim President , he was definitely a crook, what took place during the power vaccum? Why was known thugs trained in DR given US weapons to go in and help overthrow Aristede. Now Shamblame or however you spell his name is in power. I know the current president was an Allies. But during his time in The US who knows what he was doing . But a lot of the Aristede supporters support him and he has left the door open for him to return home.Its amazing how all of this unfolded right at the celebration of Haitian Independence.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by Fine:

Powell was a patsy. I knew it then...!


Honestly, I wouldn't go that far. There's a reason why he's not still working in the administration - and I think that has to do with his integrity.


His sense of integrity has no sense of timing
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
To me Colin Powell is a perfect example of a "Sambo" type negro. Just look at his record when it comes to African peoples, Where was he in Rwanda? Sudan? Congo? the fueds in Cote D'vore.And he was directly behind the overthrow of the Democratic Government in Haiti. How is he different from Sambo?


I heard that it was actually Condalezza Rice running that show (getting Aristede out). Powell was just there on the sidelines.

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