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In an interview that aired on PBS on Friday, Feb. 3, Colin Powell's former chief of staff claimed that the speech Powell made before the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, laying out a case for war with Iraq, included falsehoods of which Powell had never been made aware. He said,
"My participation in that presentation at the UN constitutes the lowest point in my professional life. I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council."

Colonel (ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson, a veteran of the Vietnam War, served for many years as Powell's consultant and advisor. He stated in the interview that he was "intimately involved in the preparation of Secretary Powell for his five February 2003 presentation at the UN Security Council" and that neither CIA Director George Tenent nor the CIA analysts involved in furnishing Powell with the information on mobile biological laboratories that he would use in his speech gave any indication that there were disputes about the reliability of the informants who had supplied this information.

Wilkerson still sees this lapse as the result of a profound intelligence failure, saying,

"I have to believe that. Otherwise I have to believe some rather nefarious things about some fairly highly placed people in the intelligence community and perhaps elsewhere."


Interesting that he still points at "the intelligence community" ... hmmm ...


Originally posted to understandinglife on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:11 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Every day there's another unnecessary.., (4.00)
    death in Iraq should take him just a little lower.

    "Never give up, Never Surrender." Cmdr Peter Quincy Taggart

    by irate on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:22:18 PM PST

    •  When he and Powell put on their Dress uniforms (3.41)
      sit down and write a true and full confession of their crimes,sign it and then Pull out their sidepeice and blow their own brains out I'll believe they had an ounce of Honor to begin with.

      by ctkeith on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:09:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Powell made that kind of choice..., (4.00)
        early in his career when he was involved in the attempted cover up of the My Lai massacre.

        "Never give up, Never Surrender." Cmdr Peter Quincy Taggart

        by irate on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:19:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mai Lai (4.00)
          Thank you.  Powell sold his soul to the devil over 30 years ago. (and his progeny have definitely been infected).

          Thanks for bringing this up early in the thread.

          LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

          by letsfight on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 11:57:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My Lai (4.00)
            A war crime, not a rum drink.

            Knowledge Is Good -- Emil Faber

            by angry blue planet on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 08:41:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Powell Huh What is he good for (none)
            I have never been in the camp that said that Powell was worth a damn.  I have never seen what made him so charming to other progressives and liberals at the start of this regime.  He was a tool, and a willing one all of his life, and he of course had not one ounce of courage or integrity or he would have resigned long before he did.  Down thread someone asks what would have been better if there were some neocon as Sof S.  Well, it would have been a wake up call when people resign.  Look at Anthony Eden's resignation and what it did to Chamberlain, and how it was a critical part of waking up England.  Look at the resignations that impelled the watergate investigations.  One sends a flare into the night by resigning a high-profile position, and one retains one's honor and does not need to sit at the desk alone at night with a revolver.

            "I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax." Thoreau

            by NearlyNormal on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 09:37:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Robin Cook (4.00)
              The big wake-up call in the UK was when Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary (and renowned brainbox) resigned over the Blair's push to go to war.

              Cook had access to all the information, and resigned as a matter of conscience.  He knew the fearmongering was bullshit and continued to speak out against it.

              That one act was enough for me to ignore all the white noise & hysterical headlines and op-eds.  If anyone would know the truth, it was Cook.

              Not that it stopped Blair going along with Bush visavis Iraq - but that decision remains very unpopular here in the UK.

              Cook's recent death (natural causes) is a real loss, and a reminder that a politician can have integrity.

              •  That is it exactly (none)
                When one who is in the know resigns, even if they can't exactly lay out the classified reasons, it is a clear signal that there is a skunk loose somewhere.

                "I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax." Thoreau

                by NearlyNormal on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 10:42:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  that's a bit much (n/t) (4.00)

        -7.00,-7.74 "He is a bad version of us! No more money for him."

        by subtropolis on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 12:08:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Barely enough. (none)
          But as I'm inalterability opposed to torture, it would have to suffice.
        •  Yes (none)
          I think Colin probably had at least an ounce of honor to begin with.

          What he's facing right now, in what I'm sure is a long dark night of the soul, is the question of whether he wants to end with any.

          •  He lost whatever ounce... (4.00)
            he once posssessed a LONG time ago.  If he didn't lose it by helping to whitewash My Lai, he sure as hell lost it by the time of his "welcome fellow Republicans" speech in 2000.  

            Powell has always proclaimed his undying fealty to the Army.  This war is destroying the Army the same way that Vietnam did.  Powell is complicit in leading this country into this war.  Powell, accordingly, is complicit in the destruction of the institution to which he has pledged his undying fealty.

            While the idea of Powell committing seppuku may be over the top, the idea of him openly admitting his complicity in this fiasco is not.  The fact that such an event will never occur tells us everything we need to know about Powell.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 06:19:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Read about (none)
            his attempts to cover up the My Lai Massacre, and say that again without laughing or crying--if you can.
      •  "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!" n/t (none)

        "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. "-Eisenhower

        by Bulldawg on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 09:46:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And lets not forget... (none)

        Powell waived a vile of faux-anthrax in front of faux-anthrax in front of the UN Security Council and said:  "Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoon-full of this deadly material".

        Meanwhile, the only anthrax ever used against Americans as a weapon was synthesized in America, by Americans from an American military base.

        Powell is a corrupt bastard.  Plain and simple.

  •  next stop Oprah's couch (4.00)
    Col. Wilkerson was featured on a HUGE piece that I saw months ago, this is the time frame where he came out saying a "corrupt cabal" took us to war and Cheney pushed for a torture policy.
    Col. Wilkerson Iraq War Questions Nov 4, 2005
    They even have David Corn and a right wing hack on the "debate segement" video available for both the interview and the debate at the above link.

    Can't find the video link for Friday's show. Anyone have that link?

  •  I will never (4.00)
    in my life believe that Colin Powell was unaware that he was lying to the UN when he made that presentation.  

    I watched Wilkerson on Now, I think it was Friday evening.

    I wonder what kind of mince pie they'll make of him.

    Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

    by nupstateny on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:26:39 PM PST

    •  Whether he was or not (4.00)
      doesn't change the fact that he must know the truth now. And yet he is silent. How could one sleep at night with that kind of knowlege?
      •  How? (4.00)
        On huge piles of wealth and disgruntled loyalty to those who would throw him even further under the bus if he ever did decide to come clean. Mr. Powell doesn't want to be the people's martyr.

        Can anyone tell me why my American flag was made in China?

        by Skid on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:14:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Misplaced loyalty is a bitch (3.50)
          They'll probably throw him under the back of the bus--regardless.
          •  asdf (4.00)
            I'm just waiting for Condi's turn.  She has the audacity to tell Europe we don't torture.. right when the CIA has prisons in their very own backyard.  Then she continues to pound the neocon war drum towards Iran.

            If there is a hell, it's going to be one mighty crowded place after this administration takes their final gasp of air.

          •  Under the BACK of the bus (none)
            "They'll probably throw him under the BACK of the bus" -- wonderful! It gets both hypocrisy and racism rolled into one, and is as apt as it could possibly be.


      •  same way Uncle Colin (4.00)
        sleeps at night knowing he helped cover up war crimes at My Lai.

        being the bitch of those in power has served him well all these years. he's human garbage.

        "The future will be a struggle between huge competing systems of psychopathology." - J. G. Ballard

        by RabidNation on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:51:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good call... flashback: (none)
          "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." -- Colin Powell

          "[Colin Powell] is the world's most loyal soldier and feels that his inveterate optimism is right and that we will overcome these problems." -- Lawrence Wilkerson
    •  I agreee (4.00)
      I too am conviced that he was well aware that he was lying and was playing his part like a 'good soldier'. If he had any sense of personal responsiblity or pride he should have resigned rather than go before the UN and give that obvious lying presentation.
    •  I hear the Swift Boats (none)
      a-roarin' 'round the river bend...

      "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. "-Eisenhower

      by Bulldawg on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 09:53:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the 24 trillion dollar question is... (4.00)
    was it a "deliberate" hoax?  if so, then look for the good colonel to be testifying at an impeachment hearing near you in the near future (next three years) - it is slowly unravelling - slowly - but still - unravelling!
    •  Deliberate hoax... (none)
      ...if it was not a deliberate hoax why did president bush award cia director tenet aka slam dunk tenet, the nations highest civilian medal...medal of freedom...after bush supposedly found out he went to war with iraq with faulty intel received directly from slam dunk tenet?

      Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of the people.

      by kalihikane on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 08:30:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Calling all Swiftboaters!!!! (4.00)
    Does Wilkerson have any Purple Hearts that we can examine with our Fox microscopes?
  •  I don't see how (4.00)
    you can come to any other conclusion that some members of the administration perpetuated a hoax on the American people.  I'm sure the intelligence community deserves its share of blame, but they did have evidence that Saddam didn't have weapons.  They  either ignored it or buried it.

    Funny, I remember when Bush said we should err on the side of life.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. -- Daniel Patrick Monynihan

    by Unstable Isotope on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 06:55:34 PM PST

    •  That's interesting (4.00)
      since we erred on the side of death.  Watch the
      No Bravery video at Huffington Post.  This video has been haunting me since I first saw it on Saturday morning.

      "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" - 1984 - George Orwell

      by elveta on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:14:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  re: the 'Intelligence' community.. (4.00)
      "...either ignored it or buried it."  ...or were strongarmed (or, thrown under the bus)..

      NOW's "Iraq Pre-War Intelligence" Transcript (and vids) quotes the following:

      LAWRENCE WILKERSON: ...George Tenent who is frequently in the presence of the President <snip> is going to absorb during those meetings what the President wants. What the President is looking for. What the angle of attack the President has is. And he's going to search for intelligence that will support that angle of attack. <snip>

      DAVID BRANCACCIO: We now know from published reports that Vice President Cheney and his right hand man, Lewis Libby, went over to the headquarters of the CIA about 10 times in late 2002 and early 2003. We don't know what was said. What do you think was going on?

      LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Well, if the Vice President was exercising his right as one of the leaders of this country to go to one of its intelligence agencies and to-- check on how they're doing and to make sure that they're doing their jobs properly and so forth, I find it difficult to believe that took 10 times. And as I've said, it's absurd to think that intelligence isn't somehow politicized at times.

      It's equally absurd for the Vice President to assert that his trips out to the agency were not bringing undue influence on the agency. That's preposterous. Anytime a leader of his stature visits a single agency that many times, he is, by simply the virtue of his position, bringing undue influence on that agency.

      Cheney/Libby --> Tenent --> Powell --> Wilkerson
      [Somewhat interesting Transcript/Vid BTW!]

      Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation. ---Jane Addams

      by Orj ozeppi on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:59:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Questions for Wilkerson (4.00)
    1 - Was your participation in this hoax willing?

    2 - Did you have any knowledge that the picture Colin Powell was presenting to the UN, the end result, was untruthful by fact or omission?

    3 - It's either a deliberate hoax or an intelligance failure. Not both. So which is it?

    4 - When did you become aware of the inconsistencies or omissions?

    5 - Why didn't you go to Congress and apply for whistleblower protections immediately?

    "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

    by Tamifah on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:08:23 PM PST

    •  And bloody hell (4.00)
      I forget this question every time I make a post about questions I have for officials...

      - Did any of this bullshit with preparing for Powell's UN speech help the US government catch Osama Bin Laden?

      "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

      by Tamifah on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:09:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nice one. (none)
        •  Let me clarify (none)
          I don't think the only sole goal of the US government right now should be catching Osama. I wouldn't ask Harry Reid "Did your vote on the bankruptcy bill help catch Osama Bin Laden", for instance.

          But I view bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice to be directly related to anything having to do with the preparation or execution of the Iraq War.

          This is because the Iraq War has seriously drained our resources and made us less capable of catching Osama and preventing him from further attacks.

          "I will not trust Bush with the life of one Iraqi."

          by Tamifah on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:36:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Clarifications are needed (none)
      The Raw Story article isn't clear as to what Wilkerson knew at what point. I only caught a part of the NOW interview, and I don't recall anything illuminating from that.

      If Wilkerson knew there was BS going into the speech and let it slide, that's reprehensible. Likewise if Powell knew there was BS in the speech but presented it to the UN in full anyway.

    •  er-- (none)
      apply for "whistleblower protection"? From this Congress? You're kidding, right?

      "objective truth is not the same as the consensus reality"--djheru

      by rhetoricus on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:56:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  big questions (none)
      Bush and co had to know that career intellegence and military people wouldn't all go along, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if many of these people thought the intellegence they were getting was legit.

      Part of the problem, possibly for both Wilkerson and Powell, is that, since they're not in the White House anymore, they just dont know whether it was deliberate or not. They may have their suspicions one way or another, but they can't just go out and say it was deliberate without being able to prove it, or at least being able to say they know for sure from first hand experience.

  •  Yeah, well, thanks a heap, Larry. (4.00)
    Everybody's still dead, ya big dummy.
  •  I don't have a lot of admiration for him (none)
    Col. Wilkerson's public statements and acceptance of some blame are better than keeping silent and continuing to toe the party line. Nonetheless, it was within this man's purview to actually do something before the shooting started...and yet he chose to play along.

    As for Colin Powell, I just feel sorry for him at this point. He used to be seen as a man of great competence and integrity, but the Bush administration used up his reputation like a wad of toilet paper.

  •  The story behind this story (4.00)
    is that the hoaxers (Cheney, Tenet, Perle, Wolfie, etc.) were themselves completely snookered by A. Chalabi and his INC, all Shiites allied with Iran, who strategically told the same stories to intelligence agencies across Europe and to the Cheney bunch, that Saddam was a monolithic dictator who everybody in Iraq hated, and that US forces would be welcomed and a democracy would soon take form which would a staunch ally of the US, which would allow US access to Iraqi oil. It was total hogwash and they of course knew it.

    The reality now is that 2/3 of the former Iraq is an Islamic theocracy very closely allied with Iran and hostile to the US, with Kurdistan in the north increasingly independent, and a chaotic Sunnistan fighting the victorious Shiites for their very survival. The US is irrelevant at this point. None of the above are likely to be close friends of the US or allow US access to their oil.

    Please somebody tell the rest of the story. The neocons don't mind being called corrupt liars, but they will suffer ignominious disgrace when it becomes known that they are stupid and gullible.

    •  "Allow US Access" to Their Oil? (none)

      Not for nuthin' but Merka's "leaders" don't see themselves as being supplicants asking for acess to Iraq's oil.

      I don't think we're building all those permanent military bases solely to aid Israeli expansionists.

      It's very scary, very ominous that the neocons arent' planning an exit from Iraq.  Given the lack of military success, and the unpopularity of the war, the apparent determination to press on to "victory" sure suggests to me a government fearing little from the voters (as in, "Thank You, Diebold!).

      And having invested as much Merkan blood and treasure as has already been committed, I don't see the neocons backing down -- wherefore, I suspect a new faux-terror, inside job attack in Merka (or perhaps Europe, to silence THEM regarding our plans) to be followed by the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran.

      This, friends, if you haven't noticed, is The Year of Living Dangerously.  BushCo is badly over-extended; on the other hand, they're building concentration camps right here in the "homeland" and are you really confident that the elections will not be rigged?

      "If the American people had ever known the truth about what we Bushes have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched." GHWB

      by proudtinfoilhat on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 07:38:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit (4.00)
      Chalabi did not work in opposition to the neocons, he was their stooge, the fake information he peddled was created in the hallways of PNAC.  Chalabi was an agent of the neocon revolution, he was not a double agent.  Don't buy the bullshit excuse from the neo-cons, the intelligence wasn't "Bad".  The intelligence was manufactured out of thin air with the express purpose of providing a pretext for invasion.  IT was a set up from the start.  

      Do some research:  google:  PNAC, WHIG, OSP.

      They stovepiped fake intel bypassing normal vetters.  It was a set up from the beginning, Chalabi is just a supporting actor.  None of the neo-cons thought Iraq had WMD.  They knew it wasn't true because they came up with the whole damn story to begin with.   Read the Neo-con articles prior to 2000.  They knew that it is necessary to create a meta-narrative by which the executive could move the US society towards their futuristic militarized wet dream.  The meta narrative is the story of WMD in the case of Iraq.  They created the myth and know it to be one...they were not duped...they are not stupid.

      (the failure in Iraq, by the way, was also intentional...they didn't want a rebuilt state, but a failed one...its all in their up)

      •  Both correct (4.00)
        Correct, that the PNACers worked hand-in-glove with Chalabi to cook up the intelligence they wanted to make a case for war.

        Duped, in that, I truly believe, the neocons thought the war would be a cakewalk, the MiddleEast would swoon as we shocked-n-awed them, the oil would flow, etc.  Snookered into bleeding US army and treasure to fight a war, the victors of which would be Iran and other interests indifferent, or antithetical, to the US.

      •  I have to believe... (4.00)
        only because I know these neocons are fucking crazy.

        Watch the film "Why We Fight."  Paul Wolfowitz has a Saddam doll in some sort of box.. like a casket on his desk in his office.  Talk about rabid.  There is also a great article on the neocon mindset... if I can find it I'll post it.  It talks about just how crazy these guys are and about how Rumsfeld/Cheney aren't really a neocon because they don't buy into the ideology.  They are just stooges, or in the case of Cheney.. just riding the tide of corporate greed behind Haliburton, KBR, etc.

        Cheney couldn't give a damn what country it was.  He would be happy if we invaded fucking Britain.

        •  here we go... (4.00)
          neocon article.  It seems fairly authentic.

          Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.

          Ah, yes.  Have to love that neocon mindset.

    •  oil should benefit the Iraqis... (none)

      Up to $US194 billion ($263 billion) in Iraqi oil revenues are going to multinational oil companies under long-term contracts, and not to the Iraqi people, a social and environmental group said.


      "But with the active involvement of the US and British governments a group of powerful Iraqi politicians and technocrats is pushing for a system of long-term contracts with foreign oil companies which will be beyond the reach of Iraqi courts, public scrutiny or democratic control."

       Just replace "Iraqi" with "American" in the latter half of the sentence above and you have a concise description of Bush's goal:  The Unitary President shall "be beyond the reach of American courts, public scrutiny or democratic control."

      "Fear grows in darkness; if you think there's a bogeyman around, turn on the light." -- Dorothy Thompson

      by gabriella on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:10:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You cannot con an honest man... (none)
      I forget who said that, but it applies here in spades.  If Perle, Wolfie, Cheney, et al were conned, it was b/c they WANTED to be conned.  For chrissakes, Chalabai was a convicted bank swindler.  They knew what they were getting w/ him.

      The phrase "banality of evil" certainly applies to this crowd.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 06:30:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NOW's excellent coverage of this (4.00)
    I watched it instead of the lead up to the Super-Bowl.  I understood the presentation to say that the CIA staff were telling Tenant that WMD's were not indicated by the intelligence, but that Tenant's connection to Bush and Cheney led him to give Powell the spectacularly bad information he presented to the UN.  What was not clearly connected were the Bush/Cheney directions to Tenant.  However, the fact that Tenant clearly did exactly what his masters wanted is evidenced by his support and the medal.  
    •  That's what I'm getting (4.00)
      from the Risen book.  He seems to be saying that Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld set up an intelligence office in the Pentagon because the CIA and the State Dept both had rejected Chalabi as a reliable source. Tenent did not fight it too hard and ended up contributing to the effort to legitimize Chalabi's info.  Even though the CIA went to extraordinary effort to corroborate the WMD intel (with no success).  Career staffers at CIA were not happy with Tenent.
      •  Sy Hersch (4.00)
        discusses this phenom in his article The Stovepipe Issue of 2003-10-27

        And here in the Q&A: Behind the Mushroom Cloud Posted 2003-10-21

        Is that what happened when the Bush Administration was building its case against Iraq?

        One basic problem is that the Bush Administration changed the process in a very dramatic way. They worked it so that the raw intelligence, the reports that they wanted to hear, got to the top right away. The pro-war hawks rigged the system so that negative information about Iraq, no matter where it came from--and in many cases, we now know, much of it came from defectors who were relayed through the Iraqi National Congress, the group run by Ahmad Chalabi--was stovepiped directly to the leadership without any assessment. And so you had a situation in the Pentagon, and in the State Department, in the office of Under-Secretary John Bolton, and in the Vice-President's office, too, in which the professionals were cut out of the process. That's how you get to a position where Secretary of State Colin Powell can show up at the United Nations, as he did in February, and make a series of very boisterous claims about Iraq, most of which now appear to be wrong.

        Stovepipe is a long read but worth it. Wasn't the operation at the Pentagon, still in existence as far as I can tell, called Office of Special Project/Plans?

        How's the Risen book by the way? I haven't read it.

        •  You've heard most of it (none)
          If you've been following the coverage. It's very straightforward and fact based.  It's more about the CIA than anything else. What extraordinary times we live in.

          Thanks for the links.  I did read that stovepipe article a while ago IIRC, but it'll be good to reread after reading Risen.

        •  thanks, mbair (none)
          for the links. I had the hard copy with the Stovepipe piece and lost it. It gave me shivers when I read back then. I will read it again.

          Pre-empt Vergangenheitsbewältigung!

          by Petrasays on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:53:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Powell at UN (none)
      Like Spectre7, I too served in Nam, my MOS being electronic countermeasures.  Let me say this: no military officer reaches the rank of  four stars and becomes the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff WITHOUT knowing how to read intellengence from ALL sources.  Powell was a willing participant in this farce.  Without doubt.

      Wilkerson is trying to cleanse his soul, which is ok by me.  Better late than never.  Powell should do the same.

      I've got a contract. I can't be fired

      by cheviteau on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 04:48:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  can I marry this man? (4.00)
    If anyone hasn't read it yet or seen it yet, go check this out by Col. Wilkerson. It's long. I think about 50 min to watch it but SOOOO worth it!



  •  Sorry, mon colonel (none)
    I would've been impressed if he had come out and said this before the '04 election. What's this "I have to believe that" crap? He obviously doesn't believe it, he's just trying to prod the media into doing the heavy lifting of looking into those "nefarious" activities. Yeah, good luck with that, colonel. Tweety and the gang will be dismissing you as a liberal anti-war activist soon.

    Just like Powell, Wilkerson wants to salve his conscience without rocking the boat.


  •  Hello Shit (4.00)
    Meet fan.

    Bush is the first President to admit to an impeachable offense. - John Dean

    by easong on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:01:26 PM PST

  •  Wilkerson's "lowest moment in [his]... (4.00)
    professional life" (like Powell's) was signing on with an illegal, unelected administration, thus engaging in a conspiracy to commit treason against the American people.

    I couldn't believe it when Powell started meeting with Bush in November 2000. I knew Powell was a slimeball, but I thought he had sufficient patriotism to desist from treason.

    The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

    by Alexander on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:10:15 PM PST

    •  Powell was on board w/ W... (4.00)
      long before 11/00.  Hell, he gave a "welcome fellow Republicans" speech at the Convention that summer.  He was very convenient window dressing for these people from very early on.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 06:33:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Calling it a hoax (none)
    somehow doesn't capture the mendacity and utter waste of life, limb, and national prestige and treasure on this fiasco.
    Besides, Powell's was an unconvincing performance except to those who wanted to believe the lie in the first place, or who watch network news.

    NYT: "All the news that's fit to pimp."

    by Exclamation Point Brian on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:33:24 PM PST

  •  Great Diary (none)
    I learned a lot here.

    Could the author consider revising the tags to include the first names of the various participants please? So we can search complete listings?

    Cumberland Virginia

    VA-05 | Al Weed For Congress | (-6.00,-6.67)

    ...oh therapy, can you fill the void?

    by Dems2004 on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 08:48:26 PM PST

  •  Tell it to the dead families (none)
    Mr. Wilkerson does have a lot to apologize for.  Tens of thousands dead, billions of dollars wasted, the world less stable, and the murderer of 3,000 Americans still alive.  I'm a little ambivalent about him.  I appreciate his conderns, but where was he before the 2004 elections?  
  •  Link to: "NOW" on PBS -- Full Interview (4.00)
    Politics & Economy.
    Iraq Pre-War Intelligence.
    Lawrence Wilkerson | PBS
    Timeline of conflicts between
    civil liberties and national security
    in times of war in the United States.

    See also:
    Lawrence Wilkerson on BBC
    Lawrence Wilkerson on NPR

    "NOW" is....on DEMAND!

    NOW's weekly podcast provides an audio version
    of each week's complete show.
    The podcast will be available on Friday evenings.

    You can subscribe to the podcast
    using this link:

    If you are unfamiliar with podcasting
    learn more below.

    "Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

    by Breeze54 on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 09:49:33 PM PST

  •  From a grunts view. (4.00)
    being under the gun is not a enviable position to be stuck in, like Col. Wilkerson I too was in the Nam and under not just one gun but two, the N.V.A and the higher highers that controlled my life.

    The difference between myself and the Col. was rank, and this is a big gap, in the "need to know" of the hierchary of militerism.

    I have no idea of the Col's. m.o.s. or whether he was a remf or not, but I know from my buck
    sgt. position that some times when under the gun it is best to say "yes sir", and when out of sight, to  twist the rules of the game to suit your squads needs.

    Therein comes another two way street, how to play the game on both sides of the field. This edge of the fence kept me awake many nights, and does today.

    It is not easy for a informed Col. when out of the direct gun to open his mouth and say what he really feels. How many others in his position have stepped up to the plate and bared their souls to open contoversy and turned in their path to speak the truth, certainly not Colin Powell.

    How many others in a respectable command position might lose their lock jaw by his example and in a longer view how many political insiders might also find their true selves and give report of facts.

    Just another perspective.

    •  How many others? (none)
      I hope it does snowball. And thanks for the post.

      Sadly, though, whenever anyone posts a diary like this here, a non-trivial amount of the discussion is about how much of a coward the person is for not coming forward at X date. It's really frustrating, because we all know that this site is read by quite a few people in govt & media these days. It's fucking ridiculous to say, one day, that the MSM/military/CIA/civil servants should risk all and come forward and then, whenever somebody does finally pipe up, is called a "fucking coward" and basically treated like used bumwipe.

      It's fucking pathetic. Kommunity: you want leaks? Then quit treating the leakers like fucking lepers!

      -7.00,-7.74 "He is a bad version of us! No more money for him."

      by subtropolis on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 12:01:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  AGREED!!!! (none)
        1000%!!! you nailed it!!
        One of the reasons the republicans have been eating our lunch these past few years is our sides total propensity to eat each other for breakfast. Freepers all join in to condemn Dem/liberals (or "fellow travelers")who say things they don't like--and so do we.
        C'mon fellow Dem/liberals!! Focus on the commmon enemy!! Its the infomation thats important, not the personalities


        by exlrrp on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 06:32:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also, as a grunt.... (none)
      You can make mistakes--when I went to Vietnam I was convinced we were right and would win--when I left I knew we were wrong and would lose.
      Sometimes it takes being there to see the reality.
      I paid for my mistakes by opposing and protesting the war untill it was over. If anyone wants to scrag me for being previously gung ho, well fuck 'em!! I paid my debt and I serrved my country honorablhy--did you?
      Thats what I think happened to Wilkerson--found himself caught up in stuff he wasn't sure of that later turned out to be flat wrong.
      I think thats the way Bushco operates--uses other peoples energy and reputations to achieve their ends no matter what it may cost the other people--or the US.
      Their machinations tanked Powells career but he's still the epitome of the "good Soldier" Wilkerson is another type of good soldier, the one who tells honestly what he did--when it would look so much better for him to remain silent.
      And his reward from our side is to be called a coward and traitor--arent we becoming too much like the people we profess to abhor? the Freepers?


      by exlrrp on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 06:40:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Colonel can (none)
    go fuck himself.

    Powell can go fuck himself.


    Freepers can go fuck themselves.

    Trying To Maintain Rationality
    econatheist's bloggity blog blog

    by EconAtheist on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:16:04 PM PST

    •  E.A. (none)
      If you are a tax paying citizen then you too have declared yourself no greater than the Col. Yet, in our own silence we contribute to the greater evil of deception and in no less of a way are any less guitly.
      •  Huh? (none)
        That makes no sense at all.


        Mitch Gore

        Bush's pre-1776 mentality is hurting America - Russ Feingold

        by Lestatdelc on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:47:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps a fine tuning (none)
          the bottom line comes down to the contibutions by every tax payer in america, by our tax dollars we fund all the actions of the U.S. government, whether we like it or not.

          What Col. Wilkerson has done, good or bad, is only an indication of what we as taxpayers compromise for.

          What have the tax payers done? Just keep paying and keep silent.

          The silence is worse than the confession, which brings up the question, how long will the tax payer keep paying for the endless war?

          The silence of the tax payers, are no more or less equal than the consent of political leaders who vote for more war money.

          In a sense the Col. has done more than the average tax payer, in that he has confessed to a wrong and has done something about it.

          So who is the most quilty? The silent tax payer or the war lords of profit? It would seem that both are as quilty.

          The question is what will you choose to do? keep silently paying or at least keep paying and publicly voice your discontent?

          Or really go for your conviction an stop. Yes this is the reality of the above statement.

          •  oh you shouldn't have said that (none)
            we would like to point somewhere else wouldn't we but every year we contribute trillions of our dollars to destroy the world.  every year our representatives spend our money profligately.

            it is our cares which organize the human mind....

            by wildwisefree on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 05:32:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  wait (none)
        What?  lol

        {gets out translator}

        Trying To Maintain Rationality
        econatheist's bloggity blog blog

        by EconAtheist on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 10:32:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  While.... (none)
    ...contrition is a powerful sentiment, I can't help but feel as I read this diary that Wilkerson is somehow asking for forgiveness.

    It was the lowest point in my career.

    You know, Colonel -- for some of us the lowest point in our career is getting laid off from a job we perform well, and with care.  For some of us, the lowest point in our career is getting sold out for someone younger, whiter, or less scrupulous.  For some of us, the lowest point in our career is when we have to make right choice at the expense of advancement.

    For you, the lowest point in your career helped the most dangerous president in United States history advance an agenda so perilous it may mean the end of  our democracy as we know it.  For you, the lowest point in your career contributed to the wholesale waste of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.  For you, the lowest point in your career will one day (God willing) be written about in history books as the nadir of our nation's moral character.

    I will try to dredge up some sympathy for you.  At least you've come forward to begin the process of reversing what you started.  It's a beginning.

    "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

    by The Termite on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 10:47:36 PM PST

  •  I don't have much respect (none)
    for people like Wilkerson. But sometimes I wonder whether we (Democrats) are also little Wilkersons? Afraid to speak out too harshly, afraid to come across as too radical, afraid to sound hysterical ... because we want to "win."  We want to win - he wanted to keep his job. So often I think that it's high time to scream regardless of the outcome.

    Pre-empt Vergangenheitsbewältigung!

    by Petrasays on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 11:02:05 PM PST

  •  It was the lowest point in my career. (none)
    we're getting really close to talking about


    but not yet.

    Words are starting to leak into the vocabulary though (corruption, cronyism, incompetence, cynicism, conspiracy, etc...), that weren't there before.

    Interesting that he still points at "the intelligence community" ... hmmm ...

    He's not ready to take on the whole Team B thing.  If he deviates too far from the public debate, he'll discredit himself.  That "we were all wrong" bullshit still has legs in the MSM world.

    "... in my empire, life is sweet, just ask any bum you meet. You may say that I ain't free but it don't worry me..."

    by lumpenprole on Sun Feb 05, 2006 at 11:46:11 PM PST

  •  I'm also taken back (none)
    by those of you who want to piss on Col Wilkerson.

    The ONLY intel organisation that told the truth in the run-up to the war was in Powells state department.  (If Powell didn't have the chops he did, he would have been out on his ass shortly after that.)

    So what was Powell to do? Go public?  With what?  The fact that he THOUGHT the Pentagon/White House axis was lying?  If he had proof then it was classified, was the Secretary of State supposed to go public with classified information?  How do you think that would have played? Powell would have been on trial for treason. It probably wouldn't have stoped the war AND some asshole from the Neocon club would have been Secretary of State.

    It is now known that at least at some point the NSA was listening to Powell's conversations.  They may have even let him know this was the case.

    Wilkerson was the loyal right hand.  If you believe Wilkersons accounts he did everything he could to persuade Powell to do everything HE could to stop the war or at least get the truth out there.

    Who, besides Wilkerson, and there are dozens who know the extent of this conspiracy, have said ONE WORD?

    I'm not much of a fan of Powell anymore, but damnit it's a bit more complicated then just shouting "treason" or going through poorly thought out "he should have done this" judgements.

    It is bad foreign policy to make enemies faster than you can kill them.

    by Paulie200 on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 01:04:44 AM PST

    •  He should've kept his f'ing mouth... (4.00)
      shut.  He should've refused to give his sorry spectacle of a UN speech.  He should've resigned if they ordered him to give it.  

      He's a big boy.  As others noted above, he had access to good information, if he really wanted to obtain it.  He sure as hell didn't need the Sec. of State salary to support himself.  Cy Vance resigned as Sec. of State over policy issues.  Powell clearly should've done so here.

      Come to think of it, after he saw what BushCo did to McCain in the SC primary, he should've never signed up w/ that sorry outfit.  He knew whom he was getting into bed w/ from the start.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 06:41:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reread this: (none)
    Wilkerson, as quoted (see gray box)up top:

    "Otherwise I have to believe some rather nefarious things about some fairly highly placed people in the intelligence community and perhaps elsewhere."

    Those words are chilling.  Why expound past a "profound intelligence failure" to include possible "nefarious things."  I am reading between the lines here, and it's not pretty.

  •  Interesting... (none)
    how all these military folks always come out AFTER they retire and have secured their hefty little pension...

    He's doing this probably not because he gives a shit, but it will bring in big bucks on the speaking tours.

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