Colin Powell Interview

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Iscariot, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    Here's a excerpt from a GQ interview with Colin Powell:

    Colin Powell always struck me as the most reasonable thing to emerge with the Bush administration, and he's one of the few politicians (or more ex-politician, as it were) who has actually gone on record and shared his regrets, and after reading the complete interview I felt it reinforced my opinion that the country truly lost something of value when he was replaced by the yes-woman that is Condoleezza Rice. Does anyone else share my opinon?
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Colin could have had a shot at the presidency, instead he threw it away when he joined up with bushco.

    He'll now always be remembered as the guy who compromised himself. It's sad.

    What's great is that he's speaking up. There needs to be more like him. We need pragmatists, not chicken hawk fantacists.
  3. toontra macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2003
    London UK
    Too little and far too late. His "presentation" to the UN was about the most shameful episode of the whole run up to war, simply because he must have known (or strongly suspected) that he was lying in order to justify war.

    He made a wrong decision that has had terrible consequences. Rather than him criticizing the system in which he played so large a part, I'd prefer a simple apology at this stage.
  4. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    Well, you make a great point, toontra. I've always viewed the Powell presentation at the UN as the turning point that green-lighted the invasion of Iraq. It got a lot of the public on his side, and more importantly it got the members of Congress that were previously suspicious of Bush to go along with his insane scheme.

    No one can deny Powell's cred took a devastating hit because of that. An apology would go a long way toward resolving that.

    Which is not to say Powell is wrong in anything he says in this interview. Would that Dubya would actually learn something about the world from his former cabinet member. Would that Powell had adhered to his own beliefs back in 2003, instead of playing the good soldier and doing what his commander-in-chief wanted him to.
  5. BoyBach macrumors 68040


    Feb 24, 2006
    Dare I say it, but it sounds almost Presidential.
  6. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    I suspect that Powell now realises that at the time he acted like a general instead of a politician. America lost a future heavyweight with that presentation due to one man's naivety.

    Of course the Cheneyites probably loved the fact he took the bullet. A mediating voice is the last thing they ever want to hear, and a genuinely popular man is a threat to their ideals.
  7. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    OMG! This has got to have Swarmlord almost vomiting at this point! :D

    But hey- good for Colin Powell. At last, a voice of reason in this whole mess. It's about time.
  8. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    There was a time where you might have been right. Not anymore. He's lost his chance unfortunately.

    But he can't say anything, because after all, we have to support our military men no matter what. ;)
  9. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    Last April, after I watched Buying the War (Bill Moyer's Journal, April 25, 2007), I wrote, "This will haunt Colin Powell for the rest of his life".

    I had always respected Powell, and considered him a moderate, reasonable leader; a man of principal. I was shocked to see him lie to the United Nations, and the whole world for that matter. It seemed at odds with the man I perceived him to be.

    As I thought about it in depth, the main question which kept circulating around my deliberations was, "Who's lies is he telling? Obviously, many of them were straight from the WH war group (Cheney, Perle, Rice, Rove, Card, Libby, Hadley, etc.). I do not think Powell created any of the lies which led us to war. But, is not the person who promotes them have equal complicity? For me, the difference is whether, or not, the person knows they are lies. Others may see it differently.

    In a recent interview, Powell mainly laid the blame on unreliable intelligence. He did not 'come clean' on most of the planned deception, perpetuated by the WH, to which he too played a part in. Perhaps, he has convinced himself that this is true. If so, it is revisionist history. These are some of the lies in his presentation.

    1) There was a conspiracy and direct involvement between AQ and Baghdad. This has been proven false, and was well-known before his speech.

    2) He showed a picture of an alleged missile site, which had a recent roof installed to prevent observation. The fact is, the UN inspectors were under that roof, even as he spoke. They were installing state-of-the-art surveillance equipment.

    3) He spoke of SH's Chemical, Biological and Nuclear programs. He showed pictures of SH's neuro-toxin arsenal. What he failed to mention was, it had been destroyed by the UN year's before.

    4) He spoke of the intercepted 'aluminum tubes' to make a centrifuge for uranium enrichment. He stated Iraq was within months of acquiring a nuclear bomb. The aluminum tubes had long before been shown to have nothing to do with making a centrifuge. Furthermore, it takes thousands of centrifuges to make weapon grade uranium. You have to house them in a huge building (hundreds of thousands of square feet). Then you must provide an incredible amount of power to run it. Even if you had WGU available, it takes a great deal of time and engineering to fabricate a bomb from it. Then you need a delivery system. With all of the satellite and U2 surveillance, and UN inspectors on the ground, there was absolutely no way Iraq had nuclear capability, nor were they even close to obtaining it. Powell must have known this.

    5) Powell showed a picture of an AQ terrorist base, which was authored by British Intelligence a couple days before his speech. Here is an excerpt from Reuters:

    According to Reuters, "Glen Rangwala, an Iraq specialist at Cambridge University, who analyzed the Downing Street dossier" praised by Powell, "told Reuters that 11 of its 19 pages were 'taken wholesale from academic papers'.... Sections in the dossier on Saddam's security apparatus drew heavily on an article written last year by Ibrahim al-Marashi, an American postgraduate student of Iraqi descent who works at the Monterrey Institute of International Studies in California."

    Reuters described the British dossier referenced by Powell: "It claimed to draw upon 'a number of sources, including intelligence material.' But Friday, officials admitted whole swathes were lifted word for word—grammatical slips and all—from a student thesis."

    I could continue on with more examples, but it would not serve any purpose. The fact is, Secretary Powell presented a case for war, speaking as the official voice of American foreign policy. His talking points ranged from deception to outright lying. In some ways, I felt sorry for him.

    I do not think Colin Powell would have taken a job at the WH, if he knew in advance he would end up 'selling his soul to the devil'. He led men in battle in Vietnam and Iraq I. He knows what war is like and his responsibility to the soldiers under his command. That was not something I believe the man could easily choose to ignore. I also think he bought into the rationale of attacking Iraq, at least early on. By the time he gave his speech, most of the pro-war justification had been discredited. Knight-Ridder had written extensive articles repudiating the WH claims, and discredited the NIE on Iraq. The headline stories of the national media, and influential 'beltway' news outlets, were parroting the the WH propaganda. That came from the WH directly, and the right-wing outlets (FOX, Daily Standard, National review, and also from the Israeli lobby -Perle, Kristol, etc). But, if you looked inside those papers, there were many articles (often very in-depth), which raised serious questions about the validity of the WH's claims.

    The source of this information varied, but most of it came from experts in the various intelligence agencies, and from those actually in the field (UN inspectors, reporters in Baghdad, military officers with first-hand knowledge, FBI, etc.). Surely, the American Secretary of State, and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had access to the information a reporter could gain.

    So, I have chewed up a great many words to explain why I cannot easily forgive a man I once had a great deal of respect for. If Colin Powell were to come forward, with a full allocution before the American people, I think most would willingly to judge him less harshly. Others would probably show compassion. (If he went even further to tell the whole truth about the WH, he could become a hero again.) But, it would have to be totally candid and explain (truthfully) why he knowingly lied to the world. If he said, "I took an oath to the Commander In Chief, and felt that bound me to fulfill it. Afterward, my conscience forced me to resign" (or something like that), we citizens might once again see him as the honest, moral, dedicated soldier we once perceived him to be.

    However, if he continues to try and exonerate himself of any culpability for leading us into a war based on lies, he will only find support from 'all the usual suspects'. He cannot have his cake and eat it too. What's it going to be General? Respect is not a present to be given out. It is a reward for something earned. That is why it is so valuable.
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Colin Powell still needs to make amends for his work in covering up the atrocities at Mei Lai.

    It's how he got his leg up in his military career.
  11. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    I had completely forgot about Powell and My Lai. Even though he was part of the cover-up, he was a relatively insignificant officer at the time. As it turns out, I was in Vietnam when the story broke. Believe it or not, Being in Vietnam was one of the worst places to get solid news about what was happening in Vietnam (unless it is happening to you, or near you). I was in the southernmost region. My Lai was a 100-200 miles (or so) from the DMZ. I really did not find out much about My Lai until after the events were long over.

    Out of curiosity, I just read about this again, with Powell's role discussed. I guess lying is not something new too him.
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    With half a trillion dollars at stake for military industrial and security related
    funding, I have no problem seeing what might motivate someone to be a good soldier and take one for the team.

    I'm sure now looking back, he sees that he was just their fall guy.

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