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View Full Version : Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'


the Talking Can
08-19-2005, 11:27 AM
lies...schmies... (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/08/19/powell.un/index.html)

Former aide: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'

Friday, August 19, 2005; Posted: 1:04 p.m. EDT (17:04 GMT)


(CNN) -- A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "the lowest point" in his life.

"I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a longtime Powell adviser who served as his chief of staff from 2002 through 2005. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."

Wilkerson is one of several insiders interviewed for the CNN Presents documentary "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown." The program, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, pieces together the events leading up to the mistaken WMD intelligence that was presented to the public. A presidential commission that investigated the pre-war WMD intelligence found much of it to be "dead wrong."

Powell's speech, delivered on February 14, 2003, made the case for the war by presenting U.S. intelligence that purported to prove that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Wilkerson says the information in Powell's presentation initially came from a document he described as "sort of a Chinese menu" that was provided by the White House.

"(Powell) came through the door ... and he had in his hands a sheaf of papers, and he said, 'This is what I've got to present at the United Nations according to the White House, and you need to look at it,'" Wilkerson says in the program. "It was anything but an intelligence document. It was, as some people characterized it later, sort of a Chinese menu from which you could pick and choose."

Wilkerson and Powell spent four days and nights in a CIA conference room with then-Director George Tenet and other top officials trying to ensure the accuracy of the presentation, Wilkerson says.

"There was no way the Secretary of State was going to read off a script about serious matters of intelligence that could lead to war when the script was basically un-sourced," Wilkerson says.

In one dramatic accusation in his speech, Powell showed slides alleging that Saddam had bioweapons labs mounted on trucks that would be almost impossible to find.

"In fact, Secretary Powell was not told that one of the sources he was given as a source of this information had indeed been flagged by the Defense Intelligence Agency as a liar, a fabricator," says David Kay, who served as the CIA's chief weapons inspector in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. That source, an Iraqi defector had never been debriefed by the CIA, was known within the intelligence community as "Curveball."

After searching Iraq for several months across the summer of 2003, Kay began e-mailing Tenet to tell him the WMD evidence was falling apart. At one point, Wilkerson says, Tenet called Powell to tell him the claims about mobile bioweapons labs were apparently not true.

"George actually did call the Secretary, and said, 'I'm really sorry to have to tell you. We don't believe there were any mobile labs for making biological weapons,'" Wilkerson says in the documentary. "This was the third or fourth telephone call. And I think it's fair to say the Secretary and Mr. Tenet, at that point, ceased being close. I mean, you can be sincere and you can be honest and you can believe what you're telling the Secretary. But three or four times on substantive issues like that? It's difficult to maintain any warm feelings."

MOhillbilly
08-19-2005, 11:32 AM
Guess he should of had the BALLS to man up then.

oldandslow
08-19-2005, 11:41 AM
As if that would have made any difference...

George "Bonaparte" Bush was bound and determined to invade Iraq from the day he was elected.

Although I think the topic to this thread is a bit misleading...

It should read "Powell aide says....lowest point in my life"

The post is strong enough without the topic spin.

MOhillbilly
08-19-2005, 11:47 AM
As if that would have made any difference...

.Meh,just goes to show there was truth in what the "ghetto niggas" said about powell being a "house nigga"...............

Yeah- -makes me think the only reason powell was there stsll was to satisfy the hearts and minds of the hardcore socialists in this country who had drooled over him for years.

Like i said before. Iraq was the weakest kid on the block.
someone had to get smacked around.

Mr. Laz
08-19-2005, 12:10 PM
Guess he should of had the BALLS to man up then.

this is true...


would of been nice if some of these people would of spoke up before, instead just saying "sorry" afterwards

jAZ
08-19-2005, 12:14 PM
Powell is responsible for his own downfall. I'll say it again... He played the role of "good soldier" and placed supporting his commander in chief above using his own judgement.

Read the April 2004 (?) issue of Vanity Fair. I can't find much of anything on the net, but here's a small clip relating to this event:

The centerpiece of the Bush administration's case for an invasion of Iraq, the presentation that laid out the key pieces of intelligence the U.S. government had gathered about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his purported links to al-Qaeda terrorists, was delivered by Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations on February 5, 2003. It was a historic speech, and yet it was one that Powell, who had argued against the war for months, was probably far from comfortable delivering.

On Wednesday, January 29, a week earlier, Powell appeared in the doorway between his seventh-floor office at the State Department and that of his chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, and handed Wilkerson a 48-page dossier that had been sent over by the White House. The document, which the White House intended that Powell use as the basis of his speech, was a laundry list of intelligence gathered by the government about Iraq's weapons programs. It had been cobbled together in Vice President Richard Cheney's office by a team led by Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and John Hannah, the vice president's deputy assistant for national-security affairsóboth well-known administration hawks. A few days earlier, Libby had presided over a meeting in the White House Situation Room in which he laid out the case against Iraq, producing what one administration official called a "Chinese menu" of material.

"Go out to C.I.A.," Powell instructed his staff chief, take whomever you need, and start work on the speech. By the next night Wilkerson, along with several staffers and a revolving group of C.I.A. analysts, was ensconced in a conference room down the hall from Director of Central Intelligence (D.C.I.) George Tenet's office at C.I.A. headquarters, in Langley, Virginia. The White House supplied 45 more pages on Iraq's links to terrorism and its human-rights violations. By the end of the first day, though, Wilkerson and the others did something surprising: they threw out the White House dossier, now grown to more than 90 pages. They suspected much of it had originated with the Iraqi National Congress (I.N.C.) and its chief, Ahmad Chalabi, a smooth-talking Iraqi former banker, whose family had fled Iraq in 1958, when Chalabi was 13. The I.N.C., an exile group based in London, had been supplying U.S. intelligence with Iraqi defectors whose information had often proved suspect or fabricated. The problem with the I.N.C. was that its information came with an overt agenda. As the I.N.C.'s Washington adviser, Francis Brooke, admits, he urged the exile group to do what it could to make the case for war: "I told them, as their campaign manager, 'Go get me a terrorist and some W.M.D., because that's what the Bush administration is interested in.'" As for Iraq's links to al-Qaeda, Powell's staff was convinced that much of that material had been tunneled directly to Cheney by a tiny, separate intelligence unit set up by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "We were so appalled at what had arrived from the White House," says one official.

Instead, the group turned to the C.I.A. analysts and started from scratch. That night, and every night for the next several days, Powell went to Langley to oversee the process. In Tenet's conference room, joined by the D.C.I, and at times by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Scooter Libby, and C.I.A. deputy director John McLaughlin, the secretary of state demanded to know the sources and reliability of the information he had been given. For everyone involved, it was a tense and frustrating process. At one point, according to several witnesses, Powell tossed several documents in the air and snapped, "This is bullshit!"

The meetings stretched on for four more days and nights. Cheney's staff constantly pushed for certain intelligence on Iraq's alleged ties to terrorists to be includedóinformation that Powell and his people angrily insisted was not reliable. Powell was keenly aware he was staking his credibility on the speech, and he wanted to include only solid information that could be verified. Cheney and his staff had insisted that their intelligence was, in fact, well documented. They told Powell not to worry. One morning a few days before the speech, Powell encountered Cheney in the hallway outside the Oval Office. "Your poll numbers are in the 70s," Cheney told him. "You can afford to lose a few points."

At two o'clock in the morning, hours before Powell was to give his speech, a call came from the C.I.A. to the operations center of Powell's hotel suite at the Waldorf-Astoria, Powell had already turned in for the night and Wilkerson picked up the phone. The message was clear enough: George Tenet, who was staying at another Manhattan hotel, wanted one last look at the text of the speech. Tenet, the caller made plain, was worried that Powell's staff had cut too much about Saddam's supposed links to terrorists. Wilkerson was annoyed and baffled. Only a few hours before, Phil Mudd, the C.I.A.'s terrorism specialist, had come in the Waldorf, bearing a gift of Italian food. Then Barry Lowenkron, a senior Powell-aide, had informed Mudd that they had tightened the terrorism part. Mudd read the section. "Looks fine," he said, and he left around midnight.

Now the director of central intelligent was fretting and asking to see the speech in the middle of the night. It should not have been a complete surprise; Tenet served at the pleasure of President George W. Bush and for days the White House, and Cheney staff in particular, had been trying to persuade Powell to link Iraq directly to the 9-11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. They had pressed him repeatedly to include a widely discredited Czech intelligence report that Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 al-Qaeda terrorists, had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer. At the last rehearsal of the speech at C.I.A. headquarters, Powell had thrown out the Prague material as suspect and unverified. Lowenkron tracked Mudd down, woke him up, and asked what the hell was going on. Was there a problem? Mudd acknowledged he had reported to Tenet that Powell's staff had tightened the terrorism section. Now it was clear why the C.I.A. chief was demanding to see the speech in the pre-dawn hours, and it was dispatched to his hotel.

The next morning at the U.N., Powell insisted that Tenet sit to his right and just behind him. It was theater, a device to signal the world that Powell was relying on the C.I.A. to make his case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (W.M.D.), which were a threat to the U.S. In the well of the Security Council, Tenet sought to make light of the pre-dawn escapade. "I'm going to kill Phil Mudd for getting me out of bed," he said. Cheney's office made one last-ditch effort to persuade Powell to link Saddam and al-Qaeda, and to slip the Prague story back into the speech. Only moments before Powell began speaking. Scooter Libby tried unsuccessfully to reach Wilkerson by phone. Powell's staff chief, by then inside the Security Council chamber, declined to take the call. "Scooter," said one State Department aide, "wasn't happy."

Powell, for all his carping, delivered a speech that was close to what the White House wanted, describing mobile biological weapons labs, ties to al-Qaeda, and stockpiles of anthrax. Much of it later proved to be untrue. His legacy and the Bush administration's will be forever tarnished as a result.
(sorry no link, like I said they don't publish their articles online sadly)

mlyonsd
08-19-2005, 12:26 PM
TC, you should edit books. Your ability to come up with thread titles that hide the truth behind the actual contents of the thread is remarkable.

It must be a gift. Serious. You're very articulate and write well.

jAZ
08-19-2005, 12:35 PM
TC, you should edit books. Your ability to come up with thread titles that hide the truth behind the actual contents of the thread is remarkable.

It must be a gift. Serious. You're very articulate and write well.
He should be a campaign writer for Bush. That header is both defensibly factual and entirely misleading (giving the impression that Powell himself said those words).

Bush built his entire case for war in Iraq on statement identical to that.

the Talking Can
08-19-2005, 12:39 PM
TC, you should edit books. Your ability to come up with thread titles that hide the truth behind the actual contents of the thread is remarkable.

It must be a gift. Serious. You're very articulate and write well.

the title is copied and pasted from the article...that you obviously didn't read....

KCTitus
08-19-2005, 12:41 PM
the title is copied and pasted from the article...that you obviously didn't read....

Missing "Former aide:"...it gives the impression that Powell stated the quote of 'lowest point in my life'.

RINGLEADER
08-19-2005, 12:47 PM
Yeah, this reminds me of most the libs moaning about the Iraq war now. If all the senators who are pissing about the decision to go to war now were so certain that Saddam didn't have WMDs in 2002 why didn't they hold a press conference and say as much back then?

But, hey, let the Cindy Sheehan's of the world step out as the face of the Dems and talk about how women were better under Saddam's rule and how make her anti-semetic statements and call Bush a terrorist. Everytime the far-left opens its mouth they do nothing but help the GOP.

homey
08-19-2005, 12:53 PM
But, hey, let the Cindy Sheehan's of the world step out as the face of the Dems and talk about how women were better under Saddam's rule and how make her anti-semetic statements and call Bush a terrorist. Everytime the far-left opens its mouth they do nothing but help the GOP.

Yea and every time the right tries to degrade Cindy Sheehan it shows the soullessness of their party. No conscience what-so-ever. Quite sad really when you think about it. A woman loses her son to this war that the right was so hell bent over, now they spend all their time trying to bring her down because she saw through the bullshit. Soulless bastards indeed.

KCTitus
08-19-2005, 12:56 PM
Yea and every time the right tries to degrade Cindy Sheehan it shows the soullessness of their party. No conscience what-so-ever. Quite sad really when you think about it. A woman loses her son to this war that the right was so hell bent over, now they spend all their time trying to bring her down because she saw through the bullshit. Soulless bastards indeed.

Ironic useage of words...who, again, is it exploiting personal tragedy for political gain?

homey
08-19-2005, 12:59 PM
Nice try kid. How's your soul? Sleep well at night?

KCTitus
08-19-2005, 01:02 PM
Nice try kid. How's your soul? Sleep well at night?

Dont change the subject, answer the question. If you cannot be honest about the obvious, it's not me with the 'soul' problems.

mlyonsd
08-19-2005, 01:08 PM
the title is copied and pasted from the article...that you obviously didn't read....

Actually I did read the entire thread looking for the quote from Powell stating it was the lowest point in his life as the title implies.

Not trying to pick a fight, just saying you fooled me which is what I figured you intended to do.

homey
08-19-2005, 01:44 PM
Dont change the subject, answer the question. If you cannot be honest about the obvious, it's not me with the 'soul' problems.

Exploiting tragedy for personal gain? Terri Schiavo ring a bell? No wonder it's so easy for you to support neocon's, you don't even follow the news. How will you explain your support of all this bullshit to your kids when the history books show all this neocon bullshit for the farce it is? Ballless, soulless bastard. Go fight your war.

the Talking Can
08-19-2005, 01:50 PM
Actually I did read the entire thread looking for the quote from Powell stating it was the lowest point in his life as the title implies.

Not trying to pick a fight, just saying you fooled me which is what I figured you intended to do.

I cut and pasted the title straight from the cnn web page.....but thanks for the pointless diversion.....pinch hitting for Kotter?

KCTitus
08-19-2005, 01:52 PM
Exploiting tragedy for personal gain? Terri Schiavo ring a bell? No wonder it's so easy for you to support neocon's, you don't even follow the news. How will you explain your support of all this bullshit to your kids when the history books show all this neocon bullshit for the farce it is? Ballless, soulless bastard. Go fight your war.

The question was, 'exploiting a personal tragedy for political gain', but I see you admit it while playing the moral equivalence game. Im really not concerned about the history books.

While I appreciate the invective, it really doesnt help your argument much. Please rememer to continue to put up at least 2 posts a month on the main board...I'll be watching.

Radar Chief
08-19-2005, 01:52 PM
I cut and pasted the title straight from the cnn web page.....but thanks for the pointless diversion.....pinch hitting for Kotter?

:rolleyes: Pinch hitting for Denise?

KCTitus
08-19-2005, 01:54 PM
I cut and pasted the title straight from the cnn web page.....but thanks for the pointless diversion.....pinch hitting for Kotter?

Thread title: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'

Article title: Former aide: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'. [emphasis added]

One of these things is not like the others....[/Sesame Street Jingle]

mlyonsd
08-19-2005, 02:01 PM
Thread title: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'

Article title: Former aide: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'. [emphasis added]

One of these things is not like the others....[/Sesame Street Jingle]

Heh, you and I must have a different edition of CNN then TC cause I see it the same way as you do.

But I guess we're both deflecting.

homey
08-19-2005, 02:11 PM
Please rememer to continue to put up at least 2 posts a month on the main board...I'll be watching.


haha, what's this oh great nerd? A threat of some kind? Neocon's really don't like dissention do they? Thank you for proving a point. Keep on watching for me oh great I-take-the-internet-so-seriously-that-I'm-gonna-get-you-banned-because-you-don't-share-the-same-beliefs-you-do. haha, and you all wonder why conservatives have the rep they have. You're a great advertisement. Get a life and get laid. Maybe you won't take the internet to seriously then.

Boyceofsummer
08-19-2005, 02:25 PM
The question was, 'exploiting a personal tragedy for political gain', but I see you admit it while playing the moral equivalence game. Im really not concerned about the history books.

While I appreciate the invective, it really doesnt help your argument much. Please rememer to continue to put up at least 2 posts a month on the main board...I'll be watching.

Screw you and your 17,572 posts. Some of us don't have the time to relentlessly deny the obvious around here. It's the off season, Titus. If I want to watch boxing I'll go to HBO.