Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has said that his presentation before the United Nations Security Council is a "blot" on his record.
Colin Powell's former top aide, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, said that helping his boss with the UN presentation was the "lowest point" in his life.
So, here is one of the most respected men in the world, at the time, Colin Powell, saying he spent five days looking at "evidence" at CIA headquarters, and, believing it, presented it to the UN Security Council as the reasons we needed to invade Iraq.
Here's what Powell says about it now: "I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and (it) will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now."
Here's what doesn't match up.
I understand how it can be painful now for him, but how could it be painful then? If he was misinformed, if he believed what he was presenting was true, then why was it painful for him then?
Powell also says CIA Director, George Tenet, is not at fault. He says that he spent "five" days looking at evidence. That must have been a mountain of evidence. He says it was lower level officials at CIA who presented the misleading evidence to him, that it wasn't George Tenet "who spent five days with me misleading me."
So, did George Tenet spend five days with him or not? Who were these CIA officials who Powell says intentionally misled him? Why are they not being prosecuted?
Powell is telling us that George Tenet wasn't aware that any of it was misleading?
This pig won't fly, quite frankly.
In fact, the testimony Powell gave about the bioweapons labs (remember all those artist renderings?) was known to be suspect, at the very least, and most likely, patently false. In fact, Powell was told that very fact before he gave his speech at the UN, according to Col. Wilkerson.
What Colin Powell and Col. Wilkerson say now only reconfirms that the evidence was fixed around the Bush motivation to invade Iraq. None of the doubts, none of the evidence to the contrary, mattered. Anyone who was anyone in the Bush administration knew that. They were going to war, goddammit, and no one was going to stop them.
The two things that really mattered were getting Saddam Hussein's oil and getting him.
Every bit of evidence that has come out since, only reconfirms this.
For those who haven't read my piece in Oilygram, my original blog, about this very issue, here is the link to that story. It includes the entire transcript of the segment of the 60 Minutes Show from December 15, 2002 when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked by Steve Croft whether we were going to invade Iraq for the oil. Rumsfeld said:
Nonsense. It just isn't.There--there--there are certain things like that, myths that are floating around. I'm glad you asked. I--it has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil.
The stuttering answer is a giveaway. Of course, we all know now that it had everything to do with oil.
I believe the Bush administration concluded that they could not say to the American people that we were going to take over the Iraq oilfields and overthrow Saddam Hussein in the process, because we need the oil and because Saddam was a bad guy anyway. They had to come up with something more immediately threatening to the American people and to the world.
So they lied.
Powell is still lying, but he feels a little bit better now for admitting that he misled the world, but he (maybe) didn't know. Perhaps...kinda...it wasn't my fault...and I feel terrible about it....