Colin Powell’s Mea Culpa: The Nonexistant WMDs

"A Blot on My Record"

In-depth Report:
Colin Powell's Mea Culpa: The Nonexistant WMDs

“Former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell said in a television interview that his United Nations speech making the case for the US-led war on Iraq was “a blot” on his record.

 In the February 2003 presentation to the UN Security Council, Mr Powell forcefully made the case for war on the regime of Saddam Hussein, offering “proof” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The presentation included satellite photos of trucks that Mr Powell identified as mobile bio-weapons laboratories. But after the invasion, US weapons inspectors reported finding no Iraqi nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

“It’s a blot” on my record, Mr Powell said in an interview with ABC News.

“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.”

He spent five days at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters ahead of the speech studying intelligence reports, many of which turned out to be false. He said he felt “terrible” at being misinformed.”

Powell’s Iraq pain September 10, 2005

Immediately after his ‘Security Council’ speech on February 2003, I had written an article, “The nuclear bomb hoax“, refuting Powell’s flimsy so-called ‘evidences’. That article ended with:

“Powell said: “Let me now turn to nuclear weapons. We have no indication that Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program.” This verges on being humorous. But as the Arabic proverb goes: The worst kind of misfortune is that which causes you to laugh.”

A week later, on February 14, 2003, Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), submitted, in accordance with U.N. Resolution 1441, his second report to the Security Council on Iraq’s nuclear non-capability. I also followed that immediately by another article, “The demise of the nuclear bomb hoax“. That article ended with the following:

“At the end of his report, ElBaradei unequivocally stated that the Iraqi nuclear weapon program was “neutralized” and that there is “no evidence” of its rejuvenation. Being part of the U.N. system, he felt the need to add a few politically correct question marks concerning “speed,” “assurance” and “patterns” of intentions and actions.

Certain European countries are rightly asking how long Bush and Powell can blow into a balloon full of holes. One might also reasonably ask about Bush and Powell’s “speed,” “assurances” and “patterns” in the misinformation game.

Powell is certainly not new to it.

From The Scourging of Iraq, by Geoff Simons: “Washington lied persistently and comprehensively to gain the required international support [for the Gulf war]. For example, the U.S. claimed to have satellite pictures showing a massive Iraqi military build-up on the Saudi/ Iraqi border. When sample photographs were later obtained from Soyuz Karta by an enterprising journalist, no such evidence was discernible.”

Simons makes reference to an article by Maggie O’Kane, published in the Guardian Weekend, 16 December 1995, which revealed that the enterprising journalist was Jean Heller of the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

Eventually, the U.S. commander — none other than Colin Powell himself — admitted that there had been no massing of Iraqi troops. But by then, the so-called evidence had served its purpose.

Yet with a tongue in his own cheek, Powell claimed on February 14, 2003 in the Toronto Star, while still blistering under Blix’s and ElBaradei’s reports, that “force should always be a last resort — I have preached this for most of my professional life as a soldier and as a diplomat.”

Perhaps this time history should not be allowed to repeat itself.”

Alas, history did repeat itself, and zilch for accountability, except for a ‘blot’ and a ‘terrible feeling’. By any sense of ‘international justice’, Powell’s lies did aid and assist a war crime.

How clearer should it be that words and truth seem to little dent the armor of ‘the juggernauting American war machine’ and their Humvees, with impunity from accountability, slight wrist slaps for their torturers, none for their mercenaries and free zone killing for their scared to death soldiers?

Shaped charges do seem to work. Now, that is one painful accountability. A lot of body bags is another.

 

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Articles by: Imad Khadduri

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