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September 18, 2006

Whiny Ass Titty Baby Colin Powell Now Comes With 75% More Whininess

From Hubris by Michael Isikoff and David Corn:

It rankled Powell that his U.N. presentation had come to be considered a pivotal event on the path to war: "It's annoying to me. Everyone focuses on my presentation...Well the same goddamn case was presented to the U.S. Senate and the Congress and they voted for [Bush's Iraq] resolution...Why aren't they outraged? They're the ones who are supposed to do oversight. The same case was presented to the president. Why isn't the president outraged? It's always, 'Gee, Powell, you made this speech to the U.N.'"

Beyond the general mopery—I do one little presentation in front of the entire world at the U.N. calling for war that turns out to be 100% false and suddenly everyone's pointing fingers at me!—I enjoy the implication that Powell is in fact outraged by what happened.

I guess this burning outrage he feels has manifested itself by him (1) never saying anything in public about it unless asked and (2) taking no actions of any kind. He's so unbelievably outraged that he hasn't even bothered to find out the names of the people he claims are responsible:

POWELL: George Tenet did not sit there for five days with me, misleading me... He believed what he was giving to me was accurate. The intelligence system did not work well. There was some people in the intelligence community who knew at that time that some of these sources were not good and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up. That devastated me.

WALTERS: Want to name names?

POWELL: I don't have the names. These are not senior people but these are people who were aware that some of these sources should not be considered reliable. And they were aware that we were putting this information in the believing.

For a detailed look back at what exactly Powell's subordinates were telling him at the time, go here.

Posted at September 18, 2006 08:25 AM | TrackBack

Colin Powell will always be, in my mind, "the official who didn't resign" when it might have made a difference.

I hope he gets his fair trial along with the rest of the Bush Gang - the old-fashioned kind of fair trial, one where he will have a chance to hear the evidence against him, and present a defense to it. One where he will NOT be required (or forced, by "robust" methods) to provide testimony against himself.

And then, if convicted, I hope he receives punishment to the full extent of the law.

Posted by: Freddy el Desfibradddoro at September 18, 2006 08:47 AM

Well, at least nothing like this can happen again. From now on, we will only march into illegal wars based on information that comes from retarded people who, in the process of having their nuts cauterized, suddenly decide to share.

Posted by: Realrealgone at September 18, 2006 09:24 AM

"These were not senior people". Right, and you guys really really listen to people who aren't senior people. "This is a bit above your paygrade, Scottyboy".

Honestly, this sort of self-exoneration really makes me sick. When Colin Powell himself wasn't a "senior people", did HE speak out against the idiocy of Vietnam? Right. And now, he wants to blame underlings for failing to speak out in the face of the vicious intransigence displayed by Cheney, Addington, Rumsfeld, and Bush. Sure. That works. We certainly won't attack Iran by mistake with such expectations of honest exhortation from those most likely to lose their jobs, now will we.

Posted by: Aunt Deb at September 18, 2006 10:16 AM

Powell=nothing happened at mi lai, for which finding he was promoted to chief-of -staff; what the hell, the old american virtue of success as its own reward.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at September 18, 2006 10:55 AM

Colin Powell should really be outraged that organizations continually offer him 6 figure speaking fees.

Posted by: wkmaier at September 18, 2006 10:59 AM

Like most Americans I assumed Hussein had at least some anthrax or something (not really a WMD but an unconventional weapon) UNTIL Powell's UN presentation. My bullshit detector never went off so loud in my life. I told my Republican cousin that if ANY WMD were found in Iraq I'd give a thousand dollars to her favorite charity. And I meant it, too.

Posted by: Maezeppa at September 18, 2006 12:51 PM

"He’s so unbelievably outraged that he hasn’t even bothered to find out the names of the people he claims are responsible:"

I think you miss one important point here. I don't think he is saying that the people who didn't speak up are responsible. I think he knows why these people didn't speak up. I presume Cheney and other higher ups intimidated them, or created an atmosphere of intimidation. Those are the people he is mad at. Powell doesn't need to find out the names of the intelligence officers, because they were 'soldiers in the field' who were following orders, like Powell. What Powell is upset about is that the system didn't work, as he thinks it usually did. I bet he thinks the people responsible are the higher ups who made it so the system did not work, and so that these people did not speak out. He doesn't blame the lower level people for not speaking out (even if he should). So I don't think he failed to find the names of the people he claims are responsible, because the people responsible in his mind, I would guess, are those higher-ups.

Posted by: TW at September 18, 2006 01:08 PM

Big C:I am shocked, shocked, to hear that political manipulation of the facts has occurred.

Little J:How does your son like his new job?

Big C:He's settling in fine, thanks.


I thought I screwed up the comments by constantly changing my middle name. I'm relieved to see this is not the case, but I decided to not sign in as

Jonathan "I thought I screwed up the comments by constantly changing my middle name. Sorry about that" Versen

just in case.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at September 18, 2006 02:43 PM

Jonathan, what Powell said to Walters is nothing more than the truth, which he clearly discovered long after the fact. Say, around the time the SSCI started making public its findings about Curve Ball, the tubes, etc. A few senior analysts at Langley were driving the train, and those lower in the chain or in other agencies could not sway them. I have no doubt that Powell is genuinely outraged, but he's always been a man of a certain rectitude and it's not surprising that responses need to be coaxed out of him.

Posted by: Ralph Hitchens at September 19, 2006 03:13 PM

Powell, also known as "the Butcher of Panama" once the darling of moderate liberals, had caused a lot of death in his day before he ever went to the United Nations with his vial of koodies.

There was a time when Powell was known as the steady hand at the wheel keeping Bush in check. Yet even the quickest search into the background of Powell reveals a history that suggests something other than a steady hand at the wheel. And the quote posted by Jonathan certainly does not sound like a steady hand at the wheel.

Carlos Russell, Panama's former Ambassador to the Organization of American States, claimed that a combination of US racism and support of the white oligarchy in Panama was a major factor in the subsequent US war against Panama. Russell, a political scientist who taught at Brooklyn College, noted that Panama is a predominantly black country.

General Colin Powell, US commander, was "the butcher" of Panama. Russell said that according to his sources, more than 7000 civilians, most of whom were black, were killed in the invasion and thousands were injured. The homeless were about 20,000. He asserted that "the US callously wiped out thousands of Panamanian lives just so it could experiment with the Stealth bomber and other high-tech weaponry." He said, "they used the Panamanian people like they were guinea pigs."

By contrast, more than 120 of the top 500 US corporations and six of the top ten oil companies are in Panama, as well as 130 major banks from over 30 nations. Those foreign corporate interests were able to avoid US taxation by locating there. Powell did not bomb the business district. However, there was an unintended consequence: thousands of looters ravaged business neighborhoods.

Posted by: rob payne at September 19, 2006 06:21 PM

After reading your piece about the state department intelligence caveats, I'm left to wonder where, if Wilkerson's account is accurate, Powell got the impression that there would be a half million troops in the country.

Posted by: weldon berger at September 20, 2006 02:20 AM

There's this joke that's a bit germane...

So, a guy goes into a bar and asks the bartender -- so who's that morose looking guy over in the corner?

The bartender says "Why that's Joe the " and the guy in the corner leaps up and says, "Hold on there."

"I spent 20 years in construction. Built 5 bridges, but do they call me Joe the bridge builder? No. I built over a hundred schools all over the state, do they call me Joe the school builder? No. But, you f**k just one goat, and the rest of your life..."

So, Powell can think what he wants about how his career and life shouldn't be entirely defined by that one moment. But, he's f**ked his goat. Hope he enjoyed it, because that's what he'll be known for -- choosing to apply his credibility and reputation to claim that we knew and had evidence (that we couldn't share) to falsely lead this country into a war.

Posted by: ag at September 20, 2006 05:10 PM