Comments: Jon 1, Balrog 0

Thanks, Jon; outstanding. Particularly necessary when his letter to the Senate on McCain's anti-torture amendments is giving him a halo out of all proportion to what he deserves.

Posted by Nell at October 10, 2005 10:02 AM

Why not just accept my simple principle: everything any government official says is a lie, until proven otherwise. Oh? Do we have a presumption of innocence in this country? Excuse me, it slipped my mind. You see so few mentions of it these days.

Posted by jonj at October 10, 2005 11:35 AM

Dear Jon, I was going to leave a comment, but decided to blog you up instead, here:

I've linked there to a story I did on Powell back in May 2002, based largely on Robert Parry's outstanding research -- some grist for your future grinding of Powell's powder, perhaps.

Posted by Chris at October 10, 2005 11:45 AM

Personally, I can say I've never wanted bread that badly.

Posted by Sully at October 10, 2005 02:48 PM

So Powell used both the reverse-Nuremberg defense and the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer defense?

'I'm just a caveman. Your modern "tubes" frighten and confuse me.'

Posted by Brent at October 10, 2005 03:31 PM

When Jon the White returns, he's supposed to give us a lengthy analysis of why the hopeless situation as it stands is, in fact, finely balanced and just possibly won't wind up with orcs brutalizing hobbit women. I'm waiting for my ray of hope here, Jon.

Posted by Aaron at October 10, 2005 04:08 PM

Welcome back. You've been missed.

Posted by Stupendousman at October 10, 2005 06:23 PM

Powell's supposed heroism has long been a mystery to me. His claim to the military code of honor evaporated when he publically questioned his Command in Chief's policy on gays in the military.

His role as the loyal dissenter in the GOP is a bad joke. If dissents come to nothing -- and both domestically and internationally Powell has had little impact on GOP policies -- then all they accomplish is to provide cover for the crimes of Bush et al.

The UN speech may have been his worst moment. What made it so pathetic is that the evidence he offered, both false and "sexed up," wasn't even convincing. At the time, like many others, I believed that there was some Iraqi weapons program. However, after the speech I said, "If that's the best you've got, maybe there isn't any program. Powell's speech had the oposite of its intended effect. I expanded doubt for me.

Since then I've wondered if this all part of a very deep game, where Powell's role was to play the skeptic who is convinced and serves to convince other skeptics. If this is the case, then Powell role as doubting Colin was as big a lie as any put forth by the Bush team, and that's saying something.


Posted by Thomas J. Mertz at October 10, 2005 07:15 PM

I hope that Gen. Powell will be among their number when the Leading Lights of the Cheney Administration get the fair trials they deserve, whether in the U.S. or at the Hague. It seems improbable now, of course; but highly improbable things happen all the time.

Posted by Fannie Farmer (Mrs.) at October 10, 2005 07:48 PM

It is great to have you back, Jon. This post was very funny and I am glad you destroyed the balrog and got promoted to Saruman's former position. :)

Posted by Anna in Cairo at October 11, 2005 02:07 AM

Ha. Cal here hits the nail on the head. Powell knew damn full well that Saddam had launched chemically loaded Scuds during the '91 Gulf War. This fact was/has been buried for years, probably at least 30. Throughout the debate about the existence of the mysterious 'Gulf War Syndrome' this issue has never even been properly discussed, far less examined and investigated.

These attacks kicked in on the night of January 20/21 '91, after Saddam had stated on the 20th, on Baghdad Radio, that "in the coming period, the response of Iraq will be on a larger scale". On 23 January Powell conducted a press conference where he showed a chart supposedly indicating Iraqi radar activity. In fact he was trying to telegraph a message to Saddam suggesting 'if you knock it off so will we'. Allegedly Powell had a little printed aphorism on his desk at that press meeting, which went along the lines of 'you never know what you can get away with until you try'.

In reality there were UNSCOM questions about nine Scud missiles, not just the two as discussed by the CIA/ISG. There were also nine missing chemical 'special' warheads, and 10 missing Scud engines.

In this context, Powell's statement "The Scuds are not anything anyone has seen" might not be quite as murky as it first may seem.

Posted by Ghoste at October 11, 2005 07:05 PM

Pow-Powel a country boy my ass. He sure knows how to play the good cop and on the take at the same time. A decorated peace of black sh!t after bombing Iraq in 1991-- Gulf war--Highway of death--182,000 fleeing Iraqies slaughtered in two days. The puuk got great reviews and for his poor country farm upbringing in Jamikaka--all of a sudden accumalated $21 million by 2000. He got his nitwit son a FCC chair(hand)job and as like his daddy--played with the big boys---Foxie Rupert Murdoc.Now you know Amerikaka's money bags
Mr OZ opposite Ben Laden.
Reason Rice and Powel got the shill jobs-cause their 1/2 black terds and we stupid white folks can't call them that.I just hope one of them runs for President and wins.Fools abound!

Posted by archers-IsraeOil at October 13, 2005 08:37 AM

You know what this site needs more of? Virulent, nauseating racism!

Posted by Sully at October 14, 2005 08:44 AM


I was just thinking the same thing. Sure, this site has SOME virulent, nauseating racism, but not nearly enough. We are all indebted to Mr., uh, "archers-IsraeOil" for his assistance in this matter.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 14, 2005 09:12 AM

Guys, I have met and discussed foreign policy with Mr Powell in person and I can tell you want impression he made on me as a foreigner with no GOP vs Democrat axe to grind. He is genuinely concernes with the US's image abroad and would not have pursued the course taken by GWB and the more Hawkish members of the cabinet had he been in charge. It is easy for all here to criticise Powell for making the claims he did but one should remember that soldiers are not meant to question the orders of their superiors and "dissembling" (rather than lying) is an art crafted by all politicians and soldiers. I believe Powell truly was the main objector to the manner the war was conducted but he had a job to do and fulfilled it to the best of his ability choosing to register his dissaprovely as honorably as he could by quitting. His rhetoric today reflects his genuine views even back in the days of the UN presentation where he could not reasonably speak his mind (HOW COULD HE???)

Give the man a break, he is probably the most compassionate and reasonable man ever to sit in GWB's cabinet.

Posted by fabsy at October 18, 2005 10:48 AM