Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"History" can bite you in the ass

Back in late Summer, 2002, a retired flag officer friend from our yacht club returned from DC with an interesting tidbit. He said that an invasion of Iraq was inevitable. When pressed for more, he said that his former colleagues at the Five Sided Building sorrowfully told him that the decision was made, and that all that was remaining was to take care of was the "justification". When one of those in the group asked him if the military was counseling against it, he said that any opposing view was to be submitted with a request for retirement as the cover sheet. Interestingly, he noted, the number of flag officers requesting retirement "earlier than normal" had risen significantly in the preceding months, an occurrence that the various Military Times newspapers had already commented on. IIRC, the Times had simply suggested that it was as a result of Rumsnamara's efforts to reshape the military. One of the great "mysteries" (to me) of that time was Colin Powell's seeming complicity in the whole thing. Whether you like him or not, he spent too many years in uniform to be so easily misled. All I could attribute it to was his previous 30+ years of obeying the lawful orders of POTUS inhibiting the ability to be a lone voice that stands up and says, "This is bullshit, Sir, and I cannot be a party to it". Now I wonder if he was just being "trusting" of the crap fed to him as a sort of coping mechanism? A pathetic coping mechanism, at that, considering the wasted treasure, both US and Iraqi, that resulted. Powell has now written his memoirs, and joins the ranks of those who state, without reservation, that the decision to invade Iraq was done without discussion or debate. What he says is pretty damning, not just to GWB , Cheney, Rice and Co, but to himself. Whether Powell's admission lifts any blame from his shoulders, I am appreciative that he has added to the growing body of evidence that supports exposing the reckless behavior of GWB and Co. Carl Rove said that he could create a "reality" of his choosing. What Rove and his disciples fail to understand is that when their "created reality" passes into history and is subjected to objective analysis, it can easily bite you in the ass.


  1. I don't see how anyone could find Powell's behavior mysterious after My Lai and Iran Contra.


    Again: Powell took evidence of the Iraqis doing what they were supposed to do—i.e., searching their gigantic ammunition dumps to make sure they weren't accidentally holding onto banned chemical weapons—and doctored it to make it look as if Iraq were hiding banned weapons.

    Since the State Department was questioned about this by journalist Gilbert Cranberg, the translation at variance with Powell's version has disappeared from its site. It's now available only via
    Did Powell know what he was doing at the time? It's unclear. Here's a transcript of an exchange between Powell and Sam Husseini in Washington in December, 2006, with video below:

    HUSSEINI: You cited Hussein Kamel in your U.N. testimony. Did you know he said there were no WMDs?
    POWELL: I only knew what the intelligence community told me.

    HUSSEINI: But did you know that fact?

    POWELL: Of course not!

    HUSSEINI: You didn't know that, even though it was reported?

    POWELL: I've answered your question!

    As you can see in the video, Powell was not happy to explore this line of questioning. (He's also never shown any inclination to find out who purportedly steered him wrong; when asked by Barbara Walters asked who was responsible for the mistakes in the overall presentation, Powell stated "I don't have the names.")

    A comment from this link

    He HAD to kill his conscience ( if he had any to start with ) to start the obscene war ( thanks to his so called alleged credibility ) with his lies, which continue today.......

    As told to Mainichi of Japan...
    "It was the intelligence that was wrong. I did not make up this information; I did not invent it; I did not pull it out of the air. It was information that our intelligence community stood behind," he stated.
    Sept. 4, 2010

    HOW COULD he say with a straight face, he did not know or that he was not lying? No wonder, he is mad at the bloggers because THEY KNOW, it has always been lies and lies and lies from the so called "American statesman" and a retired four-star general in the United States Army... for sure, we can do without such "Statesmen".


    Should I hold my breath for someone from the MSM to give this evidence? I will die of hypoxia.

    OT, things seem to be methysmenos in Greece these days. Old fellow shooting himself in his head in Syntagma, elections, not elections, Golden Dawn.


  3. I've never been that impressed with this guy.

    He'll never admit that he was a fool and a dupe for following Bush. Bush used him like a tool, squeezed him for what credibility he had and then discarded him like an empty tube. His former CoS Wilkerson has displayed much more character. Powell still thinks he can play people for suckers . . .

    Something to compare his current status with:

  4. Taking a cynical view, perhaps Powell wasn't as duped as he says, but knows "the record" was screwed enough to make him look "out of the loop"? Plausible deniability.

    As historians dig and look back on this whole WMD sham, it is not going to be a pretty picture. Whether or not Powell is a "man amongst men", any exposure he adds to the lies that were used is appreciated, at least by me.

  5. Al-

    No, agree on that. We do need a historical record of what supposedly was going through the minds of the various officials involved.

    It is an interesting aspect about GWB that he decisively exposed the negative side of those who worked for him. Rice, Powell, Bremmer, the various generals, would all probably have come out quite different working for someone else. The cynicism, the corruption, the lies . . . all have taken their toll and these people what remains are essentially empty husks.

    The exceptions are those that broke with Bush after leaving the administration - O'Neill, Wilkerson, McClellan . . . The latter wrote in regards to the Iraq war, "his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war."

  6. Al-

    My "No, agree on that."

    Should be "Yes, agree."

    A "cynical view" threw me off. I definitely need to ENLARGE my text box, since I still use an absurdly small text box . . . why is that? Habit. The habits of a 50ish gray-haired man, squinting into his mac resting on top of his roll-top desk . . . summer sounds in the moonlight.

    It's going to be a hot summer. Hope all is well with you in Greece.