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Powell regrets UN speech on Iraq WMDs

From ABC News Online (Australia) Former US secretary of state Colin Powell says his United Nations speech making the case for the US-led war on Iraq was "a blot" on his record.

Mr Powell has also said that he had "never seen evidence to suggest" a connection between the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States and the Saddam regime.

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 (WMD).

The presentation included satellite photos of trucks that Mr Powell identified as mobile bioweapons laboratories.

After the invasion, US weapons inspectors reported finding no Iraqi nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

In an interview with American ABC TV news to be broadcast on Friday (US time), Mr Powell said "it's a blot" on his record.

"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 said.

Mr Powell spent five days at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters ahead of the speech studying intelligence reports, many of which turned out to be false.

He said he felt "terrible" at being misinformed.

However, he did not blame CIA director George Tenet.

Mr Tenet "did not sit there for five days with me misleading me," he said.

"He believed what he was giving to me was accurate."

Some members of the US intelligence community "knew at that time that some of these sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up," Mr Powell said.

"These are not senior people, but these are people who were aware that some of these resources should not be considered reliable," he said.

"I was enormously disappointed."

Civil war concern

As for post-Saddam Iraq, Mr Powell said there was little choice but to keep investing in the Iraqi armed forces.

"What we didn't do in the immediate aftermath of the war was to impose our will on the whole country, with enough troops of our own, with enough troops from coalition forces, or, by (quickly) recreating the Iraqi (armed) forces," he said.

"It may not have turned out to be such a mess if we had done some things differently."

Mr Powell also voiced concern over a possible civil war in Iraq.

"A way has to be found for the Sunnis to be brought into the political process. You cannot let ... Iraq devolve into a mini-state in the north, a larger mini-state in the south, and sort of nothing in the middle," he said.

"The mission we set for ourselves at the beginning, and which we told the Iraqis that we were going to do, is to keep this as a single state. And that's the challenge that we have now."

Mr Powell downplayed his reported differences with Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, and said he was on good terms with President George W Bush.

"There are some who say, 'well, you shouldn't have supported (the war), you should have resigned', but I'm glad that Saddam Hussein is gone," Mr Powell said.

On Washington's differences with Tehran, Mr Powell also said he does not see "a clear military option with respect to Iran".



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Oh dear, how distressing for Mr Powell to have 'a blot on his record'.

That is an interesting way to sum up the 100,000+ Iraqis that have been murdered as a direct result of his lies.

Now tell me, if the authors of the Downing Street Memo knew that the US intelligence services were fixing the information to make the case for war how come the head of the CIA did not know?

Do me a favor Powell. Your excuses are a joke and this is just a sad little attempt to salvage some credibility for a political comeback.

Well newsflash cocksucker, it is not going to fly. Powell was and is a sack of lying shit.

Presumably he owns a pistol, I suggest he does the only honorable thing and use it.

Didn't people try to speak up and weren't they removed from their jobs? How quaint. Blaiming on "not senior people".

Mr Powell should be tried for Crimes Against Humanity.He was the one who convinced this nation that Saddam had WMD's,and thus to war.Bush and all his co-horts should be on trial for the great EVIL they have brought to us all.I am sure God has a special place for them all.

The vile BushCo. criminals used the one remaining hope we had so close to the center of power. They co-opted the last shreds of honesty, integrity and respect Colin Powell had, in actuality and in the eyes of American citizens. That is the function of a criminal mob. They pull everyone around them down to their own squalid level so there is nobody left to offer a contrast to their depravity.
Powell is by no means an innocent victim. He made his choice. Yes, he should be indicted for crimes along with all the rest.

Karen Kwiatkowski SPOKE UP
Joe Wilson SPOKE UP
Sibel Edmonds SPOKE UP
Richard Clarke SPOKE UP
Paul O'Neill SPOKE UP

Anymore whistleblowers to the list, ya'll feel free to add-on
(I can buy that Powell was mis-informed, but when did each whistle blow, and if & when did Powell hear it(them)? )

Is this an apology for lying and supporting a war of agression or just a bunch of excuses and lame justifications for same? What it all boils down to is that Collin "Uncle Tom" Powell sold out, his career and perceived political fortunes were more important than the Constitution, which he had sworn to defend, and the welfare of the American people who he was working for.

What absolutely drives me beserk about this whole WMD bull shit is so what? Supposed Saddam did have stockpiles of WMD from one end of Iraq to the other, so what, what was he going to do with them? He had no air force, no long range bombers, no billion dollar stealth bombers, no navy, no carrier battle groups, no nuclear submarines, no battleships, all he had was a run down third rate army which was not even capable of defending his country much less attact ours. For 60 years we stood toe to toe with the Soviet Union who could match us militarialy, and now we are quaking in our boots because of a third world thug? This was all bull shit and lies, Iraq was no threat to the United States and you "Uncle Tom" knew it, and you "Uncle Tom" sold out.

You willingly participated in an unjustified, illegal, unconstitutional war of agression, you brought death, destruction and untold suffering to the people of Iraq, you can burn in hell "Uncle Tom" Powell.

It is true that Saddam posed no military threat of any real significance whatever and that all the WMD and 9/11 connections nonsense was conscious and deliberate deception by the New American Century war pimps and their fronts.

Saddam did, however, threaten the interests of America Incorporated in very a big way. He was making deals with its rivals and, most threatening of all, he was moving toward using the Euro (or a basket of currencies) as the basis for Iraq oil sales. That could have, and almost certainly would have triggered a macro-economic chain reaction as the U.S. dollar's world reserve currency status slid down the drain.

It may not be an over-generalization to say that all wars are based on corporate and financial interests at their core. Some are just more honest about that fact than others. I've never been quite sure why they felt so many lies were required for domestic consumption in this case.

It appears that the Brit leadership may actually have been more squeamish about the truth than their American counterparts. The latter have never been averse to cranking up a "splendid little war" now and then to benefit current day heirs and assigns of the United Fruit Company. And the American public has never seemed to mind much in the past when the plain truth was made quite obvious.

Oh well. This may be another one of those cases where the cover-up will prove more devastating to the "powers that be" than the deed itself. They seem very slow to learn, but I suppose one shouldn't be too surprised at that after all these centuries of "elite" stupidity.

"What we didn't do in the immediate aftermath of the war was to impose our will on the whole country, with enough troops of our own, with enough troops from coalition forces, or, by (quickly) recreating the Iraqi (armed) forces,"

I guess Powell still doesn't get it. His lame excuses just don't cut it..

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