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Bush Diplomats Bum Real Hard on Cold Steel Facts
Colin Powell's former chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, interviewed for the upcoming CNN documentary "Dead Wrong--Inside and Intelligence Meltdown," tersely characterizes his role in the preparations for his boss's historic Feb. 14, 2003 UN speech making the case for invading Iraq and unseating Saddam Hussein. "It was," Wilkerson says, "the lowest point of my life." The unsourced materials the administration gave to Powell to present were, Wilkerson recalls, "were anything but an intelligence document"; rather, they were "sort of a Chinese menu from which you could pick and choose."
It proved to be something less than a walk in the park for Powell, too. After the invasion, US troops continued trolling for, and failing to unearth, any evidence of WMDs in occupied Iraq. Powell would get periodic updates to that effect from future Medal of Freedom honoree George "Slam Dunk" Tenet:
"George actually did call the Secretary, and said, 'I'm really sorry to have to tell you. We don't believe there were any mobile labs for making biological weapons,'" Wilkerson says in the documentary. "This was the third or fourth telephone call. And I think it's fair to say the Secretary and Mr. Tenet, at that point, ceased being close."
Yep. And just to drive the point home, Powell told the CIA chief they'd never be sending out for Chinese food together again.--HOLLY MARTINS
Former Aide: Powell Speech Was "Lowest Point of My Life" [AP, via CNN]