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Charles Pierce ~ Colin Powell Owes Us an Apology

Esquire Magazine | Reader Supported News |  May 15 2012

OPINION ~ Has there been a more vastly overrated person in the past 50 years than Colin Powell? He helped cover up My Lai. He did his part to make sure that the Iran-Contra mess never came fully to light. He buckled under to chickenhawk bullies in the Bush White House and did his part to lie us into a destructive war with a speech to the U.N. that he knew was based on stovepiped bullshit from people he already didn’t trust. And still, people trust him and revere him and, I have no doubt, if he came to them shilling another war, they’d salute and agree with him as devoutly as they did back in 2003, when he was before the UN talking about those lagoons of anthrax consomme that didn’t really exist.

And now, of course, he’s back with another book in which he polishes his own apple to a high gloss while ducking his responsibility for the greatest foreign-policy foul-up of our time. And he’s still talking like a hapless apparatchik:

“By then, the President did not think war could be avoided,” Powell writes. “He had crossed the line in his own mind, even though the NSC [National Security Council] had never met – and never would meet – to discuss the decision.”

The president “didn’t think war could be avoided”? Jesus H. Christ on a 10-day contract, at what point in his presidency did George W. Bush try to avoid a war with Iraq? Paul O’Neill has told us that he was spoiling for that fight almost immediately after the theft of the elect… er… the inauguration was complete. Donald Rumsfeld was talking about it while the towers were still burning. Dick Cheney was parceling out Iraqi oil fields almost from jump. The Downing Street Memos track it back to 2002. There was no “decision” made to go to war with Iraq because the entire administration was the decision. The passive voice is the sound of a true career underling trying to keep his job.

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