Consortiumnews: Colin Powell Being Colin Powell

Colin Powell Being Colin Powell

By Robert Parry
September 13, 2005

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is pinning the blame for his false Iraq testimony before the United Nations in 2003 not on his superiors in the Bush administration nor on ex-CIA director George Tenet – but “on some people in the intelligence community” at lower levels.

In his first extensive interview since his resignation early this year, Powell told ABC News that his reputation has suffered because his assurances about Iraq’s supposed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons proved false.

“It’s a blot,” Powell said. “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.”

As Powell stressed his own pain, the interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters took on the feel of a celebrity trying to refurbish a tarnished image by blaming subordinates, rather than a leader taking responsibility for actions that have contributed to the deaths of about 1,900 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

The interview also fit with Powell’s long history of positioning himself with a keen eye for public relations. Indeed, some Powell critics could view the ABC interview as just the latest example of Powell’s endless opportunism....



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