The more things change, the more they remain the same. It's now almost ten years later, and Colin Powell is still defending going in front of the United Nations and pushing the faulty intelligence to justify our invasion of Iraq. Of course don't expect any introspection from host David Gregory who decided to treat this as merely some policy disagreement between Powell and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, who he was defending as President Obama's pick for Defense Secretary during this segment on Meet the Press.
It's no wonder all of the neocons don't seem to mind re-litigating the invasion of Iraq if this is the type of coverage that we're going to get from our corporate media once those hearings start.
GREGORY: The renewed debate about Iraq is also occurring, the New York Times write about-- writes about that today. And his-- in his memoir, he writes something very pointed about the Iraq war. He writes, "it all comes down to the fact we were asked to vote on a resolution based on half-truths, untruths and wishful thinking. I voted for this resolution that gave the president the authority to go to war in Iraq if all diplomatic efforts were exhausted and failed. Unfortunately, it was not his intention to exhaust all diplomatic efforts.” He is talking about the diplomatic efforts you were engaged in as Secretary of State in the run-up to the war in Iraq.
GEN. POWELL: I would disagree with this characterization. We were basing all of our actions on a national intelligence estimate that the Congress asked for and was provided to the Congress by the CIA. And all of us in the Bush administration at that time accepted the judgment of our 16 intelligence communities. I presented it to the U.N. Three months before I presented it to the U.N., Congress passed a resolution, also supported by Senator Hagel and many other senators that would give the president the authority to go to war. They weren’t half-truths is what we were being told by the intelligence community. We subsequently found out that a lot of that information was not accurate and that is very unfortunate but that’s the way it unfolded.
GREGORY: Was he wrong on Iraq?
GEN. POWELL: With respect to what?
GREGORY: With respect to what he ultimately called a huge foreign policy blunder?
GEN. POWELL: He-- that’s his characterization and if people want to challenge his characterization, they will have that opportunity during the confirmation.
GREGORY: In your judgment, was he wrong on Iraq?
GEN. POWELL: I would not have called it that. I would have said that what I think was wrong was the president had more than sufficient basis to believe that there were weapons of mass destruction that were a danger to the world and the possibility of those weapons going to terrorists. And so, he undertook military action. I think that was the correct thing to do and it was well supported by the intelligence. I think we did not execute the operation well. Once Baghdad fell, there was a feeling that well that was the end of it. It was not the end of it. That was just the beginning of it.
Here's a little reminder about just what Powell knew and didn't know when he made that presentation to the United Nations: The U.N. Deception: What Exactly Colin Powell Knew Five Years Ago, and What He Told the World