Colin Powell: evidence for Iraq invasion may have been wrong

When it comes to the Bush entourage, Colin Powell stands apart as perhaps the least duplicitous of the lot. I realize that is a dubious distinction, but it’s the best i can do.

Last week, Powell alone refused to damn Richard Clarke, and noted the respect he has had for him over the years. He disagreed with many of Clarke’s points, but he wouldn’t join in the smearing. And yesterday, he admitted the evidence he gave to the United Nations 15 months ago on Iraq’s supposed WMDs may have been flawed.

One needs to remember that this is an administration that never admits to mistakes. Nothing is their fault. No one ever raised the threat of airplanes flying into buildings. Al Qaeda was a No. 1 priority for them from the instant they stepped in. Things in Iraq are progressing well. Saddam Hussein may have been a factor behind 911 (if you listen to Dick Cheney). The economy is doing great, but can do even better if there are bigger, permanent tax cuts for the wealthy.

Powell certainly isn’t perfect. But considering the company he keeps, he emerges as a pearl among the swine. Needless to say, there are rumors floating through Washington that he won’t be part of the next phase of the Bush Dynasty, scheduled to begin in early 2005. If he’s bounced, if he leaves “to spend more time with his family,” all I can say is good for him. How he has managed to swim in the same pool for so long with Condi, Ashcroft, Cheney, Rove, and of course George W., without choking on the raw sewage is beyond me.

Update: Be sure to check out Mark Kleiman’s post on essentially the same topic.

Up-update: Josh Marshall, however, judges Powell a bit more harshly. He begins by pointing out that only in the Age of Bush would Powell’s admission (that the Iraq invasion was based in part on poor intelligence) be the number one story in all the media. After all, anyone with functioning gray matter knew this six months ago, of course. A very funny, cynical post.

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