Monday, January 16, 2006

'We Were Wrong on WMD'

Watch the electrifying interview with General Sir Colin Powell and Jeremy paxman on BBC Newsnight. He admits the US were ''wrong'' on WMD, was forced to admit that ''had they known'' Iraq had no WOMD there would be ''a very different scenario with the U.N'' ( or something like that - full transcript not out yet, will edit when I've checked.) He admits he 'knew' about rendition. He admits a hell of a lot, in fact, Paxman seriously rattled him, accusing him of lying, talking about 'your war' and pulling off a masterstroke whinge 'But we respected you - we believed it when it was YOU telling us'' move that stung Powell into further admissions.

Powell: '...the intelligence community said it was a fact was that
[Saddam] had actual stockpiles [of WMDs]. We subsequently
discovered that was wrong. We were wrong. The intelligence
community was wrong. The British intelligence community and
all of the other intelligence communities were wrong and I
presented wrong information
because it was the information
that I believed to be true at the time.'

Paxman : 'Would you like to apologise for misleading the world?'
Powell 'I didn't mislead the world. You can't mislead somebody when you are presenting what you believe to be the facts... That wasn't misleading, that was being wrong.'

Powell, looked diminished - I even felt a bit sorry for him. How far outcast must he have been since 2004 to come out with that? Secretary of State and then the Bush crew used him to softpeddle the war to Europe to the UN and Europe, as a politically unstained wise old soldier figure - then dumped him like an old sock and pushed him out when his more moderate voice was no longer what they wanted to hear.

Well Colin, I wonder if you feel better for telling the truth. Now if only my Prime Minister could admit his lies and mistakes - with or without contrition or grace - just admit you were wrong, or you lied, or both. About those deaths. About your 'war'.


Blogger LottieP said...

Hi Rachel

Wish I could have seen it! Sadly the version of the BBC we get in Hk (BBC World) never seems to be as dynamic and pertinent as this.

I thought you might find this article by Ian Bell in the Herald interesting:


January 17, 2006 10:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is that Powell DID know that Iraq had no WMD:

‘[Saddam Hussein] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.’ (US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Press Remarks with Foreign Minister of Egypt Amre Moussa, Ittihadiya Palace, Cairo, Egypt 24th, February 2001, quoted in CBS News, ‘Powell '01: WMDs Not 'Significant'’)

‘We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox [1998] to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programs.’ (CIA report, February 2003, quoted by NBC News 24th February 2003, viewable at )

He was lying in the run up to the invasion and he's lying now.

January 17, 2006 1:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

im not surprised at general powells comments- that the u.s had known all along that there were no WMD's in Iraq,and then lied thru their teeth to bolster public support for the war,with horrifying results-both inside and outside iraq.

hope all is well with u and j.

seth :)

January 17, 2006 6:49 pm  
Blogger Mike said...

Hi there..

Forgive the levity...however I'm not surprised in the slightest by the untruths.

Mr Powell has kept up the pretence that his name is more intersting than it is for years.

'Coalin'? No I think we have lcear evidence it's common old Colin thank you very much.

Paxman should have called him that throughout.

January 17, 2006 9:45 pm  
Blogger Ham said...


I follow your blog (and have it on London Daily Photo's crucial London links) but this is to spread the word of Defective Yeti's post today It is on topic, and I hope you enjoy it!

January 18, 2006 1:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog and this is the first time I have disagreed.

You say "pushed him out" but didn't he resign?

January 19, 2006 12:25 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

He did technically resign. It's usual that you get to resign, rather than be asked to leave. But as a White House official said of one of the last moderate vioces in a cabinet of hawks :' He was not asked to stay'.

January 19, 2006 9:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colin Powell lost his job because he leaked to the press like a sieve - something not appreciated by the Bush crowd. His particular thing is/was to pat people on the back and then have lunch with a journalist to tell them how much he hates you. While politicians do this, Powell did this non-stop. If you stab absolutely everyone in the back, eventually you run out of friends.

January 19, 2006 11:21 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Being an advocate of talking to Iran, of taking a harder line with Israel, of involving the UN and of negotiations rather than wars to gain Middle east stability kind of meant his face didn't fit much with the Bush administration.

January 19, 2006 11:48 am  
Blogger Holly Finch said...

I think he clinging on to keep his head whilst those around him have well and truly lost theirs.

January 19, 2006 2:54 pm  

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