Out, damned spot!

Colin Powell admits his presentation to the U.N. in 2003 wasn't a career highlight.



Aaron Kinney
September 9, 2005 6:10PM (UTC)

Salon editorial fellow Aaron Kinney examines the stain on Colin Powell's résumé.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told ABC's Barbara Walters in an interview to be aired tonight that his presentation to the United Nations in 2003 on Iraq's WMD capabilities is a "blot" on his record that is "painful" for him. Powell did not say, however, that he regrets the decision to invade Iraq.

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Powell, who said he was misled by "some people in the intelligence community" who "didn't speak up," added that the United States erred by not supplying enough troops immediately following the invasion to ensure security and impose its will on the country. Powell said he does not blame former CIA Director George Tenet for the faulty information he relied on.

Powell's interview will air in the wake of two bombings Wednesday in the southern Iraqi city of Basra that killed four U.S. contractors and about 30 Iraqi civilians. Meanwhile, Iraq's draft constitution faces another delay as fresh amendments on the subject of regional autonomy have reportedly been proposed.

In a positive development, an American contractor held hostage near Baghdad has been rescued from his captors and is on his way back to the United States. Also, U.S. forces have reported the capture of 200 suspected insurgents near the Syrian border, many of them foreign fighters.

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So the slog in Iraq goes on, and Powell bears his share of the responsibility. While it's satisfying to hear him admit what we all know -- that his U.N. presentation was a sham -- forgive us if we're underwhelmed. Wake us up when he starts talking about the conversations that took place in the Oval Office and in Cabinet meetings between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Don't set the alarm, though. It could be a long nap.


Aaron Kinney

Aaron Kinney is a writer in San Francisco. He has a blog.

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