Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Goodbye, Colin Powell, World Class Asshole

Much ballyhooed B*sh cabinet "moderate" Colin "Look! It's a truck! And it's parked next to a shed!" Powell decided to step down yesterday. Still not forgiving him for his remarks to the United Nations Security Council, so, yeah, good riddance to bad rubbish.

What difference does his "moderate" status make, I ask you, when he is powerless to assert it? He was just as much responsible for this as that war criminal Rumsfeld.


[A little shout out to my friend Ross! Thanks!]
Dissents and Laments


Anonymous Anonymous said...

here is a summary of some of Powell's lies in his speech to the UN, courtesy of Alterman:

Powell presented satellite photos of various buildings and vehicles and in order to suggest they the Iraqis were shielding chemical and biological weapons, and the missiles with which to launch them. At two such sites, he insisted the trucks were really "decontamination vehicles" associated with chemical weapons. In fact, these very sites had undergone 500 recent inspections. Chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix had explained a day earlier that no contraband was and no signs that anything had been moved was detectable. Norwegian inspector Jorn Siljeholm told The Associated Press on March 19 that "decontamination vehicles" found by U.N. teams were actually fire trucks. No contrary evidence was ever found.

Powell played audio tapes of Arabic-speaking individuals speaking about a "modified vehicle," "forbidden ammo" and "the expression 'nerve agents'." He said they were intercepts of Iraqi army officers. But there is no way to judge if any of this was true as no context was provided. Meanwhile, if army sources were searching for “forbidden ammo,” then this makes perfect sense. The Iraqis had informed U.N. inspectors they would conduct exactly those searches. When they completed them, they gave four stray, empty chemical warheads to UN inspectors. Powell also mistranslated his final tape, according to the official U.S. translation. What Powell translated as "cleared out,” was later explained to be "inspected," which was hardly nefarious.

Powell said "classified" documents found at a nuclear scientist's Baghdad home were "dramatic confirmation" of intelligence saying prohibited items were concealed that way. These never materialized.

Powell noted Iraq had declared it produced only 8,500 liters of anthrax before 1991, but U.N. inspectors had estimated the potential to make 25,000 liters. None, he argued, had been "verifiably accounted for.” Yet no anthrax was ever found in Iraq after the invasion.

Powell said defectors told of "biological-weapons factories" on trucks and in train cars, displaying artistic portrayals of them. These too, never materialized, despite administration attempts to hype the discovery what were later judged to be weather-balloon fueling stations. (See below.)

Powell accused Iraq of creating four tons of the nerve agent VX. "A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes.” But the secretary neglected to note that most of the VX had been verifiably destroyed in the 1990s under U.N. supervision. The Iraqis showed inspectors where they had destroyed the rest and chemical analyses undertaken by the UN generally confirmed this. An analysis by the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London found that all-pre 1991 VX would probably have degraded, and none was ever found following the invasion.

Powell claimed, "We know that Iraq has embedded key portions of its illicit chemical-weapons infrastructure within its legitimate civilian industry.” This was never found either. A September 2002 report by the Defense Intelligence Agency, available to Powell at the time, found "no reliable information" on "where Iraq has — or will — establish its chemical-warfare-agent-production facilities."

Powell claimed, "Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical-weapons agent." The source of this too, remains a mystery given the DIA’s admitted lack of knowledge. In any case, none was ever found.

Powell argued that 122-mm chemical warheads found by U.N. inspectors in January might be the "tip of an iceberg." He failed to note, however that the warheads were empty, and were assumed by inspectors to be "debris from the past." The 1980s. None have since been found.

Powell claimed, “Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. ... And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorized his field commanders to use them.” Again, no such weapons were ever found, much less used.

Powell claimed, "We have no indication that Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear-weapons program." But of course, had no real evidence that he begun it either. See below.

Powell credited "intelligence sources" for discovering that Iraq possessed a secret force of up to a few dozen prohibited Scud-type missiles with a range of 600 miles, and was blocking its test facility from spy satellites. Nothing to support these claims was ever discovered. (Charles J. Hanley, “U.S. Justification for War: How It Stacks Up Now,” The Seattle Times, August 10, 2003, p. A4.)

10:20 AM  

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