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September 30, 2006 7:10 PM   Subscribe

Turns out Colin Powell was actually fired. In other administration news, it looks like one of the pre-9/11 anti-terrorism meetings wasn't mentioned to the 9/11 commission. According to Bob Woodward's new book, where we also find out that Bush meet with Henry Kissinger at least once a month, and Kissinger's theories on Vietnam inform Bush's reasoning on Iraq.
posted by delmoi (51 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
nice, a current war criminal advising a future one.
posted by edgeways at 7:17 PM on September 30, 2006

Are you talking about Powell or Kissinger? Both qualify.
posted by sotonohito at 7:22 PM on September 30, 2006

Interesting reading, but I'm non-plussed by this post.

Is there some assertion that you would like to make or is this just "ooh, big conspriacy" filter?
posted by snsranch at 7:32 PM on September 30, 2006

posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:34 PM on September 30, 2006

Turns out Colin Powell was actually fired.

Well duh. He should have never made that speech. It was bullshit when I first heard it, he KNEW it was bullshit when he made and he loss of stature is no one's fault but his own.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:39 PM on September 30, 2006

Is there some assertion that you would like to make or is this just "ooh, big conspriacy" filter?

Huh? I both the Powell thing and the revelations from Woodward's book came out today. I put them in the same FPP because I thought they were equally interesting. I don't think they're related.
posted by delmoi at 7:40 PM on September 30, 2006

Of course Powell was fired. That was clear at the time, just as it's clear now that a bunch of fascists are running the government and doing everything they can, as fast as they can, to neuter our Constitution and establish authoritarian, one party rule ... yada yada. The whole thing is as obvious as a turd in the road. Other than the plain, old idiots, the only people who can't see it are the ones who don't want to see it.
posted by chance at 7:40 PM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

Powell's whole career was founded on lying to cover up war crimes, so it ran it's natural course. He told the final whopper and was discarded like the wad of toilet paper he is.
He could try to make amends by telling the truth now in an iinternational war crimes tribunal, but it won't happen.
posted by 2sheets at 7:45 PM on September 30, 2006

discarded like the wad of toilet paper he is (audio)
posted by riotgrrl69 at 7:47 PM on September 30, 2006

I've got zero sympathy for Powell.
posted by stenseng at 8:19 PM on September 30, 2006

posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:34 PM

ly this is yet another thing that will get lost in the blur of polics and forgotten by next week.

There, I finished that off for you.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 8:21 PM on September 30, 2006

or, ya know, politics.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 8:22 PM on September 30, 2006

With regards to Colin Powell's speech:
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
Herman Goering
posted by tellurian at 9:31 PM on September 30, 2006

From the NY Times review: The whole atmosphere too often resembled a royal court, with Cheney and Rice in attendance, some upbeat stories, exaggerated good news and a good time had by all.” Were the war in Iraq not a real war that has resulted in more than 2,700 American military casualties and more than 56,000 Iraqi civilian deaths, the picture of the Bush administration that emerges from this book might resemble a farce. It’s like something out of “The Daily Show” or a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, with Freudian Bush family dramas and high-school-like rivalries between cabinet members who refuse to look at one another at meetings being played out on the world stage.

There’s the president, who once said, “I don’t have the foggiest idea about what I think about international, foreign policy,” deciding that he’s going to remake the Middle East and alter the course of American foreign policy. There’s his father, former President George Herbert Walker Bush (who went to war against the same country a decade ago), worrying about the wisdom of another war but reluctant to offer his opinions to his son because he believes in the principle of “let him be himself.” There’s the president’s national security adviser whining to him that the defense secretary won’t return her phone calls. And there’s the president and Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, trading fart jokes.

posted by Nquire at 10:12 PM on September 30, 2006

Wow, there's even more republican craziness coming out tonight. Turns out rove accepted gifts from Abramof and even leaked information too him
posted by delmoi at 10:31 PM on September 30, 2006

Wow...they even eat their own.
posted by destro at 10:46 PM on September 30, 2006

I read this and I feel sick. "Victory over the insurgency is the only meaningful exit strategy." It's only 2006. How bad will it get?

Again I predict that W will drop a nuke somewhere before his term ends.

posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:28 PM on September 30, 2006

Powell is a sellout who is one of maybe 2 people who could have saved thousands of American lives (and who will ever know how many non-American lives) in Iraq and who chose not to. GWB is an idiot in the truest sense of the word, but Powell is not. What he is is an Uncle Tom who is always prepared to fall on his sword to protect his "master". Do not forget that there WAS significant skepticism in the US before we broadened the "war on terra" into Iraq. The foolish moderates (like me) who were tricked by Powell's UN presentation will never forgive him. All the BS about the "Powell Doctrine" that we read about in Time and Newsweek led us and countless others to believe that Powell was a guy who thought of the troops first. That was all a smokescreen left over from a BS presidential run that was DOA in 2000. (Come on, the GOP is going to vote for a pro-choice black guy?) Powell was and remains a pathetic Washington, Republican insider who was and is completely snowed by talking points. I DON'T CARE ABOUT WHAT HE IS CURRENTLY LEAKING TO THE WASHINGTON POST!
posted by SkinnerSan at 11:34 PM on September 30, 2006

If you want to know why there are no black republicans .... this is it

You can either be the influential and a tool to be used or someone that is marginalized and kept in the dark. Forget about having a cabinet position if it doesn't mean anything, It Doesn't MEAN Anything. By the way, George W. Bush as an idiot, Greatest smokescreen of all time??
posted by Rubbstone at 11:56 PM on September 30, 2006

He was pleased, Powell said, to "have been part of a team that launched the Global War Against Terror, liberated the Afghan and Iraqi people, brought the attention of the world to the problem of proliferation, reaffirmed our alliances, adjusted to the Post-Cold War World and undertook major initiatives to deal with the problem of poverty and disease in the developing world. In these and in so many other areas, your leadership was the driving force of our success."

Mmyeah; that about sums it up.
posted by squirrel at 12:37 AM on October 1, 2006

Rubbstone : "If you want to know why there are no black republicans .... this is it"

Condi isn't black?
posted by Colloquial Collision at 1:11 AM on October 1, 2006

For all the bitching about affirmative action the republicans do they certainly seem to like doing it. Blacks do really well in the party. I don't think Colin's disaster had anything to do with his race.

I wonder what the real reason he didn't run for president is. He certainly seemed to be getting his face out there a lot in the late 90s with his 'volunteering' promotion. Anyone remember that? If he really cared about it, why isn't he still doing it? Obviously it was a way to get his name out there as a presidential contender. I wonder what the real reason was for his departure.

Maybe he thought being Sec of State would boost his chances later on. Heh.
posted by delmoi at 1:37 AM on October 1, 2006

Maybe he thought being Sec of State would boost his chances later on. Heh.

Still could happen. Your average American has the attention span (and memory) of a fruit fly.
posted by psmealey at 3:38 AM on October 1, 2006

"Condi isn't black?"


She's been converted.
posted by jpburns at 7:44 AM on October 1, 2006

No, what's far more interesting is a meeting that occurred between Condi, George Tenet, and Cofer Black on July 10,2001, with the following agenda (via Thinkprogress):
They went over top-secret intelligence pointing to an impending attack and “sounded the loudest warning” to the White House of a likely attack on the U.S. by Bin Laden.

Woodward writes that Rice was polite, but, “They felt the brushoff.”
This meeting is NOT in the 9/11 Commission Report.
posted by rzklkng at 7:55 AM on October 1, 2006

Condi isn't black?
She's the one in the dark. Its pretty clear that she doesn't have any cachet in this government
posted by Rubbstone at 8:28 AM on October 1, 2006

Colin Powell, then a young US Army Major, was charged with investigating the letter, which did not specifically reference My Lai (Glen had no knowledge of the events there). Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Later, Powell's refutation would be called an act of "white-washing" the news of My Lai, and questions would continue to remain undisclosed to the public.

Well, that Wikipedia article sure bummed me right the hell out. I wonder which particular Vietnamese people Powell had in mind when he wrote that? Thieu, Ky and them? He was an eager-beaver O-4, a relatively junior middle-manager type who wanted to rise in the corporation, and he did what company men often do. I doubt the overpowering stench of the flyblown corpses in that ditch wasn't much the lesser for his efforts, however. (Mr. Powell, sir, how many nights have you lay looking at the ceiling and wondering how to say "please forgive me" in Vienamese?)

When he was CJCS, I had a fair bit of respect for him as one of the saner folks advising Daddykins, but it turns out he's got his own size-twelves of clay. And yet, he one of the more honorable among this whole crew of worthless sons of bitches...
posted by pax digita at 8:35 AM on October 1, 2006

In Bob Woodward’s highly anticipated new book, “State of Denial,” President Bush emerges as a passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader,

So let see book "author" of highly anticipated (expecially by him, gotta pay the bills you know) smears an easy target that is already quite unpopular. I feel sooo compelled to give him my money

It’s a portrait that stands in stark contrast to the laudatory one Mr. Woodward drew in “Bush at War,” his 2002 book, which depicted the president — in terms that the White House press office itself has purveyed — as a judicious, resolute leader, blessed with the “vision thing”

Uhm that the so called republicans recognize as "flip flop", that for the rest of us is "changing mind like underwear, once a day". Hey, but maybe the author has two audiences in mind

1. the lover of GWB, the bushsexuals (as opposed to homo and eterosexual who at least get to fuck)
2. the haters of GWB, the bushspankers (as opposed to these who spanking for "creative foreplay" that at least get to fuck)

I for one welcome our new cliche overlord that tells us what we already think, but makes us pay for it.
posted by elpapacito at 8:47 AM on October 1, 2006

More new information is good, and there's plenty of new information in both Woodward's book and the WashPost excerpt on Powell.

Don't like information? There's a job for you at the White House.
posted by digaman at 9:02 AM on October 1, 2006

papacito: isn't it always best to put butter on your toast before you eat it?
posted by furtive at 9:08 AM on October 1, 2006

there's plenty of new information in both Woodward's book
Well then you must have got the book to say that , if you do please reveal us the alleged fantastic insight, we can't wait. Just an hint.

Don't like information? There's a job for you at the White House.
There's a job for me at every newspaper and the whitehouse, and I mean the porn site. Except that I like information, just not ANY information. I expecially don't like the bullshit kind of. Given that Woodward certainly made quite an error in his first book, as he adamantly admitted by publishing the second one. OK he was wrong, fine he wrote that, but I want my money back or trade in the old book with erroneous, misleading information about GWB with the new one at no additional expense for me. NOW, not as idiotic mail-in-rebate if I buy the new brick.
posted by elpapacito at 9:14 AM on October 1, 2006

"'Adults should not have a system like this,' [Black] said later."

The Washington Post also has an article about the July 2001 meeting(s) between Rice, Tenet and CIA counterterrorism chief J. Cofer Black. The Editor's CYA note at the end is odd.
posted by peeedro at 10:38 AM on October 1, 2006

elpapacito: Crazycrazycrazycrazyyaaaarghglhggg.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:58 AM on October 1, 2006

Anyone interested in this might also be interested in this excellent episode of PBS Frontline:
The Dark Side
posted by Vindaloo at 11:08 AM on October 1, 2006

Papacito, unlike you apparently, I have discovered a miraculous invention called hypertext. You'd ba amazed at what you can do with it -- such as reading excepts of books that haven't been published yet, including the primary link in this FPP, and the excerpts of Woodward's book that have been running in the WashPost for days now. Thank God Al Gore invented this Interweb thingie.
posted by digaman at 11:25 AM on October 1, 2006

Depressing article (the Powell speech one), not unexpected. I found the description of the speech-writing-research sessions riveting. Sometimes a situation/process is just so f***ed up that every effort to "fix" is just one more rush to disaster.

It's hard for me to understand why Powell never said, "No." Why he didn't say no and leave. He seems thoughtful and smart, generally and compared to who he had to work with/for. Is it the military "follow orders" "follow your superior" thing? Or he just liked being at the top (at least on paper)? Being near/part of power?

I think he really believed he was trying to act according to his values and yet everything he did (and not just the UN speech) sold out those values, brutally.

Can you imagine Powell's skills and popularity combined with a different personality -- someone willing to rebel when pushed too far, to quit and speak out? Pointless hypothetical I suppose -- such a person would not have been appointed to the position, or would have been slammed/destroyed by the others the first time they showed some backbone.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:34 AM on October 1, 2006

It's hard for me to understand why Powell never said, "No." Why he didn't say no and leave. He seems thoughtful and smart, generally and compared to who he had to work with/for. Is it the military "follow orders" "follow your superior" thing?

Yes, it's that "thing," the breaking of which by a senior officer is the equivalent of breaking the Hippocratic Oath by a doctor. It's hardly something to be taken lightly, nor something that can be easily understood by civilians. Viewed in this light, the recent criticisms of Bush by so many high-ranking military men is extraordinary.
posted by digaman at 11:38 AM on October 1, 2006

It's hardly something to be taken lightly, nor something that can be easily understood by civilians.

I did not mean to understate the importance/power of the chain of command, and I agree that I cannot understand it easily. But isn't there/shouldn't there be a place where the orders given are too extremely wrong to follow?

I guess we're saying the same thing, that military leaders are speaking out against Bush because we're at that place. To me it seems as though Powell would have reached that place, too, but he didn't. A down side to having a military person in a political position, I guess.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:09 PM on October 1, 2006

YouTube, via Raw Story.

I gave up on Powell after his cartoon show at the UN. I already new he was a corporation man after I learned of his My Lai whitewash; but, since he was the only one in the administration in whom I had the least shred of hope, I allowed that hope to live until then.
posted by taosbat at 12:37 PM on October 1, 2006

me too, taosbat--he knew he was lying, but went ahead and helped give legitimacy to all of this ongoing horror.
posted by amberglow at 1:53 PM on October 1, 2006

They Had a Plan, Time magazine, August 12, 2002:
In mid-July, Tenet sat down for a special meeting with Rice and aides. "George briefed Condi that there was going to be a major attack," says an official; another, who was present at the meeting, says Tenet broke out a huge wall chart ("They always have wall charts") with dozens of threats. Tenet couldn't rule out a domestic attack but thought it more likely that al-Qaeda would strike overseas.
After the final deputies' meeting on Clarke's draft of a presidential directive, on July 16, it wasn't easy to find a date for the Principals' Committee to look at the plan--the last stage before the paper went to Bush. "There was one meeting scheduled for August," says a senior official, "but too many principals were out of town." Eventually a date was picked: the principals would look at the draft on Sept. 4. That was about nine months after Clarke first put his plan on paper
posted by kirkaracha at 8:00 PM on October 1, 2006

Well, he knew he was lying about My Lai, too, amberglow. I was grasping at straws to hold onto a hope he'd turn out any different. Were any of the perps ever to stand trial, I should hope he would get a little something extra for his false face.

I wonder if this July 10, 2001, story will go anywhere:

October 1, 2006

Since release of the book, “State of Denial,” the White House and Ms. Rice have disputed major elements of Mr. Woodward’s account, with Ms. Rice insisting through spokesmen that there had been no such exchange in a private meeting with Mr. Tenet and that he had expressed none of the frustration attributed to him in Mr. Woodward’s book.

It really didn’t match Secretary Rice’s recollection of the meeting at all,” said Dan Bartlett, counselor to President Bush, in an interview on the CBS News program “Face the Nation.”

“It kind of left us scratching our heads because we don’t believe that’s an accurate account,” he said.

October 2, 2006

I don’t recall a so-called emergency meeting,” she continued, adding that “it was not unusual that George and I would meet, in a sense, unscheduled” in the White House, especially during such a tense period.

Ms. Rice said she had no specific recollection of meeting with Mr. Tenet and Mr. Black on July 10, 2001. Members of the commission that investigated the attacks of Sept. 11 and the events leading up to them have said they were never told of a special White House meeting held on that date, and have questioned in recent days whether information about such a meeting may have been intentionally withheld from the panel.

“We’ll have to go back to the records to see if there was a meeting” that day, Secretary Rice said.

My emphasis.
posted by taosbat at 9:44 AM on October 2, 2006

How could all those people have slept through a PowerPoint™ presentation?
posted by taosbat at 11:52 AM on October 3, 2006

COLBERT: Bring Back The Nixon Team
posted by homunculus at 5:43 PM on October 4, 2006

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