Friday, February 11, 2011

Remembering Colin Powell's Lies

I noticed a couple of days ago that it was the anniversary of Colin Powell's disingenuous speech to the United Nations, laying out the Bush Administration's grounds for "believing" that Saddam Hussein was engaged in producing biological weapons.

I can still remember the point at which I realized that the content of this speech could not be trusted.  Actually, it isn't hard for me to remember, because it was during the speech itself.  Here are a couple of things that tipped me off, and which should have tipped off anyone with an IQ above 60:

First, let's look at a graphic which Mr. Powell presented:

Yes, this is a cartoon.  The Bush administration, via Powell, claimed the right to attack another country based on a cartoon.  This particular cartoon shows how, allegedly, a biological weapons production facility could be fitted inside a truck or a railroad car, if the facility consisted of a few featureless tanks and not much else. What in the name of God was this supposed to prove?  It does not provide one reason on earth to believe that a real biological weapons factory could fit inside a truck or railroad car.  All it does is allow Powell to make the absurd assertion that any large vehicle he has a picture of is some sort of diabolical weapons factory.  And that is what he did.  Here are a couple of pictures he showed to the U.N.:

Here we have two aerial photos of what appear to be industrial buildings, with some trucks outside.  One of the buildings is labeled "missile assembly building," and one "chemical munitions bunker."  Not one shred of evidence was presented to lead us to believe that these buildings, which could just as easily be diaper manufacturing plants, were actually what Powell claimed they were.  And we see a truck labeled "decontamination vehicle," with absolutely no reason to believe it is anything but an ordinary truck.  Other trucks are labeled "cargo truck," which we could have figured out for ourselves, and which are not really that sinister.

These photos were, in fact, obviously intended to remind people of the photos that President Kennedy presented, during the Cuban missile crisis.  Here's an example of one of those:

This photo at least has the advantage that you can clearly see things shaped like missiles.  And in fact they turned out to be missiles.  That's because Kennedy was telling the truth.  The things labelled "cargo truck" in Powell's presentation were, admittedly, cargo trucks.  But that's all we knew then, and it's all that we have ever known.  Creating an international incident over missiles eighty miles from our border was one thing; starting a war of aggression because the Iraqis posessed some cargo trucks is, really, not quite the same.

If Powell and the Bush administration had found any real evidence that Saddam was building biological weapons, they would have presented it to the U.N.  Their laughable collection of cartoons and utterly meaningless photos should have immediately tipped people off that they had no such evidence, and that their claims were deliberate falsehoods.

That's what I thought when I heard the speech.  Apparently, virtually no one in the country agreed with me, so Bush and Cheney were free to go and kill a million or so people, and involve our country in one of the biggest military disasters in history.

Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld and all the rest.  They went to war over this nonsense.  They murdered over it, they tortured over it, and they squandered the nation's wealth and destroyed its moral standing over it.  And not one of them has ever been held accountable.


magpie said...

I too remember that moment.
That "wait on.... all you've done is shown me a truck..." moment.

I remember saying the invasion will take 3 weeks and the occupation will take forever.

I remember saying "Wolfowitz is spinning fairytales. He's making Bush think the people in Baghdad will wave little stars and stripes and throw flowers when US troops make it in there".

I remember our prime minister said he hadn't made up his mind yet, and I knew it was a lie.

Vehicle-mounted Australian SAS entered Iraq on the night of March 18 2003 though as far as the world knew then, the first allied bombs did not fall on Iraq until the next day. Our people were working with the Pentagon on this as early as July 2002. The ADF began deployment in the Gulf from January 23 2003 but Parliament couldn't even debate whether Australia should participate until February 4.

Our Intelligence services told the conservative government of the day that "Iraq had a WMD program, but to a large part it represented a latent capability", and that government then turned around and said Iraq possessed STOCKPILES of ready-to-use WMD, which was a complete, conscious lie.

Dave Dubya said...

It’s starting to look like Bush was wrong when he said history will judge him long after he’s dead. His international travels are now restricted since he learned he couldn't go to Switzerland without facing protests demanding his arrest for war crimes. Now that the Shrub is out of his protective presidential bubble, maybe he’ll bump into some more judgment.

As long as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld walk as free men, there is no way the US can be considered a just and free democratic republic.

We are on the path to totalitarianism unless there comes some accountability. Obama with his shameful “looking forward” has now become part of the problem.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Cheney spoke at the CPAC meeting yesterday, and someone shouted out "WAR CRIMINAL!" --this in a GOP gathering to laud Cheney.

The Ex-Wiz said...

Love ya, baby!

I've been holding my breath until we see this absurdity covered seriously by the media.

And I'm almost totally blue.

Great essay!


Green Eagle said...

Thank you so much, Ex-Wiz, for your good words. I appreciate your encouragement, as I appreciate the input of all my commenters (well, most all of them, anyway.)

Ex-Wiz has a really well written blog of his own, which can be found at:

and which I intend to add to my blog list as soon as I can overcome my innate laziness.