Colin Powell Speaks…

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…through a new biography by Wash Post reporter Karen DeYoung. Here's a snippet from the LA Times review by Tim Rutten:

Powell's version of events confirms what others have reported, that Cheney, Rumsfeld and their neoconservative aides arrived in Washington determined to find a reason to attack Saddam Hussein. According to DeYoung, "Powell's first official briefing on terrorism had taken place on December 20, 2000, even before he was sworn in as secretary of state. He had asked [counter-terrorism chief Richard A.] Clarke and his team—all still working under President Clinton at the time—to give him a full rundown on bin Laden. Intelligence had indicated that al-Qaeda was planning direct attacks against the United States and likely had sleeper cells already in place inside the country. After the inauguration, Cheney and [then national security advisor Condoleezza] Rice had received the same briefing."

Despite that, when the Cabinet's deputy secretaries first met, Paul D. Wolfowitz—Rumsfeld's assistant—"disputed Clarke's assessment of the al-Qaeda threat, suggesting that the more immediate terrorist danger to the United States came from Iraq."

Whole article here.

Via Arts & Letters Daily.

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  1. Which explains exactly why so many libertarians supported the war in Iraq.

    As we have long expected to find out, the Iraq threat was completely made up, Bin Laden was a real threat, and Libertarians are repub lap dogs, licking their masters hands.

    All hail Freedonia. May the small government admin of G Bush rule Amerika forever and save us from those dirty liburals.

  2. The real question in my mind is how did Powell go in to the UN with a straight face and give that speech. Do bush and cheney have pics of him with the proverbial dead girl or live boy (page)?

  3. Johnny, you’re a few years behind the times here at Hit and Run. It’s hard to find many enthusiastic supporters of the GOP and the war in Iraq on this forum these days. Once upon a time the situation was a bit different, but things have changed.

  4. Matt, Powell is a loyalist, as are most Libertarains, all that is republican is good. Lying only makes you more loyal. Libertarians used to assume that someone who works for the government automatically was suspect, now however libertarians make an exception: All politicians lie, except for those glorius small gov republicans. All hail Bush, and his small gov policies.

    I for one am really glad that Libertarians have unconditionaly supported the Republicans for the past two decades. I mean, is freedom really important?

    Not if you are a libertarian.

  5. Which explains exactly why so many libertarians supported the war in Iraq.

    As we have long expected to find out, the Iraq threat was completely made up, Bin Laden was a real threat, and Libertarians are repub lap dogs, licking their masters hands.

    All hail Freedonia. May the small government admin of G Bush rule Amerika forever and save us from those dirty liburals.

    I once heard of this funky little magazine, called Reason, which was libertarian AND extremely skeptical about both the Iraq war and Bush’s small government bona fides. But do tell, where can I find the real libertarians — the warmongering repub lap dogs?

  6. Yes thoreau, for you an exception.

    For the rest, as I used to comment as Skeptikos, until I realized that Libertarians were the true surrender monkeys, I remember all too well the part Libertarians have played in creating the present facist state of the United Soviets of Amerika.

    Luckily I have pretty good recall, and have been reading this board since it launched, so I well remember the complete support of all things republican (like the prolonged corpse blow job given the that great facist Reagan), that folks have given on this board.

    The question is not what people say now, it is what they have said all along. Sure, once repubs finally made us into the perfect big gov country, now Libertarians are making noise, but the time to notice the anti-liberty/pro-state policies of the republicns was before they destroyed the country, those who want to claim they don’t support Bush after the constitution was dismateled, but supported him as he did dismantle it, can kiss my ass. (which is 90% of the posters and editors here)

  7. Matt, Powell is a loyalist, as are most Libertarains

    Johnny…nice generalization. Now go run back under your mommy’s apron, will ya.

  8. Does upper-case L refer to the political party and lower-case l refer to the political philosophy, or are these being used interchangeably here?

    There oughta be a law…

  9. The real question in my mind is how did Powell go in to the UN with a straight face and give that speech.

    Small point, really. The above quote regarded ignoring the priority of dealing with bin laden in favor of looking for a reason to invade Iraq.

    By the time Powell was delivering his speech to the U.N. in Feb of 2003, 9/11 was well over and Afganistan well conquered (or so they thought). His speech at the U.N. largely focused on 2 areas:

    1: supected W.M.D.s, which lots of credible folks assumed they still had…

    2: and Iraq’s connection to Al Qaida…a more tenuous but highly trumpeted rationale in the runup to the war. Basically used as “guilding the lily” to help sell the war to folks on the fence.

    I suspect he was bullied into it as well.

    None of this speaks very well for the man, of course. But then the Bush administration is a classic case of a dysfuntional team in action.

  10. Really Chris?

    Maybe I read a different Reason. The one I read couldn’t get off their knees (in much the same way that Liberals can’t get off their knees in front of Clinton), because they were too enamored of the Repub/Conservative heros.

    To call any Reason coverage of republicans skeptical is a stretch.

  11. Johnny, you make some excellent points. Specifically how small-government types – libertarians, Libertarians and moderate, small guv republicans – allowed themselves (Yes, admit your willful ignorance) to be duped into supporting leaders obvious about saying one thing and doing quite the opposite.

    But calling our current country “fascist” is a bit of a stretch.

    I understand the thinking that drives my fellow hardcore libertarian and objectivist posters. And I won’t deny that in many ways our country feels and seems on the brink of sliding down the rabbit hole. But there are still many reasons to hope and this board is one of them.

  12. madpad,

    Is it now legal to have random roadblocks, a republican innovation?

    Is it now legal to hold an American citizen, captured on American soil, for no other reason than the prez says so?

    Is it now defacto practice to spy on any American without revealing that to any court?

    Do we fight wars having nothing to do with threats to the country, but ignore those countries that directly threaten us?

    If I look at spain, or italy as examples of facism, I don’t know how we cannot call this country, this brave Homeland, Facist.

    Can the police break into your house and shoot your dogs, push your children around and abuse you? (wasn’t it Nixon and Reagan who gave the greatest pushes to the drug war?)

    Can they review you, tap your phone, and track you because you disagree with them?

    What do you call that?

  13. Whether it was Iraq or the Balkans, Ron Paul spoke out against both based on traditional grounds of non-interventionism. Robert Higgs emphasized that if you want to expand the power of the federal government, warefare has been and always will be the way to go (http://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs47.html). Badnarik was against the Iraq intervention throughout his ’04 campaign. I see no lock-step march to war here.

  14. Johnny,

    First, I’ll admit that I wasn’t here when the Iraq debacle started. I’ve looked back at some of the archives, and I can see what you’re saying, although I’d wager that the folks here were more skeptical than the general population.

    However, I don’t see how you can say that the editors or commenters at Reason are currently Bush lap dogs. No, not everyone is running to the polls to scratch “D” all over the ballots, but the majority of comments I’ve read here lately have, indeed, been highly skeptical of the current administration.

    Personally, I think the nanny-conservatives (Bush included) are enemy #1 for libertarians. Sure, the liberals wanted our wallets, but the nanny-conservatives want our sex lives, uteruses (if you have one), phone records, bank records, the contents of our luggage, our religious and scientific beliefs — and yes, they also want our wallets just as badly as the libs, although nanny-conservatives take out loans in our names (and our childrens? names) instead of taxing us upfront.

  15. And this is why Powell is the most culpable of them all. He was supposed to be the voice of reason in the administration. I have no truck with his style of publicly being a team player, while working the agenda on the inside. But Powell showed up at the UN with a smoke and mirrors show, and toted water for the boss man. There comes a time when, if you can’t be part of the solution, you have to stop being part of the problem. Colin was the enabler of the neocons bloodlust. I’ll never forgive him for that.

  16. Chris, I see your point as well.

    But I still see that the majority of posters here, and editors, would surrender the constitution, and all personal liberties, if only we could get rid of social security.

    The majority of posters here would also excpet a trade between the freedom to travel and a different decision in Kelo (what I mean by this, is that the folks here would support a SCOTUS appointee, or at least not oppose them, even if they said we had no freedom except property).

    I fell out of sorts here when I wanted both a bill of rights and a different opinion on Kelo. When I was attacked because I supported the NRA and the ACLU. And I was resoundly mocked.

    Cause you know, those dirty liberals were the real threat. (and the nanny staters are a threat, but there are as many repubs that way as demos).

    I still assert that the “libertatian” cause in Amerika, has been been traded for a little attention from the repubs. Our birth rights were traded because “liberals” worried about old people (whether or not their policies were foolish), abandoning the bill of rights as Libertarians and libertarians have done, in exchange for the right to felate repubs, is, was and forever will be offensive.

    And it is exactly what the “L” and “l” of this board, this magazine, the research institute behind it, and CATO as well, have done.

  17. Is it now legal to have random roadblocks, a republican innovation?

    I don’t think so. It’s been with us a while. But the ramifications of being stopped have certainly gotten more dangerous under republicans

    Is it now legal to hold an American citizen, captured on American soil, for no other reason than the prez says so? This one’s still being battled out in the courts. So far the SCOTUS seems to be against it.

    Is it now defacto practice to spy on any American without revealing that to any court? Also still in play

    Do we fight wars having nothing to do with threats to the country, but ignore those countries that directly threaten us? We’re certainly doing that now but we’re unable to go after direct threats abecause we’re “bogged down” in Iraq. It’s as much an operation limitation as anything.

    Can the police break into your house and shoot your dogs, push your children around and abuse you? (wasn’t it Nixon and Reagan who gave the greatest pushes to the drug war?) No argument there.

    Can they review you, tap your phone, and track you because you disagree with them? also unsettling.

    Listen, I made it clear I don’t disagree with your issues. They’re serious and scary. But at this point, fascism they ain’t.

    1. We still have a free (more or less) press

    2. lot’s of folks can be (and are) highly critical of the adminstration on blogs, through articles and countless books with no fear of ramifications

    3. Public opinion is very much against the current administration and its tactics and the current fear being felt by Republicans of losing their jobs will likely force a reckoning.

    4. Fascism relies heavily on the power of a charismatic leader. I defy anyone to credibly accuse Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or Hastert of having charisma. They are among the most Charisma-deficient people ever to hold office in the U.S.

    5. Fascism also relies heavily on a highly-militarized populace as a solution to demoralizing poverty (usually created by previous wars – Germany post WWI, Spain post civil war). Our economy is doing rather well and people are less likely to join the military.

    I’m not saying you don’t have valid complaints…you do. And they may certainly be moving in the direction of repressive and liberty-defeating. But we’re not there yet.

  18. Wow, Johnny, you really haven’t changed since you were the subject of that book way back when.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060913401/reasonmagazinea-20/

    I see why they brought out the new book: Why Johnny Still Can’t Read.

  19. Johnny,
    Since I’ve been reading Reason I haven’t seen any uniform support of the war from the writers and editors. There have been one or two debates between the pro and con side but most of the articles that I remember seemed critical of the war; the majority of the articles anyway. And there’s mostly been criticism on Reason’s pages of the Bush presidency. I even remember one article titled something like, “Bush, the worst presidency in history?” As for the commenters, I don’t know about that. Maybe Reason commenters backed then tended to lean Republican, but I wouldn’t confuse commenters on a blog for a general libertarian opinion. For one thing, hasn’t the libertarian party itself been generally against the war? Certainly there are other libertarian mags and sites that have – Lew Rockwell, anti-war, etc. You’re just gleaning your info from a very small pool….oh, wait….you’re not a Sacha Baron Cohen character are you?…Ah man, we’ve been punked!

  20. Trolls. If there were a party that ran on an anti-trollish platform, I’d vote for it.

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