Powell Comes Clean on WMDs

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Robert Scheer recounts a recent conversation with Colin Powell, during which Powell admitted that neither he, nor top government officials, ever perceived Iraq as a nuclear threat. When asked why the President disregarded the State Department’s conclusion to this effect, Powell responded that “the CIA was pushing the aluminum tube argument heavily and Cheney went with that instead of what our guys wrote.”

According to Scheer, Powell affirmed that the President’s State of the Union reference to Iraq’s quest for uranium from Niger “was a big mistake.” Adding, “it should never have been in the speech. I didn’t need Wilson to tell me that there wasn’t a Niger connection. He didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. I never believed it.” Powell continued that it wasn’t the President that wanted to premise the war on nuclear threat, but “all Cheney.”

As Scheer points out, it’s convenient for Powell to place the burden to Cheney and remain a Bush loyalist. “But it begs the question,” he writes, “of how the president came to be a captive of his vice president’s fantasies.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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