Admits guilt: Thousands of people have died as a result of President Bush’s war of whim in Iraq. Now former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who leant his credibility to the campaign to convince the American public that Iraq was a threat that required neutralization, has admitted that the facts he presented to the United Nations were false.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday his prewar speech to the United Nations accusing Iraq of harboring weapons of mass destruction was a “blot” on his record.
“I’m the one who presented it to the world, and (it) will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It is painful now,” Powell said in an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC News.
The presentation by the soldier-diplomat to the world body in February 2003 lent considerable credibility to President Bush’s case against Iraq and for going to war to remove President Saddam Hussein.
In the speech, Powell said he had relied on information he received at Central Intelligence Agency briefings. He said Thursday that then-director George Tenet “believed what he was giving to me was accurate.”
But, Powell said, “the intelligence system did not work well.”
“There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at the time that some of those sources were not good, and shouldn’t be relied upon, and they didn’t speak up,” Powell said.
“That devastated me,” he said.