Colin Powell’s Unhappy Anniversary

Atrios notes that today marks four years since Colin Powell’s infamous presentation to the UN about Iraq’s WMD (he also provides some damning excerpts of newspaper columns from the time). Here’s a link to the entire presentation, with the text, slides, and video. And here’s CNN’s post-hoc debunking of the slew of misleading claims and outright falsehoods Powell peddled that day as the drum beat of war drew nearer.

I have a clear recollection of being a college student four years ago today watching Powell’s presentation on a laptop computer in my dorm room. I was skeptical at the time, but I really didn’t know what was true. Powell sure sounded convinced, and he was a guy who I still thought was decent and honorable in February 2003. My gut was telling me the administration was ginning up war, though I kept coming back to the idea that there had to be some good reason to do this if Colin Powell was on board.

The death of Colin Powell’s credibility

Even so, I remember asking my roommate about the satellite photos of the alleged weapons manufacturing sites and equipment, “How can he be sure that’s what that is?” A lot more healthy skepticism in America would’ve come in handy back then.


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