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Old 04-19-2004, 09:18 AM   #1
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Powell Overborad

It broke my heart to see Powell just marching time like a loyal soldier, towing a line he clearly didn't agree with. Looks like the end of his term (as it appears) as Sec. of State is letting him be him again. Man, if he'd run in 1999/2000, I doubt if the Republicans would have put Bush up as their man. Powell would have acutally won the election.

Here's the NY Times article

April 19, 2004
Airing of Powell's Misgivings Tests Ties in the Cabinet
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN

ASHINGTON, April 18 For more than a year, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and his aides have tacitly acknowledged that he was concerned before the war about what could go wrong once American forces captured Iraq.

But Mr. Powell's apparent decision to lay out his misgivings even more explicitly to the journalist Bob Woodward for a book has jolted the White House and aggravated long-festering tensions in the Bush cabinet. Moreover, some officials said, the book has created problems for the secretary inside the administration just as the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and President Bush is plunging into his re-election drive.

Mr. Powell has not acknowledged that he cooperated with Mr. Woodward, but the book presents the secretary's reservations in such detail that it leaves little doubt. A spokesman for Mr. Powell said again Sunday that he would not comment on the book, "Plan of Attack."

Critics of Mr. Powell in the hawkish wing of the administration said they were startled by what they saw as his self-serving decision to help fill out a portrait that enhances his reputation as a farsighted analyst, perhaps at the expense of Mr. Bush. Several said the book guaranteed what they expected anyway, that Mr. Powell will not stay as secretary if Mr. Bush is re-elected.

The view expressed Sunday by people in the administration that Mr. Bush comes across as sober-minded and resolute in the book, asking for contingency plans for a war early on but not deciding to wage one until the last minute, saves Mr. Powell from any immediate difficulties that might grow from seeming to betray his confidential relationship to a president who prizes loyalty, several officials said.

"Look, a lot of people have been struck by the degree to which Secretary Powell is using this book as an opportunity to be fair to clarify his position on the issues," said an official. "But what this book does is muddy the water internally, which is very unfortunate and unhelpful."

Another official, who like others declined to be identified because of the political sensitivity of their criticism, accused Mr. Powell of having a habit of distancing himself from policies when they go wrong. "It's such a soap opera with him," this official said.

Democrats seized on Mr. Powell's portrayal, saying it would give them ammunition to criticize the administration for going to war without broad international backing or adequate planning for an occupation.

Throughout the day Sunday, Senator John Kerry brought up the Woodward book, mentioning it twice in his interview on "Meet the Press" on NBC and once at an outdoor rally at the University of Miami.

"Here we have a book by a reputable writer," Mr. Kerry told several thousand students at the afternoon campus rally. "We learn that the president even misled members of his own administration."

Asked if material in Mr. Woodward's book would be grist for his party, Jano Cabrera, the spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said in an interview: "Absolutely. It's one thing for us to assert it. It's another thing for it to be stated as fact by his secretary of state."

And Steve Murphy, who managed the presidential campaign of Representative Richard A. Gephardt, said: "The strongest criticism of Bush is that he did not have a plan for the aftermath of the war. And that was exactly what Powell was pointing out to him. He is a credible source. This intensifies the backdrop between Bush and Kerry."

People close to Mr. Powell said Sunday that they had no doubt he would weather any criticism from within over his apparent cooperation with Mr. Woodward, an assistant managing editor at The Washington Post. Polls show that he is one of the most popular and best-known figures in government. The people close to him note that most people following the situation closely knew that he had misgivings about the war.

"Is the secretary going to be undercut for having been right?" asked an official close to Mr. Powell. "I don't think so. Undercut compared to who? Donald Rumsfeld? Dick Cheney? These are people who have some real problems right now. They're not reading Bob Woodward's book. They're reading the dispatches from the field."

Other officials close to Mr. Powell say his strained relations with Mr. Rumsfeld, the defense secretary, and Vice President Cheney are common currency among Washington insiders, though they say the suggestion that Mr. Cheney and Mr. Powell are barely on speaking terms is highly exaggerated.

"I don't think there will be much change in his dealings with Cheney and Rumsfeld," said one person close to Mr. Powell. "People already thought it was this bad. It doesn't change things for them to find out that it really was. They know how to deal with each other, and they've been through quite a bit together."

When asked on "Fox News Sunday" about Mr. Woodward's contention that Mr. Cheney and Mr. Powell are so distant on policy matters that they do not talk, Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, described the men's relationship as "friendly."

"I can tell you," she said, "I've had lunch on a number of occasions with Vice President Cheney and with Colin Powell, and they are more than on speaking terms. They're friendly."

But another official said Mr. Powell's dealings internally with Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld especially had made life difficult for people inside the administration.

"The day-to-day nattering of the Defense Department trying to take over the business of diplomacy at every level, it's just difficult to be on the inside," said an administration official who defends Mr. Powell's actions. "Every day is difficult. The byplay at the meetings is difficult."

Mr. Powell's standing around the world was less easy to measure this weekend. But a European diplomat said he thought the secretary's standing in Europe especially would only be enhanced because he would be seen as sharing the view of many there that the administration had been overly optimistic about subduing dissidents in Iraq.

For the people long familiar with Mr. Powell's thinking, his misgivings about an American occupation of Iraq, and his insistence on getting full international backing for American actions, goes back many years. So, they note, does his fighting with Mr. Cheney.

For example, Mr. Powell's memoir, "My American Journey," published in 1995 after he retired as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that he had opposed a final push to oust Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Persian Gulf war on the ground that an occupation would provoke a counterinsurgency and criticism among Americans.

In addition, many accounts of the planning for the first gulf war say that Mr. Cheney, then secretary of defense, opposed going to the United Nations or Congress for backing to remove Iraq from Kuwait, fearing that failure would weaken the first President Bush's administration's ability to go to war.

In 2002, Mr. Cheney was openly disdainful of Mr. Powell's insistence on getting approval of the United Nations Security Council before going to war, spreading consternation at the State Department. Mr. Powell won that argument, and President Bush authorized a bid to get a Security Council resolution supporting war.

Mr. Powell's memoir also recalls an exchange in the early 1990's, in which Mr. Powell accused Mr. Cheney jokingly, he insisted of being surrounded by "right-wing nuts like you." In the last year, the Woodward book says, Mr. Powell referred privately to the civilian conservatives in the Pentagon loyal to Mr. Cheney as the Gestapo.

The Woodward book also attributes to Mr. Powell the belief that although he had misgivings about going to war, it was his obligation to support the president once Mr. Bush decided to do so.

Mr. Bush told Mr. Woodward that he did not ask the secretary's opinion on whether to go to war because he thought he knew what that opinion would be: "no."

But a senior aide to Mr. Powell asserted this weekend that the secretary was not as opposed to war as some people presume, no matter what the implications in the book.

"The portrait of Powell in the Woodward book is pretty consistent with what everybody knows," the official said. "We were with the president if we had to do this. We set up an exit ramp for Saddam, and he didn't take it. Powell in the end was very comfortable knowing that."


Adam Nagourney contributed reporting from Washington for this article and Jodi Wilgoren from Miami.
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:48 AM   #2
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Interesting, Powell seemed to be one of the biggest reasons for a lot of people to give support to this adventure. The future of this administration is getting less certain each day. Can't really say that it makes me sad.
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:27 AM   #3
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The wrong Republican got the nomination in 2000. They could have saved themselves alot of heartburn if they'd nominated either Powell or McCain. Just my purple tuppence's worth.
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:02 PM   #4
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Originally posted by verte76
The wrong Republican got the nomination in 2000. They could have saved themselves alot of heartburn if they'd nominated either Powell or McCain. Just my purple tuppence's worth.

I agree, the power brokers in the party anointed W because they knew they could write their own agenda with him.


Does anybody remember the V P selection process?
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Old 04-19-2004, 04:11 PM   #5
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Originally posted by deep



I agree, the power brokers in the party anointed W because they knew they could write their own agenda with him.


Does anybody remember the V P selection process?
What makes a better canidate than a puppet with a famous last name?
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Old 04-19-2004, 05:39 PM   #6
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How about hearing what POWELL has to say about this instead of taking Woodward and his inaccurate books word for it.


Powell Denies He Was Out of Loop on Iraq

55 minutes ago Add White House - AP Cabinet & State to My Yahoo!


By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON - Denying he was out of the loop or hesitant about taking on Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said Monday he was committed to President Bush (news - web sites)'s war plan in the event diplomacy failed at the United Nations (news - web sites) last year.


"I was as committed as anyone else to seeing an end to this regime, the destruction of this regime that put people in mass graves," Powell told The Associated Press in an interview.


Disputing an account by Bob Woodward in a new book, "Plan of Attack," Powell said Bush and all his national security advisers had agreed in August 2002 to ask the U.N. Security Council to seek a peaceful resolution and to go to war if the effort failed.


Powell dismissed Woodward's suggestion that Bush already had made up his mind by Jan. 11 last year to go to war against Iraq (news - web sites) and that Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar, had been informed of the decision that day.


Asserting that the final decision did not come until March, Powell said he was "intimately familiar with the plan and I was aware that Prince Bandar was being briefed on the plan."


"I knew as much as anybody," Powell said.


Asked about Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) Woodward wrote that the two were barely on speaking terms Powell described the relationship as excellent.


On another subject, Powell said one or two countries may follow Spain's lead and withdraw its troops from Iraq. He said he expected the United Nations to approve a resolution on peacekeeping before the end of the U.S. occupation June 30.


And, on the Middle East, Powell said the Palestinians should seize the opportunity of a promised Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and part of the West Bank. He said Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia was being undercut by Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) as predecessor Abu Mazzen had been before resigning.
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:15 PM   #7
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Dude, he HAS to dispute it, it's an election year. We'll find out how much he really hates Bush after they're out of office. watch.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:21 AM   #8
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Dude, he HAS to dispute it, it's an election year. We'll find out how much he really hates Bush after they're out of office. watch.
He does not have to dispute ANYTHING! In fact, he does not have to serve another day. He could resign anytime he likes if all this rubbish were true. Powell did not have to serve in the Bush administration and could have left anytime he wanted. If there was a major dispute over policy, that is what would have happened.

It is Powell idea's that the administration has followed. It was Powell that set the course on Iraq with the President going to the UN in September 2002. Powell is the one person primarily responsible for UN Security Council Resolution 1441 that authorized member states of the UN to use military force to enforce the resolutions if Saddam failed his "one last chance to comply". This resolution was passed by the Security Council by a 15-0 vote.

Powell has served multiple Republican administrations from Reagan, to Bush Sr, to Bush Jr.. Powell and Cheney worked extensively with each other from 1989 to 1993. Woodward had another book back in 1990/1991 that claimed multiple things that were not true and claimed of a rift between Powell and Cheney back then. Powell knew in 2000 that he would be working long hours with Cheney again if Bush got elected, and he did not seem to mind that at all.

Every administration has disagreements, and its unfortunate that Woodward takes some things that are second hand and out of context and constructs a picture that is simply inaccurate on many levels.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:41 PM   #9
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Sting, I certainly appreciate your point about letting Powell speak for himself. But Mr B's got a point as well--he's in a very delicate situation. There are a lot of unknowns to be juggled. Will Bush win? If so, does Powell stay? Can he have more influence from the inside, where virtually everyone considers him a more moderate voice than Cheney and Rummy and Wolfie? Or does he jump ship and thus burn bridges? Lots for him to consider, and any of the above could possibly (though admittedly I can't prove this like math) be reasons for what he's say. There's a context you seem to be dismissing.

SD
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:52 PM   #10
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Republicans are loyal to the party to the end, and they'll sink their ship together, no matter the lies and/or incompetance. That's why I will find it difficult to ever vote Republican, because even the more liberal/moderate Republicans, at the end of the day, bow down to their incompetant, dim-witted leader.

But, to be fair, that is the nature of party politics for both the major political parties. The GOP would best be served by beating the Democrats at their own game by booting the Religious Right out of the party and by exercising fiscal restraint--and that means not playing politics-as-usual, by stopping all the wealthy tax cuts. Until then, I think our nation will continue to remain divided in very close elections.

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Old 04-20-2004, 07:12 PM   #11
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Sting, I certainly appreciate your point about letting Powell speak for himself. But Mr B's got a point as well--he's in a very delicate situation. There are a lot of unknowns to be juggled. Will Bush win? If so, does Powell stay? Can he have more influence from the inside, where virtually everyone considers him a more moderate voice than Cheney and Rummy and Wolfie? Or does he jump ship and thus burn bridges? Lots for him to consider, and any of the above could possibly (though admittedly I can't prove this like math) be reasons for what he's say. There's a context you seem to be dismissing.

SD
There is a history about Powell and his actions which are far more significant than words that get twisted a thousand times into God knows what. Look at his career and actions and who POWELL has CHOSEN to serve with. This is not the first time Powell has worked with the people in the Presidents inner circle. He knows them and their opinions well and has found his opinions to be closer to theirs than those who have served other administrations.

Powell turns the typical liberal stereotype of this administration on its head, so naturally some invent idea's that marginalize his role.

Lets all respect what Powell has just recently said instead of trying to weave a theory in order for it to still fit nicely with the conspiracy theory's about this administration.
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