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Posts Tagged ‘Colin Powell’

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Biden’s Ukrainian Albatross

Posted by M. C. on January 24, 2022

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/january/23/bidens-ukrainian-albatross/

Written by Daniel McAdams

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell is given credit for popularizing the “Pottery Barn” rule of foreign policy. Though he denies using that exact phrase, in arguing against what became the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq Powell made the point that, as in Pottery Barn, “if you break it, you own it.”

Bush and his neocons – ironically with the help of Colin Powell himself – did indeed break Iraq and the American people as a result “owned” Iraq for the subsequent 22 years (and counting). It was an idiotic war and, as the late former NSA chief Gen. Bill Odom predicted, turned out to be “the greatest strategic disaster in American history.”

Attacking and destroying Iraq – and executing its leader – not only had no value in any conceivable manner to the United States, it had negative value. In taking responsibility for Iraq’s future, the US government obligated the American people to pick up the tab for a million ransacked Pottery Barns.

There was no way out. Only constant maneuvering and manipulation to desperately demonstrate the impossible –  that the move had any value or even made any sense.

So it is with Ukraine. In 2014 the Obama/Biden Administration managed to finish what Bush’s neocons started a decade before. With the US-backed overthrow of the Ukrainian government that year, the US came to “own” what no one in their right mind would ever seek: an economic basket case of a country with a political/business class whose corruption is the stuff of legend.

Rather than admit what a colossal blunder the whole thing had been, the US foreign policy establishment doubled down.

“Oh, this might be a neat tool to overthrow our own election: let’s pretend Trump is Putin’s agent!”

In fact Trump was impeached because a certain Col. Alexander Vindman – himself of Ukrainian origin and doing the bidding of a Ukrainian government installed by Washington – solemnly testified to Adam Schiff and his Democrat colleagues in charge of the House that Trump was clearly Putin’s puppet because his lack of enthusiasm for continuing to “own” Ukraine went against “the Inter-Agency Consensus.”

We “own” Ukraine and there is no way back – at least if the US foreign policy establishment has its way.

That is why our hapless State Department today continues to peddle the fiction that Russia is about to invade – and thus “own” – Ukraine. US foreign policy is one of projection: accuse your rivals of doing what you yourself are doing. No sane country would want to “own” Ukraine. Except the Beltway Think Tank class, thoroughly infused with military-industrial complex money.

That is why the US government, though its Embassy in Kiev, is bragging about the arrival of $200 million in lethal aid, all pointed directly at Russia.

That is why the US State Department is maintaining the fiction that Russia is about to launch a ground war to occupy Ukraine by dramatically announcing an “evacuation” of all “non-essential personnel” from its Embassy in Kiev.

It’s just too bad that we don’t share the opinion of who are really “non-essential” State Department personnel in Kiev: the last person out could be asked to turn off the lights.

By overthrowing an elected government in Kiev in 2014, the US government disenfranchised millions of voters in eastern Ukraine who voted for the overthrown president. Those voters unsurprisingly came to view the US-installed regime as illegitimate and sought self-rule under the concept of self-determination. As ethnic Russians, many of these successfully sought Russian passports.

Russia has been clear for a long time about Ukraine: it will not allow an armed invasion of eastern Ukraine that would result in the deaths of thousands of Russian citizens. Were the shoe on the other foot, the US – and any country – could be expected to react the same way.

The US is nearly the last country on earth that still holds to the WWII-era concept of war for territorial gain. Russia wants to “own” Ukraine like most people want to “own” a 2003 Saturn. That is why despite neocon/neo-liberal hype, magnified by the lock-step US media, Russia is not about to invade Ukraine.

This fantasy is being pushed by those who desperately need to continue to gin up enthusiasm for a thoroughly idiotic and counterproductive imperial enterprise.

Biden while vice president sowed the regime change winds in Ukraine. Now his inept Administration will reap the whirlwind of that continuing train wreck and eventual dissolution of the country. No matter what Antony Blinken peddles to the contrary.

Even the comedian Zelensky knows this is a really bad joke.


Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Fully Vaccinated Former SecState Colin Powell Dies From COVID Complications | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on October 19, 2021

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/former-secstate-colin-powell-dies-covid-complications

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Colin Powell, the first Black US secretary of state , has died from complications from COVID-19, his family said on Facebook.

“General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from COVID-19,” read a statement posted to his official Facebook page.

He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”

Powell’s leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st.

As CNN reports, his national popularity soared in the aftermath of the US-led coalition victory during the Gulf War, and for a time in the mid-90s, he was considered a leading contender to become the first Black President of the United States. But his reputation would be forever stained when, as George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, he pushed faulty intelligence before the United Nations to advocate for the Iraq War, which he would later call a “blot” on his record.

He was 84.

Former president Bush has issued a statement:

Of course, what the MSM wants to know is – had he received his booster?

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The 2001 Anthrax Deception – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on October 5, 2021

This tactic was quickly seen to backfire for when thoroughly analyzed the strain of anthrax used was found, egads!, to have come from US government labs. Shocking.

https://off-guardian.org/2019/07/20/the-2001-anthrax-deception/

Antony C. Black

If the notion that, ‘truth always lies 180 degrees opposite to the direction pointed by the corporate media’ is not yet a modern maxim, it should be. A useful corollary might be added to the effect that, ‘the depth to which an event is consigned to the establishment memory hole is inversely related to its actual significance’.

Such an event is the occasion of the October, 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, for coming close upon the heels of those of 9/11, the anthrax attacks of early October seemed to stamp with the imprimatur of destiny itself the coming of a new age, a new ‘clash of civilizations’, and, of course, a new conflictual modality, ‘The Global War on Terror’. It is ironic then that barely a decade later the entire episode should be so completely forgotten as almost never to have happened.

So what did happen?

The bald facts – as detailed by author Graeme MacQueen – are these:

From early October until November 20, some twenty-two people became infected by anthrax spores contained in letters sent through the US public mail system. Of these five died. A number of letters containing the spores were sent to several major news organizations and two were sent to the offices of US Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy.

The US Administration immediately laid blame for the attacks at the door of Al Qaeda – and, significantly, Iraq, even though the latter had in no way been implicated in the 9/11 attacks themselves.

A number of crude ‘Islamic’ propaganda letters also accompanied some of the anthrax mailings. As it turned out, these proved so crude as to convince virtually no one, but rather as to suggest blatant fraud. Even more problematic was that the ordained authorities chose early on to push the notion that the spores had physical characteristics whose provenance could only be that of Iraq.

This tactic was quickly seen to backfire for when thoroughly analyzed the strain of anthrax used was found, egads!, to have come from US government labs. Shocking.

Needless to say, the Al Qaeda / Iraq motif was quietly dropped as was the heavy curtain of amnesia over the entire wayward affair. In 2010, just by way of tying up loose ends, a government anthrax vaccine researcher, one Dr. Bruce Ivins, was, after conveniently committing suicide, judged in absentia as the ‘lone wolf’ culprit. Case closed.

Well not quite.

In 2008, following Ivins’ death and under pressure from Congress, the FBI reluctantly asked the National Academy of Sciences to review its scientific methodology in the case.

The NSA, after hurdling multiple bureaucratic and technical obstacles placed in its way by the FBI, concluded (in 2011) that, far from being airtight, the case against Ivins was, in fact, built on a foundation of sand.

Thus, not only was Ivins’ alleged ‘deception’ of authorities strongly called into question, but so was the actual physical link between Ivins’ research and the anthrax spores used in the mailings. The NSA findings received reinforcement that same year from an unexpected source.

See the rest here

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The anti-war wing of both parties is dead

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2020

Each candidate has duly recited his lines about ending endless wars and can truthfully point to his opponent’s failure to do likewise. And whoever takes office in January can continue exactly that failure, probably without much political consequence. He can deplore his bombs and drop them too. Americans will remain preoccupied with more immediate domestic concerns; Washington will stay stuck in its interventionist consensus; and those endless wars will live up to their name.

https://news.yahoo.com/anti-war-wing-both-parties-195532097.html

Bonnie Kristian

Elect Joe Biden, former (Republican) Secretary of State Colin Powell said in his Democratic National Convention appearance Tuesday night, and he’ll “restore America’s leadership in the world.”

Powell’s comments were followed by a video touting Biden’s friendship with the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), another heavyweight GOP hawk. Meanwhile, there’s a pro-Biden super PAC of George W. Bush administration alumni, and Biden has racked up support from a who’s who of neoconservatives (Bill Kristol, Max Boot, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin), as commentators left and right have observed.

These alignments highlight an increasingly undeniable fact of American politics in 2020: The anti-war wing of both major parties is dead. Your presidential choice is between war and war. There’s no faction of Republicans or Democrats which combines real power with a durable, principled interest in turning American foreign policy away from global empire.

That’s not to say no one in major-party politics diverges from Washington’s standard-issue military interventionism. There’s Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) challenging Trump administration officials in Senate hearings and seeking to counter Trump’s more hawkish influences on the links. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has pushed for the U.S. to exit Yemen’s civil war and has slammed the administration’s January dalliance with executive warfare against Iran. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tries every year to rein in abuses of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has spent decades in lonely opposition to military adventurism. As a Democratic presidential candidate this past year, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was more interested in peace than the party establishment which has now twice rejected him as their standard-bearer.

I don’t mean to discount the good work of these and other comparatively anti-war legislators. It is not without effect. There’s some evidence, for example, that Paul steered Trump toward decreasing the U.S. military footprint in Syria. But neither should their ability to retain office confuse us into thinking they have more control over American foreign policy than they do.

The reality is these officials and anyone who agrees with them have little meaningful power on this issue — occasional influence, perhaps, but certainly not power than can be reliably wielded. Paul’s golf course chats with Trump may eke a win from time to time, but this is a lucky backchannel that can be dammed at any moment. It has no formal, institutional authority. This week’s handwringing at Foreign Policy about the supposed ascendancy of “isolationism” on left and right alike is absurd, the foreign policy version of Tucker Carlson’s bizarre claim of libertarian dominance of Washington. The main voices advocating greater restraint in American foreign affairs are not isolationist, and though they kick up quite a ruckus, they have little to no say over actual policy direction. How can anyone look at half a dozen wars and think we have an isolationism problem?

The Trump vs. Biden race only underlines this state of affairs. Neither will give us a foreign policy that can even plausibly be caricatured as isolationism, Trump’s inane protectionism notwithstanding.

The president pays occasional lip service to ending “endless wars” and prioritizing diplomacy (“the greatest deals,” in his parlance), but his better impulses are constantly overcome by his selfishness, short attention span, stupid militarism, and choice of counsel like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump has brought us closer to open conflict with China, squandered his chance for productive negotiations with North Korea, exacerbated tensions with Iran, and repeatedly recommitted to enabling Saudi war crimes. What few good foreign policy ideas he hits upon are almost always happenstance byproducts of service to his own political fortunes. He has yet to end a single war.

Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, are more conventional liberal interventionists than Trump, but the crucial assumption of intervention is same. There are a few points for war critics to like here, including Biden’s vehement opposition to the Obama-era surge in Afghanistan, Harris’s objection to U.S. involvement in Yemen, and their plan to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. Biden pledges he’ll “end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East,” but, like Trump, lacks a specific plan to do so. Biden has no apparent interest in Pentagon cuts, has hired some markedly hawkish advisers (are all those neocons going to stick around, too?), and is trying to out-hawk Trump on China. Certainly with Biden we can expect more multilateral diplomacy and fewer reckless tweets, but there’s little reason to think he’ll break the broader foreign policy patterns of the past 20 years.

From a purely political perspective, what’s curious about all this is the mutual foregoing of potential electoral gain. Restraint rhetoric is consistently popular — our last three presidents all campaigned on it to some degree — and public opinion is on a years-long trend toward wanting a smaller U.S. military role abroad, one more tailored to defending U.S. interests, narrowly conceived. You’d think one party or the other would espy an opportunity here.

Or perhaps both already have. Each candidate has duly recited his lines about ending endless wars and can truthfully point to his opponent’s failure to do likewise. And whoever takes office in January can continue exactly that failure, probably without much political consequence. He can deplore his bombs and drop them too. Americans will remain preoccupied with more immediate domestic concerns; Washington will stay stuck in its interventionist consensus; and those endless wars will live up to their name.

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RAY McGOVERN: Powell & Iraq—The Uses and Abuses of National Intelligence Estimates – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2020

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/18/ray-mcgovern-powell-iraq-the-uses-and-abuses-of-national-intelligence-estimates/

By Ray McGovern

The New York Times Magazine on Friday posted “Colin Powell Still Wants Answers,” a long article by Robert Draper to appear in Sunday’s edition. The article is based on Draper’s upcoming book, To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq.

Google Books calls it “the definitive, revelatory reckoning with arguably the most consequential decision in the history of American foreign policy.” I can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, Draper’s article focuses on then Secretary of State Powell and his UN speech of Feb. 5, 2003 and the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) upon which it is largely based. A lot of the detail will be new to most readers, not very much new to Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which had been established a month before. VIPS watched the speech, dissected it, and sent their verdict to President George W. Bush before close of business that same afternoon

We gave Powell a charitable grade of “C”, faulting him for, inter alia, not providing needed context and perspective. We should have flunked him outright.

Draper describes how, despite CIA’s strong effort to please, the “case” the agency made for war on Iraq, using such evidence as there was on weapons of mass destruction, was deemed not alarmist enough for Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration hawks.

Specifically, the hawks were dissatisfied with the evidence-light, but-alarmist (term of art used was “leaning forward”) Pentagon and White House briefings by CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin in late Dec. 2002 on WMD in Iraq. The hawks started to look elsewhere, since not all senior officials (including Powell) appeared to be “with the program.”

Draper reports that Powell ordered Carl Ford, director of the widely respected State Department Intelligence Unit (INR), to review the bidding regarding biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Ford’s analysts strongly disputed many of the key assertions from the usual suspects — particularly those coming from non-intelligence, war-friendly bureaucrats enlisted to support the war-lust proclivities of Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Powell’s chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, was also spending an inordinate amount of time batting away unsourced and dubious-sourced assertions from Cheney-ites, so Powell finally told Wilkerson to start drafting from scratch.

Here’s where it gets interesting; here is where a little history and inside-baseball intelligence experience comes in handy. Draper quotes Powell: “It was George Tenet who came to the rescue.”

CIA Director Tenet suggested basing a new draft on the National Intelligence Estimate of Oct. 1, 2002, “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction.” That had immense appeal to Tenet and others who had been co-opted into “leaning forward” to facilitate a Bush/Cheney war on Iraq. Indeed, one can assume it had appeal to most of those involved in Powell’s speech preparation, given that the Security Council briefing was but a handful of days away.

I have been referring to that NIE, advisedly, as The Whore of Babylon, wrong on every major accusation about WMD in Iraq. I speak from experience at the CIA as a former chair of National Intelligence Estimates. This one was prepared not to determine the truth, but rather to “justify” a preemptive war on Iraq, where there was nothing to preempt.

To their credit, State/INR analysts had expressed formal dissent from some of its main conclusions back in September 2002.

No, it is not possible that Powell could have been unaware of that. And it is not difficult to explain why Powell chose to spurn his own intelligence analysts, despite their relatively solid reputation. I will resist the temptation to guess at Powell’s motivation, even though I have had some considerable experience with him. Back in the day, we used to spend a few minutes comparing notes before my one-on-one morning briefings of his boss, Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, with The President’s Daily Brief.

I am not surprised, though, as Draper quotes Powell explaining his decision to stay in place as secretary of state and to do what he was told: “I knew I didn’t have any choice. He’s the President.” Draper adds that, “although Powell would not admit it, Bush’s request that he be the one to make the case against Hussein to the U.N. was enormously flattering. Cheney took a more direct approach: ‘The Vice President said to me: “You’re the most popular man in America. Do something with that popularity.””

The All-Purpose NIE on Iraqi WMD

Draper describes INR’s Director Ford as “heartsick” watching Powell on TV before the UN Security Council. Ford’s chagrin was widely shared among serious intelligence analysts — as well as by us alumni watching the prostitution of what had been our tell-it-like-it-is intelligence analysis profession. But there the National Intelligence Estimate was for plucking — an intelligence community-endorsed consensus already “on the books” — and with drafting time running out.

Admittedly, this would be a far cry from starting “from scratch.” Rather, it became a case of “garbage in, garbage out.” Draper names the intelligence garbagemen: CIA Director Tenet, his deputy McLaughlin, the chair of the NIE Robert Walpole, for example. They were out and out guilty of fixing the NIE in the first place and then its derivative that Powell briefed in open session to Security Council. No, these were not innocent mistakes. The intelligence was fraudulent from the get-go.

I am not making this up. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yankees Go Home – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 4, 2017

https://lewrockwell.com/2017/02/no_author/yankees-go-home/

The attitude was perfectly captured by a famous quip of former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Colin Powell, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff: “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”
I see that warmonger is getting herself back in the news. Like they say in the septic tank business…It always floats to the top.

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Remember When the Media Sold Us the Iraq WMD Lies? It’s Happening Again

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) Months before President George W. Bush’s speech on September 11, 2002, the New York Times reported at the time, White House officials confirmed the Bush administration had already been[planning its Iraq strategy] long before President Bush’s vacation in Texas” in August of that same year.

The strategy was to persuade the public and Congress that the United States and its allies should confront the “threat from Saddam Hussein.”

 The now infamous 9/11 anniversary speech — and the speech before the United Nations following the anniversary remarks — both stressed the importance of “[ridding] the world of terror.” But before speaking to the United Nations, Bush made the clearest case for war.

Claimingour principles and our security are challenged today by outlaw groups and regimes that accept no law of morality and have no limit to their violent ambitions,” Bush presented his case against Iraq, claiming Hussein had only “contempt for the United Nations … [claiming] it had no biological weapons.

Making the case that Iraq had a clandestine “weapons program … producing tens of thousands of litres of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs and aircraft spray tanks,” Bush and his administration sold the invasion of Iraq with lies. Read the rest of this entry »

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