No Torture, No Exceptions


I have written before about the difficult decision Colin Powell and his team, including State Department Chief of Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, made when they decided to stay in the first George W. Bush administration in an effort to limit the order of magnitude of the strategic debacle imposed on the United States by the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal.
One of the elements of that debacle, we now know, was the authorization of torture. And another member of Colin Powell’s inner circle was Carl Ford Jr, who as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research not only objected to the Iraq intelligence but also helped stop the nomination of John Bolton, calling him publicly, a “Kiss-Up, Kick-Down Sort of Guy.”
Tomorrow at the New America Foundation, my colleague Peter Bergen will be moderating an event with Carl Ford, and Brigadier General Stephen Zenakis, MD, to help launch Washington Monthly‘s special issue on torture.
Among a bipartisan array of authors in the magazine’s special issue on torture are: Bob Barr, Rand Beers, Peter Bergen, Jimmy Carter, Wesley Clark, Chris Dodd, Richard Armitage, Carl Ford, Chuck Hagel, Gary Hart, John Kerry, Carl Levin, Richard Lugar, Nancy Pelosi, William Perry, Paul Pillar, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Ted Sorensen, and Lawrence Wilkerson.
I cannot be there tomorrow as I’ll be in New York and Philadelphia — but I know some Washington-based readers may be interested.
— Steve Clemons


7 comments on “No Torture, No Exceptions

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    Powell knew what he was getting into. He’s been a apologist since he was ever upon the political map.
    If he didn’t see Cheney as the boss, it’s even more damning.


  2. rapier says:

    Powell should have known the day Cheney selected himself VP that he, Powell, was going to be fighting at best a rear guard action against the crazies. He certainly knew already that Bush was a vulgar mouthed and shallow strutting popinjay.
    If he was deluded enough to think that he could essentially run Americas foreign policy for the disinterested Bush Cheney’s presence was a guarantee he wouldn’t. The only way to limit the damage was to abandon Bush before the election. If Powell would have just said I will not be part of a Bush administration Bush could not have won. Millions of Bush voters knew he was a dolt but figured “good advisers” a term endlessly repeated would make things OK and the good advisors term meant Powell.
    Powell was responsible for Bush’s election. Then the choice got harder. Continue to fight the rearguard and lose again and again, or quit. He didn’t have the guts to quit then. He sold out instead with his UN dog and pony show. He was a servile boot licker to the principal of loyalty. Loyalty to a fool.
    He was humiliated when the frat boys pretending to hold a cabinet meeting yucked it up over torture. Still he said nothing. To this day he has not spoken up against torture.
    Powell. Wilkerson and the like are the ones responsible for the mess, not Bush. For Bush should never have been President. When it was time to stand up they were good soldiers. Following orders as good soldiers do.
    It was no mistake that Powell remained silent back in I corp days after My Lay. Then again what other officer from those days has been given a Rolls by a Saudi prince?


  3. Kathleen says:

    There’s more than one way to be a prostitute and not having the courage to do the right thing when it counts is one of them.


  4. Doc Rock says:

    Powell had the example of Elliot Richardson, but chose to present intelligence (which he and his staff had reason to suspect) to the UN. His and his staffs’ objections in re torture may have been admirable, but his UN testimony sealed his (and their)legacy forever.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…… made when they decided to stay in the first George W. Bush administration in an effort to limit the order of magnitude of the strategic debacle imposed on the United States by the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal”
    Yeah, thats what Powell was doing when he fed the UN what he knew to be pure unmitigated horseshit. Uh huh. Yep. He was just tryin’ to “limit the order of magnitude of the strategic debacle imposed on the United States by the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal”
    Uh huh.


  6. DonS says:

    Its almost baiting, unless there is some very inside information, to credit Powell with anything but self serving rationalization. He’s no better, in his effect, than the rest of the cabal, if the record as presently available is read in any normal way. Perhaps he dissembles better. Its the “silent Germans” all over again.
    It seems arrogance of the first order to save for your memoirs the salient tidbits, if they exist, rather than provide information in the service of righting this sad sad nation. I’m not seeing him as much of a patriot, certainly not matching his advertisement.


  7. Dan O'Donnell says:

    Lawrence Wilkerson is being interviewed (tonight) by Ian Masters at the Hammer Museum in west Los Angeles. Steve, this is the same forum series you participated in several weeks ago.


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