250. Powell’s presentation was not credible

With every passing day, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s “show” on Feb 5 in the UN Security Council is turning to be a farce. If it deserves an A on theatrics, on substance, however, it gets a D, which will rapidly become an F if more revelations surface.

First, the British government dossier that Powell profusely praised is not based on “intelligence material” but was taken from published academic articles, some of them several years old.  According to the Guardian, 4 of the 19 pages were copied “from the internet version of an article by Ibrahim al-Marashi which appeared in the Middle East Review of International Affairs last September… 6 more pages relies heavily on articles that appeared in Jane’s Intelligence Review in 1997 and last November.” Whether Powell didn’t know or didn’t want to reveal this plagiarism is indicative of the deceptive mentality this administration has.

 Second, in his presentation, Powell referred to a poison and explosive training center camp located in northeastern Iraq. According to the Associated Press: “journalists who visited the site depicted in Powell’s satellite photo found a half-built compound filled with heavily armed Kurdish men, video equipment and children but no obvious sign of chemical weapons manufacturing.” Not only was the information provided inaccurate, but this supposedly dangerous center is located, by Powell’s own words, “outside Saddam Hussein’s controlled Iraq” and run by his enemies.

Much more can be said about Powell’s presentation; suffice it to say that by giving half-baked information he discredited himself and the administration.

February 11, 2003