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Colin Powell’s New Book Claims ‘No Debate on War with Iraq’
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A new book from former Secretary of State Colin Powell, ‘It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership,’ is due to be released on May 22. The book provides some information as to whether or not there was a debate in the administration of George W. Bush regarding going to war with Iraq. In one of the most interesting chapters, Powell discusses his speech to the United Nations in 2003, according to the Huffington Post, which received an advance copy of the book.

“By then, the President did not think war could be avoided,” Powell writes. “He had crossed the line in his own mind, even though the NSC [National Security Council] had never met — and never would meet — to discuss the decision.”

  
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At the time of the war, Condoleezza Rice was the head of the National Security Council, which advises the president on national security and foreign policy. In Bush’s memoir in 2010, he insisted that the invasion of Iraq was made after a long period of reflection and much reluctance. Powell suggests that there was not a decision-making process between the events of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, which was not related to the terrorist attacks.

In a 2007 memoir from George Tenet, the former CIA Director, he admitted that there was not much discussion about the war before it was launched.

“There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat,” he wrote. “And nor was there ever a significant discussion.”

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History shows that Bush wanted to remove Saddam Hussein from power for quite some time and tried to link 9/11 to Iraq just one day following the attacks on the country. The first bit of evidence came from the Downing Street Memos, which were published in 2005. Those memos came from British officials who were at talks in Washington in July of 2002. The letters said, “[m]ilitary action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

In 2010, the National Security Archives provided an analysis that said, “In contrast to an extensive record of planning for actual military operations, there is no record that President George W. Bush ever made a considered decision for war. All of the numerous White House and Pentagon meetings concerned moving the project forward, not whether a march into conflict was a proper course for the United States and its allies. Deliberations were instrumental to furthering the war project, not considerations of the basic course.”



In the book, Powell points to the office of Vice President Dick Cheney as the reason why he provided incorrect information about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

“It was a disaster. It was incoherent,” he writes in his book. “I learned later that Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, had authored the unusable presentation, not the NSC staff. And several years after that, I learned from Dr. Rice that the idea of using Libby had come from the Vice President, who had persuaded the President to have Libby, a lawyer, write the ‘case’ as a lawyer’s brief and not as an intelligence assessment.”



 

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