Believes Powell duped on weapons


In Sunday' paper a Bellingham reader seems to suggest that Colin Powell deliberately misinformed the American people as to extent of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq under Saddam Hussein when he spoke at the United Nations. Alluding to Powell's address to the U.N., the reader says that John Kerry has "Colin Powell-ed" us in his remarks at the State Department. Meaning, of course, that Powell lied to us then and that Kerry has done the same now.

I don't think that that is the case at all. If anyone was misinformed at the time of Powell's speech at the U.N., it was Powell himself. I think that it was Bush and his cronies who deliberately misinformed Colin Powell and that Powell's assessment of weapons in Iraq was the truth as far as he knew it to be. Was Powell naive? Maybe. Was he too trusting? Sure. I think Powell was duped by Bush and Cheney and Tenet and Rumsfeld just as the Congress, the American people and the eager-to-believe news media were.

Secretary of State Kerry is not being duped by his own administration. On the contrary, he knows as much about the situation in Syria as anyone in the Obama administration. Whether what they know is totally accurate remains to be seen, but I don't believe that there is a concerted effort to mislead as there was 10 years ago. If the Obama people wait for the United Nations report on the gas attack in Syria, then we can be pretty sure that the report is not an attempt by the Obama administration and John Kerry to "Colin Powell" us.

Gary Nelson


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