Sunday, June 10, 2007

Liveblogging Powell on "Meet the Press"

Powell has characterized Iraq as a "civil war." Russert has asked him if Situation FUBAR is worth it, given the money and the loss of lives. Powell insists that there is no way to know as the war isn't over.

Dude? The war is over. It's not a war any more. It is an occupation.

The Iraqi security forces are not up and running and the government isn't functioning well; Powell acknowledges this. At least Powell acknowledges that it's the Iraqis' job, not America's. Tell that to Bushco.

Powell thinks "pulling out" is a bad idea. Dude, stop the "cut and run" crap. Nobody's talking about cut and run, OK.

Al Qaeda is described as "a small percentage of this overall problem" but a very important one.

He acknowledges that the Preznit is unhappy with the way has been handled. Powell did not, at the time, think the war was a mistake. He believes that the responsibility for the war lies with the Preznit.

Powell says that if he'd known that there were no WMDs in Iraq, "I would have had nothing to say to the UN." Without the "the weapons of mass destruction case," there would've been no valid justification for the war."

Powell's sure being mild-mannered and level-headed.

"I was not unaware" of the possible consequences of the Iraq war, he said.

Russert reminds him that nobody told the public that this could be a long-term war/occupation.

Powell: "I never used terms such as 'cakewalk.'" He adds that nobody realized that there would be an insurgency. He says there weren't enough troops to restore order.

Uh oh. They replayed the Colin's speech to the UN. Powell insists that he spent 5 days with the CIA going over intelligence. He says, that "we were making a statement of the facts as we knew them."

I wonder when Russert's going to ask him about Lawrence Wilkerson's statement that he and Powell took part in "a hoax on the American people."

A lot of talk about the aluminum tubes that were offered as proof and whether they could be used to make WMD's.

The CIA added that they realized some of the information in Powell's speech wasn't true. It was taken out by them but still magically ended up in Powell's speech.

Powell acknowledges that what they thought were mobile labs were not in fact mobile labs.

Side note: a colleague of yours truly suspects that Saddam hid the WMDs in Syria. I don't believe it. If they were in Syria, the US would know about this by now.

Powell doesn't know why the right information didn't get to him.

He does say that the case for war was based not just on the fact that Saddam was an evil dictator but on these supposed WMDs. Powell doesn't accept his responsibility for what happened. He says it rests with the Preznit, the intelligence community, and Congress.

Wilkerson's name comes up. Powell repeats that they went to war based on the intel that they had. Supposedly Alma felt Colin was used to promote the war. Colin does not agree. I imagine the dinner conversations are interesting.

You know, there is ample evidence that evidence was cherry picked. It's too bad Russert didn't really bring that up.

Powell thinks we're safer now "in terms of another 9/11 happening." Uh, I don't think so.

Gitmo comes up. Powell says it's "become a major problem" that affects how the world sees the USA. Powell would close Gitmo and move them to prisons in the USA. He would also get rid of military commissions and use established judicial procedures. Gitmo is being used by crazy dictators to justify their own crazy, evil behavior.

Gays in the military? Powell isn't sure that this is the right time to scrap "don't ask don't tell." But he also says gays should have "maximum access to all areas of society." He says the military should have "a different set of rules." Whatever that means. He doesn't know if it's "inevitable" that "don't ask don't tell" will be eliminated.

Barack's been talking to Powell for advice on foreign policy.

Can't wait until that transcript is available on the Web.

PS: I don't care about that new book about La Hill. I don't think La Hill is that interesting.