powell speech

Colin Powell’s speech, which had been promised to be an “Adlai Stevenson moment” can be read here.
So is it a smoking gun? I’m not convinced.
Powell’s claim is that Iraq is hiding weapons, and he showed some pictures and presented intercepts. That’s great material to give to the inspectors, who under the aegis of the UN, can go verify them on the ground. At the moment, Iraq does not seem to represent as much of a clear and present danger because if there are weapons and if they are hidden, they would be very tough to deploy. So what is the rush for a pre-emptive war? And if the Administration has known all this about Iraq, why didn’t it come forward with them before September of 2002 (a conveniently close moment to the mid-term elections) and, crucially, why hasn’t it alerted the inspectors about this intelligence so that they could verify the claims? The lack of hard evidence seems to indicate not cageyness but lack of hard evidence.


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