I think that ' s a fair ass essment. I was with him at U.S. Forces Command in Atlanta, and then I was with him in the four years that he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff . A nd something a lot of people don ' t know, I was also with him after that for about two and a half years as a private consultant when both he and I had left the Armed Forces, but before we joined the State department.
Rob Kall: So I have to ask you this , because when people ask me how I starte d my website " OpEdNews.com , ' I ha ve a pat answer. I watched Colin Powel l give his U.N. speech, and I said to myself, " this is B .S. I don ' t believe it ! ' And that inspired me to start my website.
Now I understand that it didn ' t make you very happy either. So I ' d I love to hear your perspective on what happened there. And I know you ' ve talked about it before, but can you indulge me and talk a bit about it now?
I think it ' s wonderful that there has been a positive development of that presentation , [laughing with Rob] what you ' ve just told me. A s I ' ve said many times before, it will go down in my history book as the lowest point in my professional and personal life. N ot trying to rationalize or make excuses, but the Secretary of State ha s very little to go on in terms of, depending or not depending on intelligence, other than the advi ce of those at the top of the hundred billion dollar plus [<$100B] now intelligence world. In the case of that presentation, there was George Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence, and even more importantly and often overlooked, his Dep uty, John McL aughlin, who was an intelligence professional unlike George. George is a politician . He ' d worked in intelligence on the hill and elsewhere , but really a politician. John McLaughlin was the quintessential professional, thirty years in the C.I.A.
So these are the two people who are advising Powell, and by extension, me , as we develop this presentation. And I can only say , that after much research, much of it done by my students at both the Honors Program at the George Washington University, and at William and Mary over these past eight years, I ' ve come to the conclusion that both of those individuals lied to the Secretary of State of the United States . And that ' s " that ' s the ' pit ,' if you will, that ' s the ' abyss' explanation. There are other factors at work here, everything from " G roupthink ' psychology to, as one individual said to me, "W e know he ' s got weapons of mass destruction. When we get there, we ' re find them. It doesn ' t make any difference what the details are now, right or wrong. When we get there, we ' ll find them! ' There was a lot of that, too. So , the thing that worries me most, the thing that, as I said, is the Nadir of all this, is the fact that the D.C.I. and the Deputy D.C.I. clearly lied to the Secretary of State . And to me! ..B cause I was there putting it together for the Secretary of State .
Rob Kall: Now, Cheney was involved in this, too?
Cheney was, as Shirley Ann Warshaw at Gett ysburg University , has said in her book, " Co-President ' . I would go beyond that and even say that he was President f or many national security issues, especially in that first term before President Bush began to understand what Cheney was doing to him, fired Donald Rumsfeld in November 2006, and began to back away from Cheney. But in those first four years, Cheney made many of the decisions , both domestic and international, that the administration got the blame for or the credit for.
And Cheney was the lead architect of the false intelligence. And whether or not the Vice President , you know, let his, as we say in the military, his rear - end overload his mouth, and really believe that Saddam Hussein had WMD, or he was just flat out lying too. I can ' t c rawl in his head and say. I can guess that he sort of had this attitude, " He ' s got them ! He ' s mean ! He ' s awful ! He ' s evil ! And I don ' t care what we say to get rid of him. I ' ll say anything to get rid of him ! " That was sort of Dick Cheney ' s motto, I think , s o " F or a professional like me, both military and diplomat ( short time that I had as a diplomat), it ' s very disconcerting to know that three hundred plus million people [<300M] can be taken into a bloody and ultimately unsuccessful, and ultimately killing three or four hundred thousand [3-400k] people, war, on such flimsy evidence as that which we presented at New York in February of 2003.
Rob Kall: Are you still friends with Colin Powell? Do you still have a good relationship with him?
Uh I think it ' s fair to say that it ' s sort of like Jefferson [Thomas] and Adams [John] , if you ' re familiar with that relationship after they fell out? Maybe it ' s not quite as bitter , but we don ' t talk to each other much anymore.
Rob Kall: Okay. Yeah, i t ' s very frightening to think that the C.I.A would lie to the Secretary of State . And , do you think this happens regularly , or often enough, so we ought to be concerned that the C.I.A . cannot be trusted ? That anybody, whether it ' s the Vice President or the President, can get the C.I.A. to lie ?