Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Colin Powell Skates Free on Torture

By       Message Robert Parry       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; , Add Tags  (less...)
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 5/25/09

Author 1553
Become a Fan
  (85 fans)
- Advertisement -

May 25, 2009


Copyrighted Image? DMCA

from flickr by dfarber

There is no one, it seems, that the U.S. mainstream news media loves more than Colin Powell, a "moderate" Republican who gives a careerist journalist the chance to do some smart positioning in the "center." But the truth about this retired four-star general is that he is the ultimate careerist.

- Advertisement -
That was apparent again during Powell's May 24 interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" as Powell juxtaposed himself as the reasonable Republican in contrast to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who vowed last week that there was "no middle ground" in the "war on terror."

The press coverage of Powell's CBS appearance focused on his reaffirmation of his membership in the Republican Party--after Cheney and talk show host Rush Limbaugh suggested that he should or had already left the party--and on Powell's reasonable talk about the GOP's need to be "more inclusive."

Given far less attention was Powell's disingenuous response to Bob Schieffer's question about the ex-Secretary of State's knowledge regarding "enhanced interrogation techniques," which the International Committee of the Red Cross and virtually all other objective observers say constituted torture.

- Advertisement -
Powell, who was a member of President George W. Bush's Principals Committee which oversaw the interrogation policies, claimed to have been kept mostly out of the loop. He asserted that he was "not privy" to the legal memos authorizing the abusive treatment.

"I think it was unfortunate but we had a system that kept that in a very compartmented manner," Powell said. "And so I was apart that these enhanced interrogation techniques were being considered. And they were judged not to be torture at the time."

Powell also repeated the all-purpose Cheney-Bush excuse for all manner of sins: "9/11."

"Facing the possibility of a 9/11, you had to give some--some flexibility to the CIA," Powell said. "It's easy now in the cold light of day to look back and say, you shouldn't have done any of that."

So what was it? Did Powell participate in the Principals Committee as it--according to some reports--"choreographed" the torture sessions or didn't he? Did he favor giving the CIA "some flexibility" or was he "apart"  from the abusive techniques, including the near-drowning of waterboarding, that he says "were judged not to be torture"?

For a Washington press corps that has been up in arms challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim that the CIA obscured key details of the harsh interrogations from congressional leaders, it was impressive to see how little skepticism was evinced by Powell's claim of ignorance from his seat on Bush's Principals Committee.

- Advertisement -
Powell deflected attention from his dubious torture explanation by boldly rejecting one of the new absurd "wedge" issues developed by the Republican Right, that it would be dangerous to bring accused terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay prison to the United States for trial or incarceration. But Powell then maneuvered himself back to the "center"  by also criticizing President Barack Obama's handling of the Guantanamo issue.

While saying that the Guantanamo prisoners could safely come to the United States, Powell faulted Obama for not moving faster on the prison closing and "frankly giving enough time to opponents of it to marshal their forces as to why we shouldn't do this."

Glass-House Stone Throwing

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
(more...)
 

Robert Parry Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The CIA/Likud Sinking of Jimmy Carter

What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?

Ron Paul's Appalling World View

Ronald Reagan: Worst President Ever?

The Disappearance of Keith Olbermann

A Perjurer on the US Supreme Court