General Powell said that he had “never seen evidence to suggest” a connection between the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the regime of Saddam Hussein, unlike Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, who has made such a claim.
It was nice, for a while, to have a man of good character in the administration. He's obviously upset how he was duped. It's too bad he won't actually blame them.
Turning to his pre-war address to the UN Security Council, when he forcefully made the case for invasion and offered proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, General Powell said that he felt terrible about the claims he made. Asked whether the speech would tarnish his reputation, he replied: “Of course it will. It’s a blot. I’m the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and (it) will always be part of my record. It was painful. It’s painful now.”
General Powell, 68, did not blame George Tenet, the CIA’s Director at the time, for the misleading information, which included satellite photographs of trucks that he asserted were mobile biological weapons laboratories. Instead, he blamed lower-level intelligence analysts for not speaking out during the five days he pored over reports at the CIA as he prepared the speech.
He said: “George Tenet . . . believed what he was giving to me was accurate.” He added: “There were some good people in the intelligence community who knew at the time that some of these sources were not good and shouldn’t be relied upon, and they didn’t speak up. That devastated me.”