Colin Powell, for Good and Ill

 

Colin Powell, who died Oct. 18, 2021, was a good and honorable man in his personal life and the consummate bureaucratic warrior. While elevated to the highest appointed offices by Republican presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, Powell turned hard to the left, actively supporting the fundamental transformation of the constitutional republic he had sworn repeatedly to support and defend. Gen. Powell affected military-civilian relations in the early years after the end of the Cold War, helping shape the presidencies of both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. As President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, Powell first promoted the invasion of Iraq, then renounced the decision after leaving government. As secretary of state, Powell also helped the Democrats sabotage the Bush presidency and the early years of the global war on terror with the crooked special prosecution led by Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Powell twice endorsed and voted for Barack Obama, endorsed and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and supported and voted for Joe Biden in 2020, a fair indicator of his true long-term political beliefs.

A Good and Honorable Man in Military and Marriage

Powell commissioned into the U.S. Army through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at The City College of New York in 1958. It is worth pausing and reflecting on the dates. He signed up and served in the era of racial segregation. As a junior officer, Powell received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal over the course of two combat deployments to Vietnam. In 1962, Powell met Alma Johnson, married her, and was shipped off for his first Vietnam deployment. Their marriage survived two tours of Vietnam and the long struggle through the 1970s to rebuild the U.S. military on dilapidated military posts. By all accounts, theirs was a mutually faithful and devoted marriage of 60 years. In his field service and marriage, Powell was a good and honorable man.

Elevated by Presidents Reagan and Bush

President Reagan marked Powell for future political office, selecting the three-star general as his national security advisor, the same position held by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster under President Donald Trump. Powell had been the 5th Corps commander in West Germany when America had two heavy corps facing the Soviets across the Iron Curtain. He helped steady the Reagan administration during Iran-Contra.

Vice President Bush noticed Powell and, as president, had him elevated to the highest position in the uniformed military. Bush acted on the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. Gen. Powell was the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and symbolized the realization of President Harry S. Truman’s order to open all positions in the military to qualified personnel, without respect to race. Powell had lived the real experience of black officers from the late 1950s into the 1990s.

While CJCS, Powell enunciated the “Powell Doctrine,” arguably an extension of the (Caspar) Weinberger Doctrine. This was a political, rather than strictly military, doctrine and sought to restrain presidents from sending troops in harm’s way without a set of conditions that would almost guarantee quick victory and an “exit strategy.” Under the Powell Doctrine, as popularly expressed, we would never have won the West, unless we had kept a massive army after the Civil War and sent it marching west to quickly, completely destroy all the tribes from the Great Plains to the desert mountains of Arizona. We would not have held the Philippines after kicking out the Spanish, and the Kim regime would control the whole of the Korean Peninsula.

The Powell Doctrine sounded reasonable after the fall of the Soviet Union and seemed validated by Desert Storm. Yet, it was not a military doctrine designed to shape training, manning, and equipping. Instead, it was a doctrine, articulated by a uniformed military officer, to limit the options of the civilian leadership, constitutionally superior to the uniformed military. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has no command authority. Rather the CJCS is the most senior uniformed adviser to the secretary of defense and the president. So, it was reasonable for Powell to offer advice that became associated with his name. His advice was based in a fairly reasoned assessment of the world as it was, articulated in “U.S. Forces: Challenges Ahead.” However, it did little to guide the military, civilian leadership, and other executive agencies in addressing threats and conflicts short of all-out war.*

Political Warfare Against a President: Gen. Powell vs. President Clinton

Clinton ran as the first draft-ducking presidential candidate,** the first to express open contempt for the American military as a college student. Clinton’s contemporary, John Kerry, took the John F. Kennedy route, seeking glory in small boats away from senior officer close oversight, while Al Gore chose to enlist and deployed to Vietnam as an Army combat journalist. George W. Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard, like many prominent Texas families’ sons. He flew strategic air defense fighters from the comfort of home. Slick Willy maneuvered to avoid the draft, first with political friends fiddling with his draft file, then with a quick dip in and out of the ROTC, until he drew a draft lottery number too high to be picked. Clinton then wrote a truly foolish letter to the professor of military science who had agreed to take the weasel into the ROTC. This letter was rolled out by the Clinton campaign in 1999 as damage limitation.

Clinton ran in 1992 on a promise to legalize military service by homosexuals, the first presidential candidate to openly court gay and lesbian votes and donor dollars. He entered the White House and on Jan. 29, 1993, held a press conference announcing he directed the Department of Defense to staff and provide him an executive order allowing service by openly homosexual service members.

CJCS Gen. Powell, the most senior uniformed military adviser to the president, skillfully thwarted the will of Clinton and the imputed will of the American electorate that gave him an overwhelming Electoral College majority. Powell led the uniformed opposition, reinforcing congressional bipartisan objections in the relevant committees tied to the military-industrial complex. The resistance started with a Jan. 25, 1993, meeting on gays in the military between the Joint Chiefs and the president. As a result, in July 1993, Clinton announced a shift to what became known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which became law in 1994.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” meant that officials, from recruiters, to security investigators, to commanders, were prohibited to ask about sexual orientation. At the same time, anyone with same-sex attraction wishing to serve was required to remain entirely closeted in the environment of military life and service. Powell accepted and supported the DADT compromise in 1993. In 2010, Powell reversed position on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and advocated full, open service without regard to sexual orientation.

On his way out the door, at the end of his four-year tenure, Powell supported the Army position on adding M1A1 Abram tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the U.S. light infantry and special operations forces in Mogadishu, Somalia. Powell apparently took a position against the secretary of defense and the early policy direction of the new president, leaving a position on the record as he left while leaving out his colleagues and the Joint Staff. Powell retired days before the attempted special operations daytime raid on the leading Somali warlord of the time. Secretary Leslie Aspin ended up being the fall guy, resigning.

Aspin’s removal was very convenient for the Pentagon princes and the military-industrial complex. Remember that the big talk was about defense downsizing after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Consider the Department of Defense’s own words about Aspin and his replacement, William J. Perry.

Secretary Leslie Aspin

Aspin served as an adviser to Clinton on defense matters during the 1992 presidential campaign. Given Clinton’s lack of military experience and avoidance of service during the Vietnam War, appointment of a prominent and respected defense expert to head the Pentagon seemed desirable. Because of his leadership position in the House, Aspin’s views on defense issues were well known. He was skeptical about the Strategic Defense Initiative, and favored a smaller Navy, a cut in U.S. troops in Europe, and further reduction of military personnel strength. These positions, along with the assumption that Aspin would work toward a substantial cut in the Defense budget, worried the military. Defense industry leaders applauded Aspin’s selection because he favored maintaining a viable defense industrial base. Although questioned extensively, Aspin won easy confirmation in the Senate.

Secretary William J. Perry

He was director of the Electronic Defense Laboratories of Sylvania/GTE in California from 1954 to 1964, and from 1964 to 1977 president of ESL, Inc., an electronics firm that he helped found. From 1977 to 1981 Perry served as under secretary of defense for research and engineering, where he had responsibility for weapon systems procurement and research and development. Among other achievements, he was instrumental in the development of stealth aircraft technology.

On leaving the Pentagon in 1981 Perry became managing director until 1985 of Hambrecht and Quist, a San Francisco investment banking firm that specialized in high technology companies. Later in the 1980s and up to 1993, before returning to the Pentagon as deputy secretary of defense, he held positions as chairman of Technology Strategies Alliances, professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, and co-director of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Arms Control.

Perry’s selection was well received in the Pentagon, Congress, and the defense industry, and the Senate quickly confirmed his nomination; he was sworn in on 3 February 1994.

So, a veteran legislator with deep knowledge of defense policy was replaced with the ultimate military-industrial complex insider. Powell’s “I told you so” on the way out the door helped make this happen.

From Iran-Contra to the Plame Affair

Powell was called back into senior government service by George W. Bush, becoming the first black U.S. secretary of state in 2001. Where he had served under Secretary of Defense Cheney, Powell was now directly reporting to the president, with Vice President Cheney out of the line of authority. Once Powell sensed the changing tide in Washington, especially in the fourth branch of government and its permanent Democratic Party allies, Powell pulled a grand-master-level bureaucratic maneuver on Cheney, Bush, and the Republican Party. He did maximum damage on his way out, laying the ground for his final role as an enabler of the Obama wing’s fundamental transformation agenda.

The weapon of political destruction was another lawfare campaign, much more brazenly fraudulent than the Iran-Contra independent counsel’s would-be Watergate. Valerie Plame was a CIA Langley employee who, earlier in her career, had been a covert officer in Greece. In 2002, she was working in CIA headquarters as the manager of a project to try to catch up on recruiting assets in the Middle East who could give insights into weapons of mass destruction programs and threats in the region. Her husband, Joseph C. Wilson, helped the Democrats and deep state, at the Pentagon, the CIA, and the rest of the “IC,” to hobble the initially popular Bush initiative to take the fight to Islamist terrorists and their state sponsors.

Wilson published an op-ed in The New York Times on July 6, 2003, that revealed that he had been sent by the CIA to Niger to investigate the charge that Iraq had been trying to buy uranium in that impoverished African nation. Wilson wrote that his mission had been triggered by an inquiry to the CIA from Vice President Dick Cheney, who had read an intelligence report about the Niger allegation, and that he (Wilson) had reported back to the CIA that the charge was highly unlikely. Noting that President George W. Bush had referred to this allegation in his 2003 State of the Union speech, Wilson maintained that the administration had used a phoney claim to lead the country to war.

Robert Novak, a noted conservative columnist, started writing about Wilson and the bureaucratic war against the war. Someone told him Wilson’s wife was in the CIA and involved with WMD research, suggesting Wilson was doing the bidding of a CIA element that was looking to buy back credibility after the initial invasion of Iraq failed to uncover any obvious WMD program. Instead of Wilson being prosecuted, the Democrats and the deep state, including the DOJ, went after Novak’s sources with a vengeance. The pretense was that Plame was a real secret agent whose contacts’ lives were put at risk.

Patrick J. Fitzgerald was appointed special counsel and spent years carefully ignoring the real source of Novak’s story while relentlessly targeting staff of Cheney and Bush. In the end, after wrongfully jailing a journalist and coercing her to provide false evidence, Fitzgerald prosecuted Scooter Libby on process crimes, securing a conviction in a rabidly anti-Bush district.

Scooter Libby did not “out” CIA employee Valerie Plame. That was done by then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a critic of the conduct of the Iraq war. Mr. Armitage disclosed to columnist Robert Novak that Ms. Plame, who at the time held a desk job in the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division, urged the agency to send her husband, retired Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, to Africa in early 2002 to investigate whether Iraq had sought uranium. Presidential aide Karl Rove and then-CIA Director of Public Affairs Bill Harlow confirmed Mr. Armitage’s disclosure for Novak’s July 14, 2003, column. (Novak died in 2009.)

Mr. Fitzgerald didn’t charge anyone with leaking Ms. Plame’s identity or disclosing classified information to reporters. From the moment he took over the FBI leak investigation in December 2003, he knew that Mr. Armitage was the leaker but declined to prosecute him, Mr. Rove or Mr. Harlow because the disclosure of Ms. Plame’s identity wasn’t a crime and didn’t compromise national security.

[ . . . ]

Based on a review of public records made available to Mr. Libby’s legal team, the jury comprised 11 Democrats and a member of the Green Party. Given the severe flaws marking the testimony of Mr. Fitzgerald’s prosecution witnesses, the verdict raises the possibility that the jurors were incapable of evaluating the evidence in a dispassionate and impartial manner.

From the very beginning of the Plame controversy, Powell knew that his own man, Richard Armitage, was the source of the leak. Powell and Armitage kept silent so that the president would be weakened, limiting any further expansion of military action against the “axis of evil.” Powell saw Watergate take down one Republican president and was first called out of the ranks into political service when Democrats attempted to make it two for two, using Iran-Contra to take down Reagan. Now, Powell was in a position to stop a third attempt at the start, simply having his man make a public statement. Instead, he silently colluded with the Democrats and the deep state.

Fitzgerald knew from the beginning that Armitage was the source, yet he carefully avoided acting on this knowledge and did not target Powell. Indeed, the Department of Justice Criminal Division that first investigated the leak had already been contacted by Armitage, after he conferred with Powell.

After reading [Novak’s] October 1 column, Armitage called his boss and long-time friend, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and acknowledged he was Novak’s source. Powell, Armitage and William Taft IV, the State Department’s top lawyer, frantically conferred about what to do. As Taft told us (on the record), “We decided we were going to tell [the investigators] what we thought had happened.” Taft notified the criminal division of the Justice Department–which was then handling the investigation–and FBI agents interviewed Armitage the next day. In that interview, Armitage admitted he had told Novak about Wilson’s wife and her employment at the CIA.

So, Powell knew the truth from the very beginning. Yet, he failed to speak to Bush and failed to own up to his agency being the source of a typical Washington play. Armitage knew Plame’s name and knew Wilson was her husband. He had this knowledge because senior bureaucrats talk to each other. Armitage, Plame, and Wilson were all senior bureaucrats, and Armitage felt comfortable gossiping to a journalist about other bureaucrats, especially those in another agency. We know this about Armitage because he said he was “a terrible gossip” in grand jury testimony during the Iran-Contra investigation.

Turning Hard Left

Powell declined to run against Clinton in 1996, on the urging of his wife. She had been raised in the violently white supremacist, Democrat-controlled South, and feared Powell would be assassinated like Martin Luther King, Jr. Powell chose not to run for any office after leaving the George W. Bush administration. Instead, he lent his reputation to the left.

Powell twice voted for Obama. Powell endorsed Obama in 2008 over fellow Vietnam War veteran and Republican moderate John McCain, then endorsed Obama over Mitt Romney. He did so while promoting the Democrats’ line that the Republican Party had turned racist, angry, dark, bigoted. What about that “dark vein of intolerance?

In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Powell noted that there is a “dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party.”

“What do I mean by that?,” he explained. “What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.”

Powell specifically pointed to October 2012 comments by former Alaska Gov. and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin on the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

“When I see a former governor say that the president is ‘shuckin’ and jivin’ — that’s a racial-era slave term,” Powell said, referring to Palin’s words on Obama’s response.

Furthering Obama and the left’s race hustle, Powell called the George Zimmerman verdict “questionable.” He repeated the “dark vein of intolerance” smear in 2015. Beyond racial politics, Powell supported Obama’s Iran deal, lending his history and Reagan’s name to the hard-left deal:

Powell, now a retired Army general who was President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, said the deal recalled Reagan’s “trust-but-verify” motto when it came to dealing with the old Soviet Union.

“With respect to the Iranians, it’s don’t trust, never trust, and always verify,” Powell said. “And I think a very vigorous verification regime has been put in place.”

Taking it all together, Powell was a good and decent family man and soldier, and he was a skilled, ruthless bureaucratic warrior and a promoter of the Democratic Party’s hard-left lurch, starting with Obama.


* For a favorable, thoughtful assessment of the Powell Doctrine, see Dave Carter’s 2017 “Rethinking the Powell Doctrine.”

** George H.W. Bush had a good World War II service story, while his 1988 opponent, Michael Dukakis, volunteered for enlisted service in Korea, 1955-57, instead of attending Harvard Law School. Ronald Reagan did his stateside bit in uniform, as Walter Mondale did during the Korean War, and Jimmy Carter was a submariner, including on a first-in-class experimental design, the USS Barracuda (SSK-1). Gerald Ford volunteered for the Navy and for sea duty, seeing action in the Pacific during World War II. Richard Nixon, too, was a Navy man, seeing action in the Pacific, and defeated George McGovern, a heroic Army Air Force bomber pilot. Lyndon B. Johnson served in the Navy in the Pacific theater, while Barry Goldwater flew cargo on two extremely long routes, from the continental U.S. across Africa, to India. Of course, Nixon first lost to JFK, a small-boat Navy hero. Eisenhower twice beat Adlai Stevenson, who enlisted in the Navy in the closing months of World War I. Clinton ran and won twice against actual World War II heroes, George H.W. Bush and the stone-cold stud infantry hero Bob Dole.

Following World War II, only Republican Thomas Dewey and Democrat Hubert Humphrey had not put on their nation’s uniform. Dewey graduated high school after World War I ended and, 38 years old in 1940, was too old for the first World War II draft (ages 21-36). Humphrey was medically rejected for service in World War II by both the Navy and Army on the basis of colorblindness, hernia, and lung calcification, as he volunteered despite being married with children at the beginning of World War II.

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  1. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Great post Clifford.  I never could figure Powell’s support of Obama rather than backing McCain.  Supposedly, he was uncomfortable with McCain’s choice of Palin as VP but if he was that concerned with the GOP’s supposed lurch to the right, he should have left the party then and there.

    • #1
  2. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    • #2
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Yes, great post, and I think a lot of people have trouble with the idea that a leftist is still a leftist even if they have/had some military service in their background.  Military service doesn’t automatically make someone honorable.  Many people also tried to brush away McCain’s antics by pointing to his military service decades earlier.  And especially for the left, military service can easily be used deliberately as a shield.  Powell may not have started out that way, but I think he wound up dishonoring his service and it didn’t seem to be an accident.

    The Plame investigation stuff always reminds me of the movie “Nothing But The Truth” starring Kate Beckinsale, which I think more people should see.

    • #3
  4. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Great post Clifford. I never could figure Powell’s support of Obama rather than backing McCain. Supposedly, he was uncomfortable with McCain’s choice of Palin as VP but if he was that concerned with the GOP’s supposed lurch to the right, he should have left the party then and there.

    I  remember a carefully worded statement Powell made when he was accused of endorsing Obama just because he was Black.  He said something to the effect of “Well, if that were the only reason, then blah blah blah…”  I took that to mean that being Black was at least part of the reason he endorsed Obama.  He did not directly deny the accusation.

    • #4
  5. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil.  Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.  

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Ah but those people, maybe including Powell, thought there WOULD be a cost.  Maybe not a PERSONAL cost, but a POLITICAL cost in letting Bush appear to have not been evil, and perhaps even CORRECT!  That’s too high a cost for the left to bear.

    • #6
  7. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Great post Clifford. I never could figure Powell’s support of Obama rather than backing McCain. Supposedly, he was uncomfortable with McCain’s choice of Palin as VP but if he was that concerned with the GOP’s supposed lurch to the right, he should have left the party then and there.

    I remember a carefully worded statement Powell made when he was accused of endorsing Obama just because he was Black. He said something to the effect of “Well, if that were the only reason, then blah blah blah…” I took that to mean that being Black was at least part of the reason he endorsed Obama. He did not directly deny the accusation.

    Isn’t it fun to spot parsings?

    • #7
  8. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Yeah, Bush commuted his sentence but did not issue a pardon, when it would have cost him nothing. Never made any sense, to leave him a convict.

    • #8
  9. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Yeah, Bush commuted his sentence but did not issue a pardon, when it would have cost him nothing. Never made any sense, to leave him a convict.

    Bush sold us he was compassionate.

    This put’s the lie to that.

    • #9
  10. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    Good, and fair, post. 

    A note to add to the Valerie Plame matter.  When it broke the gentlemanly AG, John Ashcroft, removed himself from oversight of the matter because of a potential conflict (he really didn’t have to), leaving the matter to his deputy, James Comey, a bitter bureaucratic enemy of VP Cheney, with whom he was at loggerheads regarding legal treatment of suspected terrorists.  Comey suspected Cheney and/or his team was the source of the Plame leak and saw an opportunity to damage the VP.  He hired Fitzgerald, a long time friend and godfather to his daughter, to be Special Counsel, with a mission to get Cheney.  Fitzgerald almost immediately discovered Armitage was the source of the leak, but, with Comey’s support, kept the investigation going in an attempt to nail Cheney.  They managed to get Scooter Libby on a false statement case.

    Comey and his allies ran the same play on Trump and Jeff Sessions, maneuvering Sessions to recuse himself on Russia so they could proceed unimpeded to disrupt the Trump administration.

    • #10
  11. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Powell’s undoing was entering the DC beltway. The left is a cancer that destroys everything it touches. It destroyed Powell.

    • #11
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Nothing But The Truth

    I will put that on my watch list. Given the timing, 2008, I wonder if it was based on Judith Miller, the NYT journalist jailed by the special counsel to coerce her false testimony, seeking to get Scooter Libby, to get VP Cheney.

    • #12
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Yeah, Bush commuted his sentence but did not issue a pardon, when it would have cost him nothing. Never made any sense, to leave him a convict.

    Bush sold us he was compassionate.

    This put’s the lie to that.

    Exactly.

    • #13
  14. LibertyDefender Member
    LibertyDefender
    @LibertyDefender

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Bill Clinton ran in 1992 on a promise to legalize military service by homosexuals, the first presidential candidate to openly court gay and lesbian votes and donor dollars. He entered the White House and on January 29, 1993 held a press conference, announcing he directed the Department of Defense to staff and provide him an executive order allowing service by openly homosexual service members. 

    CJCS General Colin Powell, the most senior uniformed military advisor to the president, skillfully thwarted the will of President Clinton, and the imputed will of the American electorate that gave him an overwhelming Electoral College majority. Gen. Powell led the uniformed opposition, reinforcing Congressional bipartisan objections in the relevant committees tied to the military-industrial complex. The resistance started with a January 25, 1993 meeting on gays in the military, between the Joint Chiefs and the President. As a result, in July 1993, Clinton announced a shift to what became known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which became law in 1994.

    “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” meant that officials, from recruiters, to security investigators, to commanders, were prohibited to ask about sexual orientation. At the same time, anyone with same-sex attraction wishing to serve was required to remain entirely closeted in the environment of military life and service. Gen. Powell accepted and supported the DADT compromise in 1993. In 2010, Powell reversed position on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and advocated full, open service without regard to sexual orientation.

    From my armchair analysis of The Decline and Fall of the United States Military, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is a watershed.  It was never manageable policy.  At the time DADT was implemented, homosexuality was still outlawed (on or off base) by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Strictly speaking under DADT, a homosexual could be so only in theory, but not in practice.

    At the same time, the UCMJ required that any credible allegation of homosexuality be investigated by the accused’s superior.   Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a steaming pile of bureaucratese from the start.

    Finally, if it weren’t for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, we would never have heard of WikiLeaks.  Absent DADT, every US Military recruiter would have told Bradley Manning that he was not eligible for military service because he obviously was . . . um, . . . well, he wouldn’t be eligible until he figured out that he . . . , uh, . . . well, he just wasn’t eligible.

    • #14
  15. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    yeah, bottom line; Human’s are imperfect.  Everyone is. Powell certainly exemplifies characteristics of both, being a human that is good and…. whatever. 

    We are not to judge a man. 

    But we can examine his life and make reasonable assessments of his path.

    Some question when you can judge that man, and his life.  Should you do it when they are alive? Immediately upon their passing? or a “respectable” time after.  

    I don’t know.  How important is decorum over truth? Honor vs accountability? Each of these is important in their own right and in their own time.  

    Many have condemned Trump for twitting in brief, what you laid out in great detail.

    I hope you are not attacked with the same ferocity as Trump. 

     

     

    • #15
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Nothing But The Truth

    I will put that on my watch list. Given the timing, 2008, I wonder if it was based on Judith Miller, the NYT journalist jailed by the special counsel to coerce her false testimony, seeking to get Scooter Libby, to get VP Cheney.

    It might have been “inspired” by that, but that’s not really the story told in the movie.  I expected a pretty self-serving piece of mostly tripe, but the journalist being depicted as heroic in the movie really was, as it turns out, and for not expected reasons.  At least it hit me like that, other people may disagree.  Ultimately, of course, what is depicted in the movie probably never has happened and maybe never will.  But it was a good story.

    Let me know what you think after you see it.  It’s been a while, but I think I still have accurate feelings about it.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    yeah, bottom line; Human’s are imperfect. Everyone is. Powell certainly exemplifies characteristics of both, being a human that is good and…. whatever.

    We are not to judge a man.

    But we can examine his life and make reasonable assessments of his path.

    Some question when you can judge that man, and his life. Should you do it when they are alive? Immediately upon their passing? or a “respectable” time after.

    I don’t know. How important is decorum over truth? Honor vs accountability? Each of these is important in their own right and in their own time.

    Many have condemned Trump for twitting in brief, what you laid out in great detail.

    I hope you are not attacked with the same ferocity as Trump.

     

    He’s far less likely to get the media attention that Trump did.

    • #17
  18. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    yeah, bottom line; Human’s are imperfect. Everyone is. Powell certainly exemplifies characteristics of both, being a human that is good and…. whatever.

    We are not to judge a man.

    But we can examine his life and make reasonable assessments of his path.

    Some question when you can judge that man, and his life. Should you do it when they are alive? Immediately upon their passing? or a “respectable” time after.

    I don’t know. How important is decorum over truth? Honor vs accountability? Each of these is important in their own right and in their own time.

    Many have condemned Trump for twitting in brief, what you laid out in great detail.

    I hope you are not attacked with the same ferocity as Trump.

     

    He’s far less likely to get the media attention that Trump did.

    A guy can dream.

    • #18
  19. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Yeah, Bush commuted his sentence but did not issue a pardon, when it would have cost him nothing. Never made any sense, to leave him a convict.

    Bush sold us he was compassionate.

    This put’s the lie to that.

    I would really like to know Dick Cheney’s true thoughts about Scooter, Bush and his daughter.

    • #19
  20. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Yeah, Bush commuted his sentence but did not issue a pardon, when it would have cost him nothing. Never made any sense, to leave him a convict.

    Bush sold us he was compassionate.

    This put’s the lie to that.

    I would really like to know Dick Cheney’s true thoughts about Scooter, Bush and his daughter.

    I thought that Cheney had a minor falling out with Bush over Libby’s commuted sentence.  Cheney thought it should have been a full pardon.

    • #20
  21. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Yeah, Bush commuted his sentence but did not issue a pardon, when it would have cost him nothing. Never made any sense, to leave him a convict.

    Bush sold us he was compassionate.

    This put’s the lie to that.

    I would really like to know Dick Cheney’s true thoughts about Scooter, Bush and his daughter.

    Since both globalist Cheney’s did not come to his aid. If Dick had pressed globalist Bush he probably would have been pardoned. 
     Blowing nose in all four’s general direction. 

    • #21
  22. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Yeah, Bush commuted his sentence but did not issue a pardon, when it would have cost him nothing. Never made any sense, to leave him a convict.

    Bush sold us he was compassionate.

    This put’s the lie to that.

    I would really like to know Dick Cheney’s true thoughts about Scooter, Bush and his daughter.

    Since both globalist Cheney’s did not come to his aid. If Dick had pressed globalist Bush he probably would have been pardoned.
    Blowing nose in all four’s general direction.

    But I thought Cheney did push Bush to pardon Libby, in fact heavily.

    • #22
  23. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    IDK but wonder if the rivalry with Cheney was so intense as to amount to hatred, leading Powell to let Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, twist in the wind as revenge, and to keep mum on the fact it was his own deputy, Armitage, who’d leaked Plame’s CIA ID to the “prince of darkness” columnist Novak. Always seemed like only a very small person would have done that, which was not what I’d previously thought of Powell, despite not agreeing with his later politics.

    To let an innocent man be ruined then thrown in jail when one has the power to stop it at no cost. This is evil. Now, for Bush to leave office and not pardon Scooter. This too is evil.

    Yeah, Bush commuted his sentence but did not issue a pardon, when it would have cost him nothing. Never made any sense, to leave him a convict.

    Bush sold us he was compassionate.

    This put’s the lie to that.

    I would really like to know Dick Cheney’s true thoughts about Scooter, Bush and his daughter.

    Since both globalist Cheney’s did not come to his aid. If Dick had pressed globalist Bush he probably would have been pardoned.
    Blowing nose in all four’s general direction.

    But I thought Cheney did push Bush to pardon Libby, in fact heavily.

    Any link to that would be appreciated. 

    • #23
  24. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

     

    I would really like to know Dick Cheney’s true thoughts about Scooter, Bush and his daughter.

    Since both globalist Cheney’s did not come to his aid. If Dick had pressed globalist Bush he probably would have been pardoned.
    Blowing nose in all four’s general direction.

    But I thought Cheney did push Bush to pardon Libby, in fact heavily.

    Any link to that would be appreciated.

    These are news sources on the left, but one actually quotes Bush in an interview  as coming right out and saying that Cheney was angry about his not pardoning Libby.  The others say Cheney’s associates concur that he was angry about it.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/george-w-bush-dick-cheney-was-angry-i-didnt-pardon-scooter-libby/

    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ex-vp-dick-cheney-outraged-president-bush-didn-grant-scooter-libby-full-pardon-article-1.370889

    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/2/17/2141/19215/lewislibbyindictment/Dick-Cheney-Angry-Over-Bush-s-Refusal-to-Pardon-Libby

    • #24
  25. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

     

    I would really like to know Dick Cheney’s true thoughts about Scooter, Bush and his daughter.

    Since both globalist Cheney’s did not come to his aid. If Dick had pressed globalist Bush he probably would have been pardoned.
    Blowing nose in all four’s general direction.

    But I thought Cheney did push Bush to pardon Libby, in fact heavily.

    Any link to that would be appreciated.

    These are news sources on the left, but one actually quotes Bush in an interview as coming right out and saying that Cheney was angry about his not pardoning Libby. The others say Cheney’s associates concur that he was angry about it.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/george-w-bush-dick-cheney-was-angry-i-didnt-pardon-scooter-libby/

    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ex-vp-dick-cheney-outraged-president-bush-didn-grant-scooter-libby-full-pardon-article-1.370889

    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/2/17/2141/19215/lewislibbyindictment/Dick-Cheney-Angry-Over-Bush-s-Refusal-to-Pardon-Libby

    If these reports are true I take back my assertion that Cheney or his daughter were ok with not pardoning Scooter. 

    This appears to leaves W in a lot worse light. 

     

    • #25
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

     

    I would really like to know Dick Cheney’s true thoughts about Scooter, Bush and his daughter.

    Since both globalist Cheney’s did not come to his aid. If Dick had pressed globalist Bush he probably would have been pardoned.
    Blowing nose in all four’s general direction.

    But I thought Cheney did push Bush to pardon Libby, in fact heavily.

    Any link to that would be appreciated.

    These are news sources on the left, but one actually quotes Bush in an interview as coming right out and saying that Cheney was angry about his not pardoning Libby. The others say Cheney’s associates concur that he was angry about it.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/george-w-bush-dick-cheney-was-angry-i-didnt-pardon-scooter-libby/

    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ex-vp-dick-cheney-outraged-president-bush-didn-grant-scooter-libby-full-pardon-article-1.370889

    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/2/17/2141/19215/lewislibbyindictment/Dick-Cheney-Angry-Over-Bush-s-Refusal-to-Pardon-Libby

    If these reports are true I take back my assertion that Cheney or his daughter were ok with not pardoning Scooter.

    This appears to leaves W in a lot worse light.

     

    Yup. Bushes are all about the Bushes.

    • #26