Colin Powell explodes

Colin Powell was calmly fielding questions yesterday about the decision to go to war in Iraq before the House Committee on International Relations when a Democratic Congressman named Sherrod Brown contrasted Powell’s military experience to Bush’s record with the National Guard, stating that the president “may have been AWOL” from duty. The following exchange ensued:
“First of all, Mr. Brown, I won’t dignify your comments about the president because you don’t know what you are talking about.”
“I’m sorry I don’t know what you mean, Mr. Secretary.”
“You made reference to the president. . . Mr. Brown, let’s not go there. Let’s not go there in this hearing. If you want to have a political fight on this matter, that is very controversial, and I think it is being dealt with by the White House, fine, but let’s not go there.”
Powell’s testimony on Iraq also demonstrates that Democrats may not be able to make their charge that “Bush lied, hundreds died” stick. The charge is absurd on its face, inasmuch as no president would assert as his rationale for going to war the existence of weapons he did not expect to find after the war. Thus, Powell was merely stating the obvious when he told the committee, “We didn’t make it up, it was information that reflected the views of analysts in all the various agencies.” Nonetheless, given Powell’s stature and the media’s reluctance to take him on, this is good stuff.

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