Quin Hillyer at American Spectator reminds us of who Powell really is.
So…. Colin Powell, fulminating about the economy (as if he is an expert on that!) and avoiding all discussion of the incompetence and dishonesty of the Obama administration’s handling of Libya, has endorsed Barack Obama again. Gee, what a surprise. This is a man still playing out his personal picque at some imagined sleights during the administration of Bush 43.
But this is a man without honor. This is a man who allowed the spending of millions of dollars in a witch-hunt of a law-enforcement investigation even while personally knowing that his own top aide had been the one who inadvertently leaked the name of a second-tier CIA agent with a dishonest and histrionic husband. One word from Colin Powell, and the “Valerie Plame” case would have come to an end with no prosecutions, but with a few days, maybe just one or two news cycles, of public admonishment of his office for its carelessness.
But no… Powell remained silent, thus settling some score with vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and his boss, Vice President Richard Cheney — letting Libby twist in the wind for an alleged cover-up of a non-crime for which Libby himself wasn’t even responsible, but for which Powell’s aide Dick Armitage was culpable instead. (Libby was convicted on a highly dubious perjury charge, based on a years-old conversation with newsman Tim Russert that Russert remembered differently. This was the same Tim Russert whose own memory had been shown to be horrifically wrong in another major court case, but who suddenly was supposed to be perfectly inerrant. Meanwhile, famed newsman Bob Woodward produced notes that Woodward himself said might tend to support Libby’s recollection — but no matter.)
So, in order to protect a tiny nick to his reputation and that of his aide, Armitage, and in order to achieve a “gotcha” against a bureaucratic opponent, Libby, Powell was willing to let Libby have his career ruined and possibly his freedom curtailed (he faced possible prison time). That is pathetically dishonorable behavior from Powell, and it discredits anything else he ever does. Today’s endorsement comes from a man who built most of his reputation on one memorable turn of phrase about “cutting off the head” of the Iraqi army in 1991, but whose diplomacy so famously failed in gaining cooperation from longtime ally Turkey for the 2003 liberation of Iraq — a failure that set back the mission in ways that harmed it for the next two years.