Powell Responds

I’ve commented on revlations about Powell in Woodward’s new book, so it’s only fair that I also highlight Powell’s denial:

Powell also said he cooperated with Woodward — at the behest of the White House.

“We all talked to Woodward. It was part of our instructions from the White House,” Powell said. “It was an opportunity to help him write a contemporary history of this period. It was no secret that all of us were encouraged to talk to Mr. Woodward. In my case, it was just a couple phone calls.”

Oops. Wrong paragraph. Here’s the denial:

However, Powell said he “will always plead guilty to being cautious about matters having to do with war and peace,” and he confirmed journalist Bob Woodward’s account that he warned President Bush before the war that the situation in post-war Iraq could prove difficult.

Wait, that’s not it. Here it is:

Asked about that characterization [of Cheney as one of the driving forces in favor of invading Iraq], Powell said, “Was the vice president determined that we had to do something about Saddam Hussein and that evil regime? You bet he was.”

Damn. That’s not it either. Try this one:

“When the president decided that we had to go down the road of military action, it was a road I knew was there all along, and I was as committed as anyone else to see the end of this regime,” Powell told reporters. “My support was willing, and it was complete.”

And, later,

“I was included in all of the military planning preparations. I was briefed on a regular basis,” said Powell, a retired Army general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “I was intimately familiar with the plan. I was aware that Prince Bandar was being briefed on the plan.”

There you have it.