Colin Powell’s reply to what he called a “cheap shot” in former Vice President Dick Cheney’s new book, “In My Time,” is little but an example of “dishonesty” that is “quite stunning,” as far as Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post is concerned.
Powell was upset over the way Cheney described the supposed leak of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative. The former Sec. of State said that the former VP delivered a “cheap shot” to say that the outing of Plame was Powell’s fault and the fault of his underling at the State Dept., Richard Armitage.
Then Powell goes on to offer his own version of the incident. Sadly, what he proffered is filled with inaccuracies. Truthfully, there is no other way to characterize Colin Powell’s version of the Valerie Plame affair but as an outright lie.
Jennifer Rubin does a good job of laying out the actual facts of the case, not the cockeyed version that Powell is trying to sell at this late date.
Powell says that he and Armitage told the Dept. of Justice right away that it was he, Armitage, that was the source for the damaging Bob Novak column that revealed that Valerie Plame was once a CIA operative.
The facts, however, prove Powell to be lying. Rubin notes that Michael Isikoff had a good account of what really happened.
The next day, a team of FBI agents and Justice prosecutors investigating the leak questioned the deputy secretary. Armitage acknowledged that he had passed along to Novak information contained in a classified State Department memo: that [ Joe] Wilson’s wife worked on weapons-of-mass-destruction issues at the CIA… [William Howard Taft IV, the State Department’s legal adviser] felt obligated to inform White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. But Powell and his aides feared the White House would then leak that Armitage had been Novak’s source — possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush’s Iraq policy. So Taft told Gonzales the bare minimum: that the State Department had passed some information about the case to Justice. He didn’t mention Armitage. Taft asked if Gonzales wanted to know the details. The president’s lawyer, playing the case by the book, said no, and Taft told him nothing more. Armitage’s role thus remained that rarest of Washington phenomena: a hot secret that never leaked.
Rubin points out the real facts of Powell and Armitage’s complicity…
Recall how all of this played out. Armitage and Powell allowed the entire country and troops in the field to believe a lie, namely that the White House had “outed” Plame. This, aside from the galling display of moral cowardice, also put the president’s reelection in jeopardy since Democrats were all too intent on making this into a huge scandal.
Yet here we now have Colin Powell, at this late date, lying about the part he and his underling at the State Dept. played in this idiotic incident.
It is pretty disgusting, really. What we have here is Colin Powell continuing to cover for Armitiage, a man who SHOULD have been in Scooter Libby’s shoes during that mess. Libby was 100% innocent and Powell and Armitage sat silent as he was prosecuted for Powell and Armitage’s crimes.
Colin Powell lost every ounce of my respect with this, I have to say.