As someone who has picked meticulously through Colin Powell’s lies during his UN address, and is also familiar with the grim history of his climb to power, I didn’t think Powell had any tricks left in his Giant Bag of Sleaze that would surprise me.
Oh, how wrong I was!
Check out this amazing exchange yesterday between Sam Husseini and Powell. As you’ll see, Powell denies knowing anything whatsoever about the torture of Ibn al-Libi, which elicited one of Powell’s claims in his UN address about connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and thus has generated screaming international headlines for several years:
Sam Husseini: General, can you talk about the al-Libi case and the link between torture and the production of tortured evidence for war?
Colin Powell: I donâ€™t have any details on the al-Libi case.
SH: Can you tell us when you learned that some of the evidence that you used in front of the UN was based on torture? When did you learn that?
CP: I donâ€™t know that. I donâ€™t know what information youâ€™re referring to. So I canâ€™t answer.
SH: Your chief of staff, Wilkerson, has written about this.
CP: So what? [inaudible]
SH: So youâ€™d think youâ€™d know about it.
CP: The information I presented to the UN was vetted by the CIA. Every word came from the CIA and they stood behind all that information. I donâ€™t know that any of them believe that torture was involved. I donâ€™t know that in fact. A lot of speculation, particularly by people who never attended any of these meetings, but Iâ€™m not aware of it.
It’s a veritable 9th Symphony of Lies. Colin Powell, I will never underestimate you and your scumminess again.
ALSO: Powell has used the “you have to understand, I’m an incredibly incurious moron” defense before, although not with such panache.
AND: Here’s what Powell said referencing al-Libi in his UN presentation:
I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to al Qaeda.
Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story. I will relate it to you now as he, himself, described it.
This senior al Qaeda terrorist was responsible for one of al Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan.
His information comes firsthand from his personal involvement at senior levels of al Qaeda. He says bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef, did not believe that al Qaeda labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq.
The support that (inaudible) describes included Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two al Qaeda associates beginning in December 2000. He says that a militant known as Abu Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph) had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gases. Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph) characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.