Powell aide says Cheney provided flexibility for torture

Ex-Powell aide: Was U.S. fooled?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 Posted: 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)

Asked whether Cheney was guilty of war crime, Wilkerson said: "Well that's an interesting question."
Powell aide says Cheney provided 'flexibility' for torture (14:32)

LONDON, England (AP) -- A former senior U.S. State Department official says he has come to doubt whether President George W. Bush's administration presented an honest intelligence case for the war in Iraq.

"You begin to speculate, you begin to wonder -- Was this intelligence spun? Was it politicized? Was it cherry-picked? Did in fact the American people get fooled? I'm beginning to have my concerns," Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

In the interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., Wilkerson repeated his criticisms of Vice President Dick Cheney, holding him responsible for abuses of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq and for shortcomings in post-war planning in Iraq.

Asked whether Cheney was guilty of war crime, Wilkerson said: "Well that's an interesting question. It is certainly a domestic crime to advocate terror, and I would suspect that it is, for whatever it's worth, an international crime as well."

He did not explain in the interview why he believed Cheney advocated terror, though he also said that Cheney was "very publicly lobbying the Congress of the United States advocating the use of terror."

Wilkerson said he had believed that intelligence supported the view that Iraq had or was seeking to build weapons of mass destruction, and when none were found he accepted the argument that the administration had simply been fooled.

Lately, however, he said he had been troubled by disclosures that an informant known as Curveball, who supplied information about alleged mobile biological laboratories, was not reliable, and new information casting doubt on statements made by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al Qaeda military instructor, claiming support from Iraq.

Al-Libi's information, Wilkerson said, "led Colin Powell to say at the U.N. on 5 February 2003 that there were some pretty substantive contacts between al Qaeda and Baghdad."

It now appears, Wilkerson said, that al-Libi's statement "were obtained through interrogation techniques other than those authorized by Geneva (Conventions)."

"More important than that, we know that there was a Defense Intelligence Agency dissent on that testimony even before Colin Powell made his presentation," Wilkerson said. "We never heard about that."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

From Independant
Cheney 'created climate for US war crimes'
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
Published: 30 November 2005
A leading aide to the former secretary of state Colin Powell has accused Vice-President Dick Cheney of creating the climate in which prisoner abuse could flourish, and implied that he might have committed war crimes.

"detached" attitude to details of post-war planning.

He also suggested that the faulty intelligence used to justify the war had been at the least "cherry-picked" by the White House and the Pentagon.

jonwilly said:
Ex-Powell aide: Was U.S. fooled?


well thats never stopped the fed gov before has it????

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