More Criticism was heaped on to Bush by Powell's former chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, about how Bush handled the prelude and the aftermath of the Iraq invasion. His criticism ranges from allowing faulty intelligence to be used to having no plan for the post invasion phase of the war. Wilkerson also gives us a glimpse into Powell's mind set prior and post invasion as well as reasons Powell probably left public service.
Criticism of the Presidents unpreparedness is wide spread (What's the Plan?). Bush is now trying to claim that his critics are actually his plans even though he has never really publicaly put forth a plan. Hmmm... We have never seen Bush do something like that, have we... (cough, cough) 9/11 commission (cough) Homeland security (cough).
Ex-Powell Aide Criticizes Bush on Iraq
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer
Tue Nov 29, 6:58 AM ET
WASHINGTON - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff says President Bush was "too aloof, too distant from the details" of post-war planning, allowing underlings to exploit Bush's detachment and make bad decisions.
In an Associated Press interview Monday, former Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson also said that wrongheaded ideas for the handling of foreign detainees after Sept. 11 arose from a coterie of White House and Pentagon aides who argued that "the president of the United States is all-powerful," and that the Geneva Conventions were irrelevant.
Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. Wilkerson said that Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard."
Wilkerson suggested his former boss may agree with him that Bush was too hands-off about Iraq.
"What he seems to be saying to me now is the president failed to discipline the process the way he should have and that the president is ultimately responsible for this whole mess," Wilkerson said.
He said Powell now generally believes it was a good idea to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but may not agree with either the timing or execution of the war. Wilkerson said Powell may have had doubts about the extent of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein but was convinced by then- CIA Director George Tenet and others that the intelligence girding the push toward war was sound.
Powell was widely regarded as a dove to Cheney's and Rumsfeld's hawks, but he made a forceful case for war before the United Nations Security Council in February, 2003, a month before the invasion. At one point, he said Saddam possessed mobile labs to make weapons of mass destruction that were never found.
Wilkerson criticized the CIA and other agencies for allowing mishandled and bogus information to underpin that speech and the whole administration case for war.
He said he has almost, but not quite, concluded that Cheney and others in the administration deliberately ignored evidence of bad intelligence and looked only at what supported their case for war.
A newly declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document from February 2002 said that an al-Qaida military instructor was probably misleading his interrogators about training that the terror group's members received from Iraq on chemical, biological and radiological weapons. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi reportedly recanted his statements in January 2004.
A presidential intelligence commission also dissected how spy agencies handled an Iraqi refugee who was a German intelligence source. Codenamed Curveball, this man who was a leading source on Iraq's purported mobile biological weapons labs was found to be a fabricator and alcoholic.