Recently, my friend Keith Burgess-Jackson had some less than positive comments about Colin Powell. Although I concur with those who have strong criticism for the general in recent times, I nevertheless am saddened. There is much to admire about Powell, irrespective of his statements and activites as of late.
Apparently, I have company in my regret.
Powell is an authentic American hero, who heretofore was honored by Republicans in three administrations with prestigious appointments, could have had their presidential nomination in 1996, and had been smeared only by those on the left (despicably, as a “house negro” from the likes of Al Sharpton and Harry Belafonte) — to the general silence of liberals. Nonetheless, his recent accusations are not factual, at least from the evidence he so far has cited. Perhaps they reflect a deeper anguish at former colleagues, and especially “neocons” (who once supposedly elicited from Powell the pejorative “f***ing crazies”) — all in the context of his tenure as secretary of state and his departure, and especially the unfortunate flawed presentation at the U.N. on WMD in Iraq and the disturbing silence about the role of his subordinate Richard Armitage in the Scooter Libby travesty. Certainly the controversies over those years have left their scars on both sides.
Colin Powell’s distinguished career rightly allows him to be influential in his political assessments and to speak candidly about whatever he sees as the truth — but his recent allegations are neither logical nor supported with evidence. And that’s simply a pity.