Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced his support for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on Sunday. Even though Powell has been a long-time player in the Republican party, his endorsement of Obama does not come as a shock following months of rumors that Powell would speak at the DNC in August. Now, most Obama-obsessed superfans (aka college students) love this kind of endorsement — a former Bush Cabinet member, retired general — but does Obama really want this endorsement?
Powell was one of the chief reasons the U.S. invaded Iraq. On Feb. 5, 2003, he gave a speech to the United Nations Security Council, citing “evidence” that Saddam Hussein in fact did have weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Later, Powell himself said, “It turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and in some cases, deliberately misleading.”
Deliberately misleading is exactly the problem with what Obama calls “politics as usual.” It is almost insulting for Powell to endorse Obama. Although Powell didn’t return to the Bush Administration when Dubya was re-elected in ‘04, Powell has not paid his dues.
It is impossible to say that Powell was responsible for going to war, but he had a big part in it. His careless and deceitful ways have killed thousands of American soldiers and Iraqis. He may have apologized, but that is simply not good enough.
Massaging CIA intel to support George W. Bush’s obsession with invading the Middle East is not something that should be forgotten, especially by the huge amount of young voters who were only in middle or high school when these things happened.
But maybe he’s being deliberately misleading — he might actually be voting for McCain.