Friday, May 04, 2012

What a failure






The other zombie that refuses to die is Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State and Liar to the United Nations.  Tony Capaccio and Roxana Tiron (Bloomberg News) report that in his upcoming book, Collie writes of his lies to the United Nations, "Yes, a blot, a failure will always be attached to me and my UN presentation.  I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem.  My instincts failed me."
He's still trying to perform that tired song? 
Walters says, unable to look at him while she does -- oh the drama!, "However, you gave the world false, groundless reasons for going to war. You've said, and I quote, 'I will forever be known as the one who made the case for war.' Do you think this blot on your record will stay with you for the rest of your life?"
Powell: Well it's a, it's a, of course it will. It's a blot. I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United Nations, uh, United States, to the world. And it will always be uh, part of my, uh, my record.
Walters: How painful is it?
Powell: (shrugs) It was -- it *was* painful. (shifts, shrugs) It's painful now.

Has a less convincing scene ever been performed?

Possibly. Such as when Powell informs Walters that the fault lies with the intelligence community -- with those who knew but didn't come forward. Unfortunately for Powell,
FAIR's advisory steered everyone to a Los Angeles Times' article from July 15, 2004:

Days before Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was to present the case for war with Iraq to the United Nations, State Department analysts found dozens of factual problems in drafts of his speech, according to new documents contained in the Senate report on intelligence failures released last week.
Two memos included with the Senate report listed objections that State Department experts lodged as they reviewed successive drafts of the Powell speech. Although many of the claims considered inflated or unsupported were removed through painstaking debate by Powell and intelligence officials, the speech he ultimately presented contained material that was in dispute among State Department experts.
And nearly seven years later, he's still attempting to soften his lie by calling it a "blot" and still insisting he didn't lie and that he was misled and on and on he goes.
On And On He Goes should have been the title of his book.  Instead he's calling the book It Worked For Me.  Well it sure did.  Lying led him to a very cushy post-government life.  Lying held no consequences for him at all.  Except, of course, that he has to live with himself and don't think for a moment that's not eating him up.  Again, Ava and I from 2005:
Powell's mea culpa is not only unconvincing, it's illogical. He's glad Saddam Hussein's gone. So why's he concerned with his "blot?" He's completely unconcerned that we're in a war that's based on lies. "I'm glad" he says. Sure he admits that he lied (by proxy -- it's others faults, you understand, nameless people in the intel community), but there's no moral concern. He's only worried about the slug line that now accompanies his name. The "blot." The tag 'liar, liar.'

Colin Powell lied to the United Nations. Not by proxy, he lied. His testimony. A testimony he made the decision to give. Despite objections from people in the department he headed. His accountability pose is hollow and unconvincing. Shrugs? "What are you going to do?" shrugs? That and the shiftiness during the exchange (he can't sit still during the exchange) back up his words. This isn't any big deal to him, that he lied and we went to war. He's just concerned that he's a known liar. For the rest of his life.

This is how he wants to be remembered:

"A good public servant somebody who truly believes in his country. . . . Somebody who cared, somebody who served."

Yeah well, Nixon wanted to be remembered a certain way as well. Liar's the way many remember him now. Liar's the way many will remember Colin Powell.
He's a liar.  He's a known liar.  He has no one to blame but himself.  So, in his bid to make more money, he revisits the moment's he'll never be able to change.  This is said to be the best 'co-written' book he's ever put his name to.  Due to the whole 'life lessons' approach. (He shares 13 life lessons/bromides.)  It's brief, each little lesson in the 300 page book, so there's no need for Tony Koltz to pretend Collie's a man of deep thoughts and instead reads like a piece for Parade (not at all surprising, considering the roots of the 'book').   And maybe this decision to table faux wisdom is why Joseph E. Persico -- Colin's 'co-writer' on 2003's My American Journey and 1995's Soldier's Way: An Autobiography -- elected not to write this latest tome?
In the book, Collie lies and lies and lies.  Insisting no Iraq War if only they'd known there were no WMD.  If only.  Collie really hopes you're too stupid.  He hopes you forget a great deal or, even better, never knew it in the first place.  Like the big news of May 30, 2003.  From CNN:
Jamie McIntyre:  Adding fuel to the controversy, remarks attributed to Deputy U.S. Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a largely circulated "Vanity Fair" press release alleges Wolfowitz told the magazine that WMD was stressed for "bureaucratic reasons" and that, in effect, weapons of mass destruction had never been the most compelling justification for invading Iraq. A Pentagon spokesman says "Vanity Fair" only used a portion of the deputy secretary's quote. Their omission completely misrepresents what he was saying according to the spokes spokesman. The Pentagon says the full interview of the transcript, posted on its web site, makes it clear that Wolfowitz said weapons of mass destruction was the, quote, "core reason the U.S. went to war with Iraq."
Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said in an interview that the removal of Saddam Hussein had been "essential" to secure world oil supplies, a point he emphasized to the White House in private conversations before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
We're not done yet.  August 31, 2005, AP reported:
President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.
And we could go on and on.  We could bring in the Iraq Inquiry in London, all that public testimony which can be boiled down into: Colin Powell is lying. 
Kimberly Dozier wrote a truthful book, Breathing The Fire: Fighting to Survive and Get Back To The FightJim Salemi (Middletown Press) reports the Associated Press journalist spoke Monday evening at Middlesex Community College and signed copies of her book, donating all "the proceeds to the Williams-Rosen Memorial Fund for Veterans."
Kimberly Dozier explained in her speech how she was covering Iraq for CBS News since 2003 and, May 29, 2006, she thought they were getting some standard stock footage, that as thinking that James Brolan and Paul Douglas were going to get film of US Army Captain James Funkhouser shaking hands with Iraqis.
Kimberly Dozier: Just about the moment the Captain reached out his hand, the insurgents command detonated an approximately 500 pound pound car bomb through us.  The car was a Baghdad taxi, parked in that line of vehicles.  It sent a wall of shrapnel through the whole team.  I remember smelling what smelled like a thousand matches.  And landing.  Trying to figure out where Paul and James -- because they're my team -- you think, "Where's my team?"  And trying to figure out what had happened?  I knew a bomb had gone off and that was about it.  I started going through this calculation in my head, "Okay, I'm in pain.  But I remember from our combat medical courses the ABCs of triage: Airway, Breathing, Circulation . . .  In the medical drills we did, you never went to the patients who were screaming. You went to the quiet patients, to clear their airway, restart their heart. So if I scream for help, no one will come."  After a few moments, minutes, I don't know, I was able to lift my head.  And I could see a burning car.  Luckily, I couldn't see the rest of me. I could feel burning in my legs and I thought, "Burning car.  My legs.  I remember the other drill.  There was a live electrical wire and the patient was in danger of being hit by the wire, so it was okay to go get the patient even though the patient was consicous because the patient could have gotten hurt worse.  Okay.  I can call for help."  I start calling, "Help! Help!"  -- thinking, this little voice inside my head, "Oh, you sound like such a cliche."  That little voice in your head is still there even in the worst of times.  Medic [Spc] Izzy Flores was doing his first multi-combat casualty scene  He got to Captain Funkhouser and saw he'd been hit in the head.  He was maybe  12 feet from the bomb. So was Sam [Captain Funkhouser's Iraqi translator].  Neither of them could be helped. He got to James.  James too had a massive head injury.  He couldn't be helped.  He got to Paul.  Paul had a traumatic amputation in one of his legs.  He put a tourniquet on him. He got to me just when I started calling out, "Help! Help! Move me away from the car please!"  And he's like, "Ah, you're good."  And he went to someone else. So thanks, Izzy.  But the fact of the matter is, I will always thank Izzy because the Iowa National Guardsman who later tied the tourniquets on me that saved my life told me that when he ran to the scene, his team had already secured things helping the 4th ID.  They heard the bomb they'd run in to help their brothers in arms. So [Staff Sgt] Jeremy Coke, who kept me alive, was able to tell me, "You were the last one who needed medical aid."  So I never had to wonder later: Did someone else die because I got helped first?
Kimberly Dozier was seriously injured while covering the Iraq War, a war Reporters Without Borders notes became the deadliest war for journalists
Today was World Press Freedom Day.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's resource page for World Press Freedom Day is here.  On this day honoring press freedom, the International Women's Media Foundation  announcedtheir Courage in Journalism Award and Lifetime Achievement Award winners:
Each year, the IWMF honors women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances.
This year's winners are:
  Reeyot Alemu, 31, an Ethiopian columnist currently imprisoned on charges of terrorism after writing critiques of her country's government; Asmaa al-Ghoul, 30, a Palestinian blogger and freelance writer who has received death threats for her commentary on the culture and politics of Gaza; Khadija Ismayilova, 35, a radio reporter from Azerbaijan who was blackmailed and threatened after her investigation into charges of malfeasance against members of the Azerbaijani president's family. These are the International Women's Media Foundation's 2012 Courage in Journalism Award winners.
"I am humbled to work in the same profession as these heroic women," said Katty Kay, co-chair of the IWMF. "It is my honor to be involved with the IWMF as it recognizes their dedication and bravery. It is journalists like Reeyot, Asmaa and Khadija who set an example for all of us."
The IWMF's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Zubeida Mustafa, 70, a Pakistani journalist who has worked for three decades at Dawn, one her country's oldest and most widely circulated English-language newspapers.
Theodore Boutrous, Jr., IWMF co-chair, said, "A free and independent press is vital to freedom and liberty. The IWMF believes that no press is truly free if women do not share an equal voice. As the first woman to work at Dawn, Zubeida blazed a trail for women journalists in Pakistan, changing hiring policies and mentoring young women. She showed that women journalists can cover serious topics such as healthcare and economic inequality."
The 2012 awards will be presented during ceremonies in New York on October 24 and in Los Angeles on October 29.
"The IWMF is grateful to the Bank of America, National Presenting Sponsor of the
Courage in Journalism Awards for the seventh year and steadfast supporter of heroic women journalists around the world," said Elisa Lees Munoz, Acting Executive Director of the IWMF.
The Committee to Protect Journalists counts 17 journalists killed so far this year.  Among those recently murdered is Regina Martinez.  Reporters Without Borders notes that the correspondent for Proceso "was found strangled in her home in the Veracruz capital of Xalana on 28 April.  She joins the list of 80 journalists killed and 14 disappeared in Mexico in the past decade, a toll exacerbated by the disastrous federal offensive against trafficking during the past five years."  The International Press Institute will join with others tomorrow in Tunisia for a UNESCO panel discussion about journalists safety.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova issued the following joint-statement to mark the day:

Freedom of expression is one of our most precious rights. It underpins every other freedom and provides a foundation for human dignity.  Free, pluralistic and independent media is essential for its exercise.
This is the message of World Press Freedom Day.  Media freedom entails the freedom to hold opinions and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, as stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This freedom is essential for healthy and vibrant socieites.
Change in the Arab world has shown the power of aspirations for rights when combined with new and old media.  Newfound media freedom is promising to transform socieites through greater transparency and accountability.  It is opening new ways to communicate and to share information and knowledge.  Powerful new voices are rising -- especially from young people -- where they were silent before.  This is why this year's World Press Freedom Day is centred on the theme of New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies.
Media freedom also faces severe pressures across the world. Last year, UNESCO condemned the killing of 62 journalists who died as a result of their work.  These journalists must not be forgotten and these crimes should not remain unpunished.  As media moves online, more online journalists, including bloggers, are being harassed, attacked, and killed for their work.  They must recieve the same protection as traditional media workers.
The first UN Inter-Agency Meeting on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity met at UNESCO on the 13 and 14 September 2011.  We produced a Plan of Action for the UN to build a more free and safe environment for journalists and media workers everywhere.  At the same time, we will continue to strengthen the legal foundations for free, pluralistic and independent media, especially in countries undergoing transformation or rebuilding after conflict.  At a time of information overload, we must help young people especially to develop critical skills and greater media literacy.
World Press Freedom Day is our opportunity to raise the flag in the fight to advance media freedom.  We call on Sates, professional media and non-governmental organisations everywhere to join forces with the United Nations to promote online and offline freedom of expression in accordance with internationally accepted principles.  This is a pillar of individual rights, a foundation for healthy societies and a force for social transformation.

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