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With “Havana Syndrome,” Washington Is Repeating Colin Powell's Worst Mistake

Posted On: Dec 1, 2021   |   Posted By: The New Republic

The passing of former Secretary of State Colin Powell has provided the occasion for reflection on the man's most consequential act, which also happened to be his most shameful one: his February 2003 speech at the United Nations, in which he persuasively laid out an array of phony evidence that the Iraqis harbored a substantial cache of weapons of mass destruction, or WMDs, emphatically calling for war in response. Despite Powell's apparent misgivings behind closed doors, the influential figure wholly legitimized the warmongering fervor manufactured by jingoistic smut peddlers throughout the Bush administration and their parrots in the media. He relayed an unflappable certainty as he described covert manufacturing processes that hadn't taken place, misrepresented intercepted conversations, and repeated sketchy conjecture as airtight truth. In doing so, Powell essentially laundered the dubious case for a simultaneously pre-emptive and retaliatory military response, lending his personal credibility to coax...

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