Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The man who might have held the top position on any Potential President list eight years ago, today delivers lectures on leadership. Had he attended such a lecture in 2003, he might today be introduced as the leader of the Republican Party, and a shoe-in for the White House. His current cat-and-mouse replies to questions on who will receive his vote in the coming election isn’t the difficult choice he suggests it is. His difficult choice was made five years ago.

Few will forget the feeling of disbelief as we watched someone we thought was a great man, being decimated by a sequence of judgment faux pas’s, with the first one performed live in front of a global audience. From there, he went on to co-lead the charge into Iraq as Secretary of State. His credibility was used, and abused. Powell not only allowed it, he participated in its defamation and destruction. Such is not a sign of leadership, but evidence of weakness.

He explains that the intelligence community had verified the flawed intelligence on which his 2003 United Nations presentation was based. Wouldn’t it be more honest to state that he, we, all of us, are provided the confirmations we seek? The more supposedly credible the source of such information the greater the momentum provided to the intelligence presented, and the greater the likelihood a predetermined perception will be achieved. Powell’s “I didn’t know,” is completely disingenuous since it was evident when first aired, that his speech was stilted, unnatural, and most importantly, it was evident from his voice and body language that he felt discomfort with his charade.

Powell’s lectures proffer on a subject he long ago lost any credibility to claim expertise in. He still prevails with the obfuscation of the truth with, “much of the information in the speech turned out to be wrong,” is a fairly typical pass-the-buck excuse. This is not an archetype of leadership when evidently the intelligence agencies that provided input did not agree on the information, and the administration went well beyond or contradicted what was apparently known. Mr. Powell would have better exemplified leadership through resignation. Today he would do leadership more justice if he acknowledged acquiescence, and active participation in one of the most critical and divisive decisions of any Presidency, the cost of which will endure for generations.


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