Tags: colin | powell | bush | cheney | iraq

Colin Powell Cautioned Bush on Being Steamrolled into Iraq War

Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 12:20 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell says in a new documentary that he was worried President Bush was being steamrolled into the Iraq war and that Vice President Dick Cheney disagreed with his effort to generate support in the United Nations.

In the National Geographic Channel's "America vs. Iraq," which aired Monday, Powell revealed that he asked for a private meeting with Bush and told the president, "'We're going to have to do something either diplomatically or through the UN. If we use military force, we are going to need allies, people who will support us.'"



"I said 'I recommend you take it to the UN. They are the aggrieved party. It's their resolutions that have been offended,'" Powell recalled in the documentary.

Powell said he convinced Bush to get a new UN resolution demanding the return of the weapons inspectors Saddam Hussein had expelled four years earlier.

But Powell claimed that Cheney was not happy about the decision. He said the vice president made that clear in a speech on Aug. 26, 2002, when he argued that Saddam had "perfected the game of cheat and retreat" and would fool inspectors looking for weapons of mass destruction.

"In his speech, he effectively shot down the proposal, shot down what we were getting ready to do," Powell said. "The UN couldn't do this, it was probably a waste of time. Everything that you shouldn't have said, in my humble judgment, with respect to a decision the President had made."

Paul Mitchell, executive producer of "America vs. Iraq," told HuffPost Live Monday he believes Powell when he says he opposed the war.

"I think he was in a very, very difficult position," Mitchell said of Powell. "As far as I can tell, he did make the arguments in private, trying to make the policy better."



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