Long ago, in my column, “The Bush/Powell Conundrum,” I analyzed the relationship between George W. Bush and Colin Powell, and came down generally on the positive side in my evaluation of Powell as then-new Secretary of State. I hereby and definitively change my mind, and acknowledge that I should have listened to my friend Jeff Jacoby, always a Powell skeptic. Powell is now and was always a snake in the bosom of the Bush presidency.
The latest: Former Powell chief of staff Retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Wilkerson tells CNN that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the “‘philosophical guidance’ and ‘flexibility’ that led to the torture of detainees in U.S. facilities…and told CNN that the practice of torture may be continuing in U.S.-run facilities.”
Put this together with what seems to me like quite reasonable speculation that Powell familiar Richard Armitage was the ur-source for the Valerie Plame disclosures, that, if true, Armitage could have dispelled the whole Wilson-Plame CIA leak press storm simply by coming forward, and you have to say: Enough. History will not judge Colin Powell kindly. Compare him for example to George C. Marshall and Dean Acheson, who were arguably more gifted and accomplished men than Harry Truman, and who nonetheless served Truman honorably.