Monday, February 05, 2007

Repenting in Retirement

It was four years ago--February 5, 2003--that then-secretary of state Colin Powell addressed the UN Security Council in an effort to convince a majority of members that the inevitable American attack on Iraq was justified and should be sanctioned by the international community. Now out of office, Powell has begun to contradict many of the claims made by the Bush administration.

James Carroll's column today notes the tendency of former officials like Powell and Vietnam-era secretary of defense Robert McNamara to change their views after retiring. He concludes, "Colin Powell's authority today instructs the critics of the war. Too bad that authority did not prevent it."