POWELL BACKS OFF….Colin Powell is having second thoughts about the the quality of our prewar intelligence. Did we really have good intel about those mobile bioweapons labs he talked about in his UN presentation?

“Now it appears not to be the case that it was that solid,” Powell said yesterday. “But at the time I was preparing that presentation it was presented to me as being solid.”

I honestly don’t know what to think of this. I mean, it looks like the CIA really was at fault in this particular case, but at the same time there’s a pretty obvious campaign these days to shift the blame for our bad intel entirely to the CIA in order to take the spotlight off the White House’s own deceit and manipulation. Powell seems to be playing along, and trying to shift blame away from himself at the same time.

At the time, Powell made a big deal out of the fact that he had spent days closeted away with CIA analysts and was presenting only the best, most fully sourced intel we had. But how hard could he have been trying if it turns out that his most dramatic claim was backed up by only a single person in Germany that no American intelligence agency had ever spoken to? His questioning of the analysts must have been a bit less vigorous than he’s led us to believe.

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