Colin Powell: War Criminal

Rachel Maddow busts Colin Powell, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State of the United States, as he pretends on live TV to not be qualified to know whether someone (him) would be in violation of the laws of war if that person had done what he did.

Powell also, as The Other Scott Horton notes, acknowledges the need for an investigation – of him.

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“Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.” –John Ashcroft

Author: Scott Horton

Scott Horton is editorial director of, director of the Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s. Scott’s Twitter, YouTube, Patreon.

30 thoughts on “Colin Powell: War Criminal”

  1. It’s almost easy to feel sorry for poor old Colin, he was just some dupe who got taken for a ride. Yah sure right! Just keep in mind this was a Four Star General. He spread the lies that brought about this mess. I remember his speach in front of the UN, and I will not forget his BS. This is a complete and total dirtbag who should be tried for war crimes. He likes to come across as a reluctant neo-con but in fact he is the real deal. Sick and demented just like the rest. Politics, politics and more politics, he thought if he stood in the middle he might get to run for the presidency. Good luck with that you smuck!

    Rachel Maddow asked about morality and he answers with “I don’t know the law”. Has anyone noticed how they all jump into the nearest loophole and then claim innocence? It’s sad to say but here it is, do whatever you want as long as you have a good enough lawyer. I understand that the winners get to print their own history, but why should these losers get to make the law? Scum, dirtbag, smegma, hell I don’t even have the words to say how much these *&*%% tick me off.

    And yes even Obama too, I didn’t think it could get worse but just wait and see what his policies will do.

    Well Anti-War thanks for letting me vent my frustration! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (I’m currently screeming into a pillow so I don’t wake up my wife and kids)


  2. How come I knew there were no weapons of mass distruction, but Colin Powell didn’t. Colin has beeen an ass kisser to power his whole career.

    1. Right on! This smuck knew they had WMD’s and when we gave them to Iraq, he also knew that they only had a shelf life of about 10 years, and that what was left was destroyed. If they still had any viable WMD’d we would never have attacked. I served long enough to know that our little charcoal suits and lame ass promasks would have been the death of me and my friends.(Blister agent was my favorite, good God what horror!)

      I can tell you straight out, If they had WMD’s we would not have gone in on the ground. We are not prepared for it at all. I remember our stupid drills “GAS GAS GAS” Put on your promask and your green suit with your rubber shoes and gloves. Stick yourself with a nerve gas injection and hope for the best. If all goes well you can fight for about an hour before you retreat with the dead.

      I think that right now we are waiting for Iran’s stock to run out, so we can attack. We have Iran surounded and now it’s only a matter of time. Why have we not gotten out of Iraq and Afghanistan? It’s so simple, they (Iraq and Afghanistan) will be our forward base for the attack on Iran. Five years, ten years whatever, but that is the goal.


      1. And do not forget about 45 minutes before the mushroom clouds engulf many US cities,those un-manned flying machines,mobile chemical labs,all this from a country of 25 millions,thousands of miles away that has been pushed back decads.Any one with a basic knolwdge of geography and world affairs would have known that Iraq was never a threat to the US.All you need is to make a comparssion between the the two!

  3. Poor General Powell. There’s just no controlling legal authority he can rely on to define torture for him. His popularity is inexplicable given his startlingly sordid past, but then who knows it?

  4. I watched that interview. My overall impression of the man is that he is an abject coward. He knew better, but went along. How do you get to be a four star gutless wonder?

  5. Colin Powell a war criminal? Nah! I mean, didn’t G. Bush say “Amerika does not torture.” Well there you go. After all, Iraqnam was an ‘exercise in flaming democracy’. Burn baby burn. Afghanisnam is a Mcnamara-esque exercise of escalating proportion. Burn baby, rape, flog, and then burn. Af-Pakisnam will be “bigger, better, quicker, and way more expensive than all the previous misadventures!”
    Hmmm, I wonder what manner of ‘bailout’ Herr Generalissmo received.

  6. Lies and more lies.

    Colin Powell said Iraq was not a threat

    “Both Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, and Condoleezza Rice, President Bush’s closest adviser, made clear before September 11 2001 that Saddam Hussein was no threat – to America, Europe or the Middle East.

    In Cairo, on February 24 2001, Powell said: “He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.”

    2001: Powell & Rice Declare Iraq Has No WMD and Is Not a Threat

  7. How is it that the MSM (Maddow excepted) always give these guys a pass? Our dumbed down fellow Americans (indoctrinated by FAUX NEWS, CNN, ABCCBSNBCNYTNPR,etc.) actually defend these war criminals (lbj,mcnamara,nixon,kissenger,reagan,bushI,clinton,bushII,cheney,the israel firsters,obama,etc.). Isn’t it about time to call it like it is? Bad enough the b team (the dums) won’t pursue the a team (repugs) for war crimes and crimes against the Constitution. Maybe the American people have just been conditioned to believe “do as we say, not as we do”? No, not really. The American people are too stupid to get their heads out of their butts, and see the world through anything but the lens of a bad John Wayne movie. As the old republic crumbles before our eyes, the cheerleaders of stupidity (limbaugh, hannity, the air america “progressives”) will continue to make it easy for our rulers to turn America into a third world country with nukes. A sad time indeed.

    1. “Maybe the American people have just been conditioned to believe “do as we say, not as we do”?”

      Here you have the answer.

      57% want America to take military action against North Korea

      “57% of American voters favor a military response to North Korea’s rocket launch.

      Rasmussen reports that a majority of Americans want the U.S. government to take military action against North Korea after the communist country launched a long range missile (which landed in what was an epic failure in the middle of the Pacific Ocean”

    2. Sadly, I have to agree with you. We have a whole generation that watches Faux religiously and listens to Rush and don’t feel the need to read or watch anything else because these guys know everything that’s right for all Americans and the USA. Part of me wishes Maddow was on 60 Minutes so more people would get to see her do this type of interview. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was with Powell while watching this…and yes, Colin you tensed up, your neck was twitching. That was your opportunity to tell the truth, but you ducked and weaved throughout the interview. Maddow is not the lightweight interviewer Gregory is.

      While I think Obama has done several good things domestically, stem cell research, fair pay, etc…, his continuation of Bush’s military policies have saddened me. That was part of the change we voted for. He needs to prosecute these guys or at the very least stop getting in the way (invoking State Secrets privilege) of groups are are trying to go after them. If there’s no accountability, this once great country will continue to spin downward and will in fact, pick up speed along the way. These wars are money making machines for the wealthy. 30 years of greed is good has got to stop now. Unfortunately, at this time, I see no indication of that happening.

  8. I have read the Ray McGovern take on Colin Powell and Eric Holder. I do not not know neither of these men personally, but I am of the same generation–being a few years younger than Powell and several more than Holder. I also share something other with them, and that is a Caribbean Heritage. For a period of my life I was very determined in getting a history written of the people we more precisely refer to as the West Indian American, and did succeeded in getting a smaller version of that history published. One of the persons that featured in that book was Colin Powell. In researching the man I called upon several persons who knew him personally, or was associated with the family. I did gathered from these persons a considerable number of uncomplimentary comments, which I tended to believe at the time had more to do with jealousy than sincerity. But I also knew from personal experience–being a Caribbean myself–that some of the discriminatory practice that was accredited to Powell and his parents towards dark skinned blacks contained at least a modicum of truth. In this I relied primarily on two sources–a well-known black activists who has acheived some renown in his own rights as an African specialist, and is a commentator on a popular public broadcasting radio–WBAI Pacifica, and the other a now decesased gentleman who worked in the same garment firm as Powell’s father.
    Ray McGovern, who has become somewhat of a Powell chronicler, seems to think Powell failing is rooted in cowardice. Wrong. It is rooted in his culture as a West Indian mulatto. True, he was born in the U.S. but as a first generation his culture is still principally that of his parents. And the orientation of the West Indian mulatto–as indeed is Powell’s and Holder.s–is different than that of the American: the former aspiring to all things white, while the latter is contented to an ideology and a culture that is “black”. These differences basically has to do with their respective histories, but is not quite understood by whites, who tend to judge all blacks on an American social paradigm. Incidentally, if Mr. McGovern would take a critical look of Powell’s popular biography he might find some of the answers to his craven and opportunistic behavior.
    Lastly, Mr. McGovern, the people who was behind the rapid rise of Powell, Holder, and now Barack Obama, was (is) not doing it by guess. In this kind of business there is no room for guess work. Sometimes, occasionally thing comes apart, as is currently the case. But mostly it works.I have read some uncomplimentary things–of the Ron Brown type–about Holder, by a person who is supposed to be in the know, but I would suspect that as someone in your position, you have been made privy to similar things. So we both know where that is, and where it’s going. I like your honesty, and I would loathe to think it would all go for a lost cause. So keep on plowing. John Kurius

  9. I’m a fan of Rachel Maddow.

    But the War Criminals are Bush/Cheney/Rumenfeld and the neo conservative supporters. I doubt they will ever have to pay for what they did. But a Truth commission would help.

    General Colin Powell did support Obama during the election and for that we are grateful. You can see the Republican posters going after him today on the comment sections on the blogs -This Democrat will not.

    Rachel went after the wrong target she choose an easy target who agreed to go on her show. Rachel I’m a fan of yours but will point your spot light on Bush/Cheney/Rumenfeld and the neo conservatives who created this nightmare? Help promote a truth commission?

    If you persist in just targeting General Colin Powell I will throw pillows at the TV when you come on. I will boo you like I’m at a football. Rachel go after the real culprits.

    Also I would love for you to take on that coward bum Bill Kristol on this subject on your show. And don’t go easy on Bill Kristol if he agrees to go on your show.

    1. Hey, NY Dum, do you still believe in the Easter Bunny? If you think there’s a dime’s worth of difference between dums and repugs you are sadly mistaken. One doesn’t get to become prez unless they’ve been vetted by the establishment. Obama became a “made guy” when, shortly after he was sworn in, he bombed innocents in Pakistan. Now he’s ordering more killing in Afghanistan. Wake up and smell the coffee, NY Dum. Don’t publish your stupidity!

    2. “General Colin Powell did support Obama during the election and for that we are grateful”.

      NY Democrat: Please just speak for yourself. I am not a Republican nor am I grateful that we have Obama as President. Has he brought the troops home or sent more? What exactly has he done, other than keep the printing presses open for the rich? His complete lack of any economic knowledge will cause the greatest depression this country and possibly the world has ever seen. He is not Anti-War or a diplomat or a statesman. He is simply another Republicrat just like the rest. The world cheered when we elected our first black president. I would have cheered also, if he were a man of substance, but he is not. He truly does not have a clue and will go down in history as the man who destroyed the US.

      I understand that most of the problems we have started well before his time, but he will take the blame. In a time when we needed real change and voted for it we are just getting more of the same. He’s just another Republicrat and the Democrat Sheeple are so happy that they won that they are now blindly following his disasterous policies. He’s just another Fascist/Socialist but with a smile rather than a smirk.

      As for Colin Powell, you must have a very short memmory span, or your incredibly gullible. He was a key sponser of these wars whether you choose to believe so or not. Why would you give him a pass? He lied and people died!! He wasn’t ignorant or out of the loop or provided with bad data, he simply lied, over and over and over again.

      It’s really sad to meet Democrat Sheeple. For the most part they really would like the world to be a better place for everyone. However, thier nievity makes them such easy dupes that they do much more harm than good. Most of the evil that is done in this world is sanctioned by good but misinformed people. Please Sheeple wake up before your dreams turn into our nightmares.

      Seriously Democrats, is war only bad when it’s waged by a Republican? It’s still our Children, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters and Fathers that are killing and dying, what difference does it make which name you put on it? We need to take to the streets and demand an end to these wars and not just blindly Hope for a Change!


  10. good grief! To a large extend, those people work for the president, so who is at fault? As for bill kristol, now we are taling about the real macoy! this type of neo-trostkytes, do have some power; with the pen, and with the access they do have via their connections, and money.
    I believe that even though Collin Powell do have blood in his hands, the real culprits are the unholy trinity: Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld. Now, these trio are the real criminals who approved and if my guts are right, enjoyed the thought of brutalizing the people the had the power to brutalize. These super criminals deserve their day in court, and after that, their hirelings who blindely followed their master’s abominable behavior of cruelty,toward their defenseless victims

  11. Colin Powell is a good example of the “organization man,” the faceless bureaucrat. He was never much of a “war fighter”; he preferred deskbound staff duty (National Security Council, the Pentagon, etc.). He’s a guy who easily adapts himself to the existing order. He’ll do whatever he’s told to do.

    “Ja, mein Fuhrer!”. . .

  12. Unfortuntaly, you people take aim at the only man in the Bush Administration that had ethics and a sense of morality. That is a shame that you would smear this great American.

    1. Your joking right? I’m hoping this is sarcasm, if not where were his ethics and sense of morality when he was lying to the UN?

      1. I’m not joking. He was given bad, very bad, intelligence on Iraq. Funny how during the Clinton years everyone who saw the same intelligence (Democrat, Republican, left, right, etc) all said the same thing and came to the same conclusion. Iraq and Saddam was a threat to the United States.

        General Powell did what he was told and as a Soldier he followed those orders. The General argued against the invasion but was overruled by Cheny and Rumsfield. Powell bowed out of the administration of George Bush.

        Certain segments of society love to shout about the “lies” and point fingers but never look at themselves. I hold those in Congress and the Administration at fault and the failures of the system go way back into the 90’s and didn’t start with George Bush #2.

        General Powell is probably one of the greatest Americans of our time. A great Soldier and Statesman.

        Before slamming him you should study him and not rely on convient soundbites.

        1. I have studied him and he did lie. The difference between you and me is that you buy the lies (for example, the bad intelligence bit), I don’t believe them. Your whole point about his simply being a good soldier is also typical sheeple speak.

          Soldiers have an obligation to uphold and defend the Constitution. They are also not allowed to follow illegal orders. The higher up in rank you go the more resposible you are for your decisions as they effect more people. Colin Powell did not uphold the Constitution or Defend it, he helped to shred it. Saying I’m so sorry afterwords is the biggest joke of all.

          Just think for a second how poorly based your logic is. First, everyone else screwed up too, so why shouldn’t I! Second Heil Hitler, I was only following orders. Third, I actually knew it was wrong but didn’t have the guts to get out utill is was obvious to everyone else as well. Forth, see part one.

          So based on your argument I am to believe that, he was just as incompetent as everyone else. He had morrals but didn’t bother to display them untill it was too late. But, it’s ok because although he knew it was wrong he was justified because he was doing what he was told.

          Sorry but that doesn’t sound like an Honest or Ethical man to me. He was put in a position of power where he could have made a difference. However, instead of making a difference he blindly followed and did as he was told.

          If thats what it takes to be “one of the greatest Americans of our time” I’ll stick with being an average guy who protested this war from before the first bombs fell.


    2. I’m afraid you are very gravely misinformed. Colin Powell does not meet the media-created image of himself at all.

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