Friday, November 19, 2004

Powell may be lying, or not

Following the release of claims that Iran has yet more secret uranium enrichment facilities than have previously been disclosed - Colin Powell (at this point still U.S. Secretary of State) was quoted as saying he'd seen similar "intelligence" and that he believed the report. Despite it coming from an Iranian dissident group which the U.S. lists as a terrorist group.

This CNN article documents a little firestorm around his comments:


Source of Powell's Iran intelligence under scrutiny


Friday, November 19, 2004 Posted: 4:15 PM EST (2115 GMT) CNN.COM


"This allegation is timed to coincide with the next meeting of the board of governors of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]," Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hussein Moussavian, said. "And every time just before the meeting there are these kind of allegations either from the United States or terrorist groups. And every time these allegations have proven to be false."

Now, this is much as I said a couple days ago. Curious timing this is. The denial is a little hollow, though, coming from an Iranian. Just as Powell's claim of having seen evidence is a little hollow, given his past performance at truthfulness (can you say 26 lies in the U.N. Security Council presentation in Feb 2003 to justify the Iraq invasion?).

So what we're left with is some he-said-he-said games and we can't really trust any of the speakers. Powell lied to the U.N. already, the dissident group is on the State Department terrorist list, and the Iranians may simply be covering their ass with public denials. What's the truth?

This is the problem with having lied in the past, Secretary Powell. We don't trust you any longer. If you hadn't lied to the U.N. then you would still have credibility and your claim today would hold water. While you will be gone soon, your designated successor has even less credibility.