Except for maybe Gary Hart, a serious man whose political career was derailed by an affair that looks positively straightedge nowadays, there is no sadder story in politics than Colin Powell's.
He probably could have been President if he had run. He brought so many things to the table when Bush picked him: substantial popularity and credibility in the US, equally substantial prestige abroad, and, of course, he was black, which helped to moderate Bush's southern drawl and Texas roots. At least it did for me.
But then he became Bush's bitch. He got cold conned by Cheney's office and Stephen Hadley (remember that name: someone said he's gonna be National Security Advisor after Condi gets the bump), who were fucking with the CIA's raw intelligence -- "stovepiping," Seymour Hersh called it -- to bolster their fake-ass war in Iraq.
[And for those of us just joining us, you really should read that Hersh piece. It's a primer on how this administration lied us to war. It is incredible journalism.]
They used Powell. When Powell went before the UN, charts and graphs in hand, big fake-ass photos lookin' highly, highly serious, Cheney and Wolfowitz and the PNAC zealots were calculating that Powell, and his cred, might make the difference between tacit acceptance of their stanky lil' war and serious international condemnation. They won. The world gave us a dirty look, shrugged, and looked away.
Colin got used. It's gotta fuckin' hurt. But don't feel sorry for the man. He could have resigned at any time. And he goddamned well should have. So this is why Salto's position on Colin Powell is this: FUCK COLIN POWELL.
...more good stuff here.