February 5, 2003: Colin Powell and the lie that sanctioned the invasion of Iraq

This article was originally posted as a thread on Twitter.

February 5, 2023, marks the 20th anniversary of US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s 2003 speech at the Security Council of the United Nations. In front of a worldwide audience, Powell told lies to justify the Bush administration’s criminal decision to invade Iraq.

Colin Powell holding a model vial of anthrax while giving his lying speech to the United Nations Security Council to justify the invasion of Iraq. [Photo: Public Domain]

Among the lying statements made by Powell were:

  1. “We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails.”
  2. “Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agents.”
  3. “He [Saddam Hussein] remains determined to acquire nuclear weapons. … He is so determined that he has made repeated covert attempts to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 different countries.”
  4. “What I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the al-Qaida terrorist network … Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with al-Qaida. These denials are simply not credible.”

Powell’s lies, which had been scripted by President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other political criminals, cleared the path for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. It began with the “Shock and Awe” bombardment of Baghdad, which destroyed much of the city.

The war resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destruction of what had been a highly developed country. The CIA and military conducted a brutal campaign of torture and murder. None of the officials responsible for the crimes were ever punished.

This grim anniversary is not being observed by the US media, which prefers not to recall the crimes of the not-too-distant past as it concocts the lies that are needed to promote the escalating war against Russia.