In yesterday’s article Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, defended Hillary Clinton’s record as Senator and as Secretary of State. In the continuation of that interview, he expands on the root causes for the firestorm of conflicts across the Middle East.
Both President Obama and Secretary Clinton have been blamed for many of the conflicts. When asked about ISIS, Benghazi, Syria and Libya, he began by describing the root causes.
“The most disastrous strategic decision the United States has made in the post-World War II era was not Vietnam, that was bad enough, but invading Iraq was worse,” Wilkerson said. “Iraq is going to have continuing ramifications we will have to deal with for another 30 years. We unleashed when we invaded Iraq the very forces that are now manifesting themselves in ISIS, the Al-Nusra Front and the re-empowerment of Al Qaeda in places like Afghanistan and Yemen.”
“We did all that, we did it,” he continued. “George W. Bush and Dick Cheney hold the major responsibility for that. The idea that President Obama’s desire to extract us from that morass contributed to it is nonsense, it’s laughable. He (President Obama) wanted to get us out (of Iraq) and the military supported him in that. If we would have stayed even with minor forces, there is absolutely no guarantee that the Iraqi armed forces would have been any better than they were when ISIS struck. In fact, we failed in training Iraqi forces year after year. There was no Iraqi military when we left, it was a façade. The fact that it fell apart when we left … anyone could have told you it would fall apart when we left.”
Republicans have spent $7 million of taxpayer money investigating Benghazi. They have blamed Hillary Clinton for this unfortunate attack and the death of our Ambassador Chris Stevens. Have the Republicans’ Benghazi attacks on Clinton and the State Department been justified?
“In most cases there wasn’t any substance to the charges and Benghazi leaps out at me because I know what happened in Benghazi,” Wilkerson explains. “I know who was responsible for what happened and it had absolutely nothing to do with the State Department. To say the State Department had responsibility for a CIA operation gone bad, that’s nonsense. If anybody was at fault, it was ambassador Chris Stevens. But I understand that, he was a brave and courageous man, he was a good ambassador and he wanted to go see what the CIA was doing and he got caught in the repercussions of that and was killed. Yet my party tried endlessly, with congressional hearings and everything else, to blame her (Clinton) for that.”
Immediately following the Benghazi attack there was a great deal of confusion about who or what group was responsible for the attack. Initially, Susan Rice, the National Security Advisor, said it resulted from protests emanating from an anti-Muslim video circulating in the Middle East. Several days later it was revealed this attack on Benghazi wasn’t related to the video and the confusion arose as a result of the fog-of-war. Wilkerson addressed the confusion that created many of the doubts about this attack.
“You don’t ever go to the American people until you have enough information to think that what you are telling them is right,” Wilkerson said. “If you have to delay so be it. Unfortunately, in this case Susan Rice and Samantha Power, U.S. United Nations Ambassador and others, probably should have waited a little longer before they went out and talked.”
The Obama Administration defends the Libyan invasion saying that the French and British asked the US to aid them. Wilkerson provided some important background on Libya.
“I really do have issues with Clinton in regard to Libya. It startled us, (we asked) why are we doing this?” he said. “It was all about this new doctrine, the responsibility to protect … anytime you see anything bordering on genocide or even looking like genocide, you have a responsibility to stop it. That was a large part of the persuasive factor when the French, British and others said come with us, NATO. The French, British and the United States … didn’t think far enough ahead … I would have been more circumspect about how much I did in regard to that (invading Libya).”
There’s a great deal of speculation about Trump’s connection to Russia. Wilkerson expressed his concern.
“I think some of Trump’s staff left the campaign because of their ties to Russia,” he noted. “I think if he were to reveal everything we might find ties to Russia. Is he in complicity with the Russian hackers that are aimed at the Democratic National Committee? I wouldn’t put it past him.”
Wilkerson ended the interview by commenting on Hillary Clinton’s description of Trump supporters as deplorable.
“I wish Clinton wouldn’t have withdrawn it, because she’s right, there are 20% or more in Trump’s base that are deplorable. They’re the kind of people that want the rapture to come, the earth to end, people that want to take over the armed forces for God. They are deplorable people.”
by Rick Smith
7 Comments on "Former Powell Chief Of Staff Points To Cause Of ISIS"
Terrific series–too bad not in NYT or Washington Post
This is as close as anyone will come to admitting that the Ambassador was somewhere he shouldn’t have been that night in Benghazi. Was he there to criticize the CIA? Or was he doing an interrogation that this Administration claims it was no longer permitting? The Ambassador’s dead body prevents us from ever knowing the truth. Maybe that is why no one was called in to save these people.
“If we would have stayed even with minor forces, there is absolutely no guarantee that the Iraqi armed forces would have been any better than they were when ISIS struck.”
There is no guarantee but doing nothing was stupid and self serving. Saying it would not been better for the USA to be involved is truly naive.
“To say the State Department had responsibility for a CIA operation gone bad, that’s nonsense. If anybody was at fault, it was ambassador Chris Stevens.”
Facts you should take into account:
1 – The Congressional Record shows that Chris Stevens sent 600 requests for help in addressing security at the Benghazi Consulate. According to Hillary she didn’t know about them and nothing was done. The UK pulled all of their people out in the days before the attack.
2 – Hillary Clinton privately told her daughter and other diplomats that the attack was a terrorist attack. Then she told the American people it was caused by a video. That was a lie.
3 – When the families of the fallen came to collect the bodies of their members Hillary Clinton lied to them about a video. Her response, “What does it matter?” Hard to imagine a more calloused response to grieving families.
4 – Libya turned into a terrorist haven under the policy implemented by Hillary Clinton. The attack at Benghazi was a direct result of her policy decisions.
5 – No one was sent to assist Americans at Benghazi when they were attacked and murdered. The tradition of the US military used to be not to leave its people on the battlefield. Hillary just left them for dead.
5 – Rice and Obama lied repeatedly following the terrorist attack for weeks. Obama even lied before the UN. The Republican investigation proved that the initial response by Clinton, Obama and others were total lies. We should know that our politicians are willing to look us in the eye and lie to us.
Blaming Chris Stevens is absurd, politically motivated and simply false given the events as they happened. It is also immoral.
Way too much speculation on both sides of the fence on this Libya, and Benghazi stuff as nobody has the facts straight and the people that do know aren’t talking and never will. If you know anything about the CIA then you should understand that even within the agency operatives doing one thing aren’t privy to what other operatives job may be. There’s a reason for that. The agency does not have any obligation to explain to the president, much less congress what it intends to do, or is doing . If you think you know the facts, then just like the rest of the minions on both sides of this issue have been drinking way too much kool-aid. Half truths, or half fact doesn’t make a whole truth, period! This goes for both sides on this issue!
The speculation about Trump ties to Russia is political speak. There is not one shred of evidence that it means anything derogatory to Trumps candidacy. What it shows is that the Democratic Party and its surrogates along with the media are willing to lie about anything.
Provide some evidence or admit you have none.
Wilkerson, in this article tells us nothing more than an astute individual already has gleaned from other sources. It only enforces the wedge of half truths each side uses, which makes everyones argument about what actually took place, an exercise in futility!