posted February 08, 2003 at 9:47 PM MDT
Without being too distracted by the British government's plagiarsism (it certainly is an Enron world we live in ... I wouldn't have hoped to get away with plagiarism in university, and I /certainly/ wouldn't have thought of fudging an intelligence report when I was working! But apparently rules of democracy and civility have to be suspended in order to fight in the defense of ... ummm ... democracy and civility ... gee, that reads poorly! Anyhow, the whole "smoking gun" thing stinks. It's an insult to us as citizens and as decent working people.
As a motivated geek, I read a lot of background papers. The consequnce of that was that I got some sense of "the big picture", and that's important when listening to biased accounts, like those provided by a lawyer, and advocate, or a politician. A lot of Powell's assertions have face validity, and taking them apart involves a bit of detail. Please make the effort: "A First Response to Sec. Colin Powell's Presentation Concerning Iraq" by Glen Rangwala, Lecturer in Politics at Cambridge University) is the main document I'd invite you to consider; it isn't huge, and neither is it rocket science, but it isn't as entertaining as the "made for CNN" stuff the chicken hawks are issuing. As well, there are a number of significant documents sourced on "Powell Cited Sham "Fine Paper"", which is a teaching example of how to transform a general into a horse's ass.