Saturday, May 31, 2003
Powell On First Draft - "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."
Yahoo News AFP -- US Secretary of State Colin Powell was under persistent pressure from the Pentagon and White House to include questionable intelligence in his report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction he delivered at the United Nations last February, a US weekly reported.
US News and World Report magazine said the first draft of the speech was prepared for Powell by Vice President Richard Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in late January.
According to the report, the draft contained such questionable material that Powell lost his temper, throwing several pages in the air and declaring, "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."
Cheney's aides wanted Powell to include in his presentation information that Iraq has purchased computer software that would allow it to plan an attack on the United States, an allegation that was not supported by the CIA, US News reported.
The White House also pressed Powell to include charges that the suspected leader of the September 11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta, had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer prior to the attacks, despite a refusal by US and European intelligence agencies to confirm the meeting, the magazine said.