Sep 22 2006

Armitage Gets A Hammered By Musharraf, Did He Lie?

Published by at 11:55 am under All General Discussions

Richard Armitage and Colin Powell are reaping some just desserts from their three year silence on the Plame affair. It seems Pakistani President Musharraf was given the green light to express some closely held information he had on the strong arm threats by the State Department after 9-11. Contrary to popular opinion, it seems it was the State Department under Powell and Armitage that was rattling the sabers and threatening countries with annihilation – if the story Musharraf is now expressing is true. Were Powell and Armitage running amok at State? Were they strong arming our allies and pretending to these allies all these threats were coming from Bush? Where they all the while telling Bush they were being diplomatic and the backlash was due to something else? The example set in the Plame fiasco, of hiding their true actions from the WH as they ended up being the true leakers to the media, would indicate it is strongly possible that all the international strife the US has faced was due to heavy handedness by State, while State was not being totally honest with Bush on what was happening at the lower levels. I have come to learn over the last few years that the press is right about the essence of stories and way off base on the driving force (the ‘blame’ if you will) because they are so easily duped by professional spinmeisters. This could be the next case in point.

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Armitage Gets A Hammered By Musharraf, Did He Lie?”

  1. Terrye says:

    I heard a little bit of the press conference today with Bush and Musharaff and I got the impression that Musharaff is saying wait until the book comes out. Bush was laughing the whole thing off. Interesting.

  2. DubiousD says:

    Which raises a point that I have yet to hear anyone in the blogosphere make: that Colin Powell may be as responsible, if not more so, for our current problems in Iraq than say, Bush, Cheney, Rice, or Rumsfield.

    A harsh accusation, you say? Well, consider this: much criticism has been directed at the Pentagon, and Donald Rumsfield, in particular, for failing to plan adequately for Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Yes, I know, that was the understatement of the year, on both ends of the equation.)

    However, what most critics of the war effort seem to have forgotten, or perhaps never bothered to find out in the first place, was that the original battle plan for Operation Iraqi Freedom was never fully implemented. *That* battle plan would have called for the 4th Infantry Division to invade Iraq from our bases in Turkey while simultaneouly pushing forward with our forces in Kuwait. This coordinated effort would have allowed Coalition forces to trap Iraq’s Republican Guard in a pincer-like maneuver. Our forces then would have been able to crush Iraqi forces in one fell swoop, forcing their absolute surrender.

    Unfortunately, diplomatic efforts with Turkey broke down. As a result, the 4th ID’s entry into the conflict was delayed by several weeks. Once denied direct access to Iraq, the 4th ID was forced to travel via ship to the Persian Gulf in order to redeploy. By the time the 4th ID joined the theater of operations, the initial phase of the conflict was winding down.

    As a result, thousands of Iraqi soldiers who otherwise would have been captured or killed instead were allowed to slip out of the widening noose, whereupon they promptly blended into the crowds and vanished. And make no mistake, it has always been the former regime elements (ex-Republican Guards and others), not Al Qaeda, who have been at the spearhead of the insurgency. The majority of our soldiers who have died in this conflict came at the hands of insurgents, not uniformed Iraqi soldiers. If our forces had crushed the Iraqi army when we had the chance, it is very possible, but by no means a certainty, that many soldiers coming home in draped coffins today might otherwise still be alive.

    Bearing this in mind, we must ask ourselves: since the 4th ID’s Turkish maneuver was so crucial to our war plans, who among us was tasked to travel abroad and persuade the Turkish government to green-light our northern push across the Iraqi border?

    His name: Colin Powell.

    And he failed. Miserably.

    So what happened? Turkey is a NATO ally. Our 4th Infantry Division was already based in Turkey, so it was not a question of requesting permission to station additional troops there. Nor was it an issue of begging Turkey’s permission (as if we needed it) to send the 4th ID into Iraq. Either way, the 4th ID was going to be deployed into the theater of operations. The only request we made of Turkey was that we be allowed to utilize the most direct route.

    And Turkey said no.

    So what were the details of all those backroom negotiations? Was it that Turkey’s position was set in stone? Or could it be that a bit of diplomatic backscratching on our part was in order, only Powell didn’t feel like breaking out the bristle brush?

    In sum, how hard did Powell lobby for our position?

    Even former Secretary of State James Baker was able to persuade Syria (Syria, for goshsakes) to deploy thousands of troops against Saddam Hussein back in 1991 in Operation Desert Storm. But Colin Powell couldn’t get Turkey’s permission for our troops to leave Turkey through the front door… we had to sneak out the back?

    This is a matter that deserves far more serious attention than anyone in the blogosphere has been willing to give to it. I know, Plamegate is more, I guess, “titilating” but Powell’s misadventures abroad as a member of our State Department are at least as worthy of our attention. And the same MSM which logs ten zillions stories laying the blame for our failures in Iraq solely at the feet of Donald Rumsfield can’t be bothered to do one good investigative story about the incompetence of Colin Powell.

  3. kathie says:

    The other part of the story is that the State Department took over after the General (American), can’t remember his name, was seen as being ineffectual, and Bremer was put in.

  4. Retired Spook says:

    DD, I heard your theory batted around a while back, but not nearly as concisely and logically as you laid it out. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were very close to the truth.

  5. Barbara says:

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I dimly remember Powell being against and persuading Bush Sr. not to go into Iraq during the Gulf war. Is my memory wrong or not?

  6. kathie says:

    Barbara—-Powell was very proud of that fact.

  7. MerryJ1 says:


    On your main point about Powell/Armitage rattling sabers right after 9/11 at Pakistan: An interview on Fox this afternoon — (why can’t I remember his name? His face is right in front of my mind’s eye), but a former Ambassador, frequent guest, who is sometimes seemingly very credible, sometimes not quite “very” — anyway; his take, and it was clearly opinion, but he does know the players, was that based on Masharaf’s interview, the Armitage threat was repeated to Masharaf by the head of Pakistan’s, what is it, ISI? Anyway, the head guy was much in league with the Taliban, and we persuaded Masharaf to get rid of him back at the beginning of Afghanistan invasion.

    OK, Holbrook: His conclusion is that it was probably not Armitage’s message, that’s not his style, but that it could well be what the head of ISI told Masharaf Armitage had said. That does seem to make sense, since ISI would not want Pakistan to cut off the Taliban, which had been created and supported by ISI.

  8. DubiousD says:

    Kathie, as I recall the reason the General in charge of post-war operations was dismissed had nothing to do with his leadership ability or his level of comptetence.

    Rather, international relief agencies (and perhaps UN relief groups as well, I can’t remember) insisted that the General be removed or else the relief agencies would not be able to do their job. (“Our charter prevents us from working with juntas!” or words to that effect.)

    Replacing a military commander with a civilian authority — namely Bremer — was an attempt to placate those groups.

  9. jforrik says:

    DD – I have long felt that the real story behind Plamegate was the Turkish connection. IIRC Marc Grossman (bosom buddy of Ambassador Munchhausen, I mean Wilson) was the point man in our failed negotiations with the Turks. I have often wondered if he told the Turks something that made them not want to cooperate, while putting a good face on it for Bush & Co. When I read how Armitage apparently threatened Pakistan into cooperation, I immediately thought that this might have been the same sort of manouever – looking like he was attempting to gain cooperation while at the same time preventing it.

    Marc Grossman, Brent Scowcroft and Joe Wilson were all in the American Turkish Council together (headed by Scowcroft). Joe reportedly met Valerie at the Turkish Embassy while getting an award from the ATC.

    It seems to be perfect irony that the Dems always criticize Rumsfeld for not putting enough boots on the ground, when perhaps they know they prevented it. And that Colin and his minions prevented the Powell Doctrine from being implemented. Every once in a while, Rummy will respond to such criticism by saying that the 4th ID was part of the original plan.

  10. AJStrata says:


    To add to your points about Powell and Turkey (and Plame and Wilson), do you know who was stationed in Turkey’s Embassy? One Marc Grossman, the man who came up with the 1x2x6 theory about the Plame leak (when it was really Armitage), the man who rewrote the June INR memo (used to cover for the Woodward leak on Plame) in July to give cover to the Novak leak on Plame. He is also good friends with Wilson. I was simply speculating on how Powell and Armitage may have messed up. But what if they thought they could stop the invasion by taking out the route through Turkey???


  11. AJStrata says:


    I see we think alike! Did not see your comment until I wrote mine.


  12. The Macker says:

    Two reasons have been suggested for Turkey’s refusal:
    • It wouldprejudice their admission to the EU
    • Internal Islamic opposition

    Both of these appear amenable to diplomacy. Looks like the State Dept. warrants more scrutiny.

  13. DubiousD says:

    There’s also the question of whether Powell’s State Department was willing to engage the Turkish government on the issue of the PKK.

    The Rice State Department, as we have seen, has brokered an agreement on all sides allowing legal incursions by Turkish forces into Iraqi territory in order to combat the PKK (Kurdish terrorists non-affiliated with our Kurdish allies).

    Was such a plan doable at the time of Operation Iraqi Freedom’s launch? Did Turkey ask for our help in combat Kurdish terrorists? Did Powell even offer?