< Back to front page Text size +

Colin Powell irony alert

Posted by Christopher Shea  October 20, 2008 10:21 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Referring to former Secretary of State Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama for President, the former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich said the following yesterday:

What that just did in one sound bite … is it eliminated the experience argument. How are you going to say the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, former national security adviser, former secretary of state was taken in?

Not to subtract from either the importance of Powell's endorsement, or the general perspicaciousness of Mr. Gingrich, who made his comments on ABC's "This Week," but this strikes me as a poor choice of words. Can anyone else think of a time when General Powell was, as Gingrich put it, "taken in" on a matter of national importance -- when he was asked to sift through contradictory evidence, weigh competing arguments, and make a judgment that others were widely expected to be influenced by?

Colin Powell at the U.N., Feb. 5, 2003, making the case that Iraq possessed huge caches of chemical and biological weapons


A slide Powell presented during his 2003 U.N. speech, showing a purported WMD site

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


Browse this blog

by category