The College of Liberal Arts’ University Forum Lecture Series presents “Colin Powell and His 2003 Speech to the U.N. Security Council,” a talk by Jeffrey J. Matthews, George F. Jewett Distinguished Professor, School of Business & Leadership, University of Puget Sound.
This lecture analyzes Powell’s controversial 2003 speech to the U.N. Security Council in which he cited Saddam Hussein’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction as the decisive rationale for the U.S. military invasion of Iraq. Powell had acted honorably; he believed what he said. But, U.S. invasion located no weapons of WMD. Powell was forced to admit that his persuasive U.N. presentation was “one of my most momentous failures.” By exercising insufficient critical judgment while assessing information provided by CIA leadership and the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, the secretary had failed himself, the president, and the American public.