During Powell's speech, seeking support for a US-led invasion of Iraq in February 2003, he showed specific locations where weapons warehouses awaited immediate terrorist "deployment" from the country of Iraq. On 8 January 2004 Powell altered his earlier comments during a press conference at the State Department, saying, he'd "made it clear that we had seen some links and connections to terrorists organizations over time."
Powell refutes the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report which finds the White House misrepresented a weapons threat from Iraq, and suggested US strategy be revised to eliminate unilateral preventive war. It is unlikely Iraq could have destroyed or removed the tons of chemical weapons that Colin Powell claimed existed during his speech to the United Nations, according to the report. Powell said (on 8 January) that Saddam Hussein had and used destructive weapons in the 1980s. However, Powell's comments in February 2003 were direct, decisive, and clear to UN officials and diplomats that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction "now, today." Nearly one year later, he softens his claims. The Bush administration also used allegations linking Osama bin Laden with Saddam Hussein in the weeks leading up to the Iraq invasion in March 2003; however, President Bush recants the charge, and agrees that no link existed between Hussein and either 9-11 or bin Laden.
MapQuest.com provided detailed ground photos at the time of Colin Powell's presentation; however, the website has since removed all satellite images.
Satellite images were easy to locate and easy to manipulate; however, the quality and clarity of these exceed the capabilities of the United States' pictures of Iraq. The reason, according to NASA, is the satellite above Iraq when Powell says these pictures were taken was actually down.
US State Deparment photo from Colin Powell's United Nations presentation, dated February 2002, when the satellite was down.
While it is curious enough that the United States waited until its U.N. presentation to show evidence of weapons in Iraq; in year 2004, and after no weapons find in Iraq -- Powell's presentation amounts to nothing more than a hoax. Why does one bluff at card games like Poker? Because it is a strategy to win the game.
Additionally, during Colin Powell's presentation that day, a number of assumptions were made to accept his statements. Powell played recorded phone conversations he said were intercepted from Iraq's Republican Guard, and he says the context of these conversations were explicitly related to weapons of mass destruction. Only one of the three recorded conversations played in its entirety. Could the conversations be faked? For the sake of argument, let us agree they are genuine. But there is another issue.
We can not accept without reasonable doubt that these messages played "in the context" Powell argued. Powell's point of view and interest is from his government planning war against Iraq. None of his evidence was supported by France Intelligence who have access to the same information, for example. Not even Britain's intelligence corroborated Powell's evidence with taped conversations and images of their own.
The United States has actively been deploying new satellites above the Middle East since the Fall of 1996. In January 2003, a week prior to the photograph pictured here is said to be taken, the USA replaced a 10-year-old GPS satellite station above Iraq, which was no longer working, and thus wasn't able to take photographs. Images sent from the live satellite would be in color, not black and white, as Powell shows. It is therefore unknown when the pictures Powell shows us were taken. The Poker bluff. The USA couldn't let the world know they were madly deploying new satellites above Iraq, therefore discrediting their claims Iraq held weapons.
Furthermore, the USA does monitor live images. Why didn't Powell show this? If you recall, the Bush administration claims against Iraq predates these images by one year. Powell and the Bush administration claim they had proof of Iraq weapons in January 2002, but via satellite, they fail to marry images with claims.
Powell concludes Iraq is developing or holding ANTHRAX. So is the United States of America. Who is keeping the USA in check? Backtrack to Fall 2001 when someone (or a group) in the United States saw to send ANTHRAX to Democrat offices, media outlets, and individuals. What is the status of that ANTHRAX investigation in the USA? It faded when the letters did.
Powell claimed Iraq oppresses and cleanses the Kurds, only he didn't say that is a historical statement, not one in present. The Serbs hold the most current violation of human rights, and yet Serbia is now a "democracy."
Who says the USA is any more or less oppressing its citizens with religious fundamentalism, or economic ills today? Historically, the USA has a black spot in history too --or the color of those we openly oppressed, lynched, burned, and banned from public institutions. Using this argument against the USA would be as absurd in the historical context as Powell's is against Iraq.
History should not repeat itself, in either country, but Powell's arguments for invading Iraq were emotional and intended to mislead public opinion. As there was no plan for Iraq post-invasion, there was no plan to address "lies" post-speech.
What we know in 2004 is that North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran admit to, and have the ability to deploy a nuclear bomb. North Korea antagonistally threatens the safety of the United States. Iraq posed no threat whatsoever in 2003, and evidence of that country's ability to create weapons, or store weapons was false.