Former Colin Powell Chief of Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Says He’ll Testify Against Cheney in the Event of War Crimes Trial
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Bush-era Secretary of State Colin Powell, today vowed he would testify against Dick Cheney in the event the former Vice President is ever tried for war crimes.
Col. Wilkerson told Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman: “I’d be willing to testify, and I’d be willing to take any punishment I’m due.”
Wilkerson, who made waves last year when he revealed that former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld knew that the “majority” of the 742 detainees being held in the American concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay were innocent but kept them locked up there for political reasons, told Goodman that Cheney’s soon-to-be-released memoir was “written out of fear.” “Fear that one day someone will ‘Pinochet'” him, the colonel explained, referring to the former U.S.-backed Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was arrested in London after being indicted for crimes against humanity.
There are plenty of crimes that Cheney could be charged with. The Iraq war was an illegal invasion that violated the United Nations charter, the Nuremberg Charter, as well as U.S. and international law. It was based on lies and deception and resulted in mass murder. The torture of terrorism suspects in the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp and elsewhere was a grave violation of the Geneva Convention as well as U.S. law. Extraordinary rendition, atrocities committed during the prosecution of the War on Terror, secret death squads and the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame– a possibly treasonous action– all fall under Cheney’s area of responsibility as well.
Colonel Wilkerson told Goodman that he also regrets his role in promoting the Bush administration’s war against Iraq, an invasion that was planned almost from the moment Bush took office.
“I, unfortunately– and I’ve admitted to this a number of times, publicly and privately– was the person who put together Colin Powell’s presentation at the United Nations Security Council on 5 February, 2003,” Wilkerson told Goodman. “It was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I regret it to this day. I regret not having resigned over it.”
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