Don't Call Colin

by digby

No, No, No. This is a horrible idea. I assume that Clinton thinks this would signal a return to "The Powell Doctrine" but even if it's decided that's a good idea, Powell himself should never be allowed anywhere near government again.

Despite his long career, Colin Powell's most world famous, resonant moment was this:

Clinton may think it's a neat idea to send a few Republicans around the world as envoys to show that America has a bipartisan foreign policy again, but she's going to have to look to people who have been out of government for a couple of decades if she expects them to actually have a credibility in the rest of the world.

Colin Powell sold his reputation and his soul when he helped the Bush administration sell a war he knew was bullshit. It's worse, in some ways, than what Bush did. At least Bush actually thought it was a good idea.

And anyway, there is no margin in rehabilitating members of the Bush administration. She will get no thanks for it and she knows it. Colin Powell was instrumental in destroying Bill Clinton's first term for gawd's sake:

As President Bush gave way to President Clinton, the general's protests grew more vocal. First, in October 1992, Powell went public with his opposition to using force in Bosnia, penning an unprecedented New York Times op-ed justifying his stance. Powell cleared the article with the Bush team, but coming at the height of a presidential election in which candidate Clinton was calling for forceful action to halt Milosevic, the intent was clear-all the more so when Powell reiterated his objections in a Foreign Affairs article published as Clinton prepared for his inauguration. "Whether the issue was military service for homosexuals, post-Soviet budget levels, or military action in ex-Yugoslavia," recounts Edward Luttwak, "Powell overruled the newly inaugurated Clinton with contemptuous ease." In at least one instance-the 1993 dust-up over gays in the military-Powell skirted the edge of insubordination. Exploiting Clinton's weakness vis-à-vis the armed forces, Powell went public with his opposition to the plan to integrate homosexuals into the military, letting it be known that he might resign over the issue and humiliating Clinton into negotiating with-and all but surrendering to-his own military chiefs.

The funny thing is that that article is about how Powell acted as a free agent under both Bush I and Clinton (especially Clinton) when he was in uniform, and it was warning that he'd freelance even more as a civilian in the BushII administration. If only. After he became Secretary of State, he turned into a good little soldier who never said a word in public about what went on in the Junior administration until just last summer, when Bush's approval ratings had been safely in the 30's for a year.

No member of the Bush administration should ever be set out to represent this country abroad again. And aside from Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney, I can't think of anyone less credible than Colin Powell.