Army colonel says Powell manipulated into Iraq invasion

Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army Colonel and Colin Powell’s ex-chief of staff, said Thursday during an MSNBC interview that Powell was manipulated and lied to by Vice President Dick Cheney into the justification of the Iraq invasion.

This comes on the heels of the recent admission of lying by Iraqi defector, Curveball, a source that falsely corroborated the existence of Saddam Hussein’s chemical and biological weapons program. The source knowingly made up the story to try to get rid of the dictator, Raw Story reports.

Wilkerson was asked by MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur if he believed that he and Powell were “flat-out-lied to,” according to Raw Story.

“I cannot come to any other conclusion,” Wilkerson said, according to Raw Story. “I think there was some manipulation of the material and there was some downright lying.”

When Uygur asked if he believes Cheney “manipulated” Powell into giving the well-known United Nations speech about Hussein’s chemical and biological weapons that was critical in justifying the invasion, Wilkerson replied, “absolutely,” Raw Story reports. “The only member of this administration with any credibility is Colin Powell. He’s got poll ratings like Mother Theresa...One of my team said, ‘Why is Powell doing this’?”

Wilkerson also said that even if Curveball did not exist, he still believes that because of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s intent, the United States would have gone to war with Iraq.