""I'm the one who presented it to the world, and (it) will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It is painful now...the intelligence system did not work well...There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at the time that some of those sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up."
Powell was being disingenuous. He would have been aware of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity who spoke out publicly against faulty intelligence before the war. And former intelligence officer Scott Ritter was equally forceful, even claiming the WMD inspection process was rigged to create uncertainty over WMD and bolster the US and UK's case for war.
Let's not forget the telling comment by a Bush "senior adviser" to author Ron Suskind in 2002:
"...We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality, we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."