Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Talk/Talk: Was He Used?

Every Sunday CUIP’s political director Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and discuss them. Here are excerpts from their dialogue on Sunday, June 10, 2007 after watching "The Chris Matthews Show”, "Meet the Press” and "The McLaughlin Group.” Below is an excerpt from Talk Talk. To read it in its entirety, go to:, or click on the link below.

Salit: Colin Powell was a guest on “Meet the Press.” Powell is a very interesting and enigmatic figure in American public life. I was struck by the quote from Powell’s wife, Alma, that Russert presented to Powell from a book written about him. She said, basically, that her husband had been used by the Administration to sell the war to the American people, because he was the person that people would believe. Then Russert asked Powell if he felt he had been used. Powell said no, that he didn’t feel that he was used, that he was part of an administration and part of formulating the policy and that he had expressed his views along the way. When he went before the United Nations, he made the best and most accurate case that he thought could be made for the war. And he said, repeatedly, that he would have preferred not to go to war. Do you think he was “used”?

Newman: No. He was a member of the team. That’s what the team came up with. His wife has a right to her opinion, and I can see, from her point of view, it might look like he was used. But he was a voluntary member of that team. He could have left that team any time he wanted to. But if you’re on the team and you have input, and the team position is what you come up with, then you’re not used, you’re just a part of the team.

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