IS IT TIME FOR POWELL
by Jon Christian Ryter
It's been more than obvious since the first day of 43's Administration that there were, and still are, three separate presidential advisory teams working in the Executive Branch. First, there are a handful of 41's advisors in key State Department slots. That group is headed by former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell. Powell hand-picked these loyal underlings and had them slotted before '43' realized what was happening at Foggy Bottom just off Constitution Avenue eight blocks from the White House. While claiming to be merely the 'father of President 43', '41' wields a terrific punch in the Oval Office or at least People's Republic of China thinks so. When '43' began talking about building a missile shield defense system, the Chinese and Russians didn't run to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue screaming not fair!' They subtracted 'two' and ran to Kennebunkport, Maine. So did their lobbyist, Henry Kissinger. The message to keep '43' in line was delivered to '41' in Kennebunkport.
After September 11 when all America, the liberal media included, wanted a thousand oil barrels full of Islamic blood, and the head of Osama bin Laden spiked on the city gate for all the world to see, in retaliation for the World Trade Center and the Pentagon attacks, Secretary of State Colin Powell wanted to refer the matter to the United Nations. General Powell believed we should allow the 'international community' to resolve the matter with the Muslims. If Powell had his way, the UN, which is now largely controlled by Muslims, would have been delegated the authority to invoke 'sanctions' against the Taliban. Powell, you will recall, convinced '41' that going 'for the kill' with Saddam Hussein would not be good for the Mideast. Powell was the agent behind the idea of sanctions there, too. (It's pointless to level sanctions against a nation since sanctions are never felt by the ruling class of that nation, they are felt first by the poorest members of that society and then they trickle upward to whatever middle class exists.)
When President Bill Clinton left the White House on January 20, 2001 (with badly bruised fingertips that were injured from a death grip on the Oval Office door jam as Clinton used every legal and extra-legal ploy he could think of to hold office beyond Jan. 20), he used the liberal media to make it appear as though he was gracefully surrendering his high office to his successor. When Slick Willy vacated the White House, he left close to 3,000 key staffers and party loyalists behind to infiltrate the bureaucracy. To make certain he could still control the affairs of State after he left office, Clinton buried his most trusted staffers into key mid- to high-level non-political career job slots in Justice, State, Commerce, Labor, Education, Treasury, Energy, and Health and Human Services. Forty-three key appointees went to FEMA. In most cases those left behind now fill sub-department head positions and have become the key advisors to 43's cabinet heads. In other words, much of the advise reaching Bush's ear comes either from Kennebunkport or New York, and that advise is usually at odds with 43's inner circle advisers: Vice President Dick Cheney, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Gov. Tom Ridge, John Ashcroft, Andrew Card and Donald Rumsfeld the colorful Secretary of Defense whose press conferences on Fox News carry higher Neilson ratings than half of the prime time network programs. Confidential Bush Administration information leaks to the media like water through a sieve. Embarrassing the Bush Administration is part of the job of the Clinton carryovers who are now institutionalized within the bureaucracy and cannot be fired. The latest embarrassing flap concerns an internal argument over whether the al Qaeda detainees housed at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are P.O.W.s or are criminal detainees. The view of 43's inner circle is that the al Qaeda fighters are not, and never were, regular army soldiers entitled to be called prisoners of war. They are terrorists and they have always been terrorists. Nothing more, nothing less.
Yet the senior-most military-experienced presidential advisor, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell, argued in an internal memo to 43 that the al Qaeda fighters are not detainees but are, in reality, prisoners of war under the terms of the Geneva Convention. In a four page memo White House Special Counsel Al Gonzales told the President that Powell requested 43 to consider his January 18 decision that detainees do not qualify for POW status under the Geneva Convention. Gonzales' note to Bush said: "The Secretary of State has requested that you reconsider the decision...Specifically, he has asked that you conclude that GPW (Geneva Convention II on the Treatment of Prisoners) does apply to both al Qaeda and the Taliban...I understand, however, that he would agree that al Qaeda and Taliban fighters could be determined not to be prisoners of war, but only on a case-by-case basis, following individual hearings before a military board."
After the memo was leaked, causing an Administration that appears to be internally divided on a key issue considerable embarrassment, the White House belatedly initiated damage control. Sean McCormick, chief spokesman for the National Security Council issued a statement on Saturday saying that "...All of the president's advisors, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, agree they are not POWs."
The State Department, which since January 20, 2001 has not hesitated to give its view on any subject without first determining the position of the Oval Office, was surprisingly silent, declining to comment on the substance of the leaked memo. McCormick declared that the leaked memo was merely a 'draft' that did not accurately reflect Powell's position on the detainees. "...Powell's position," he argued to the media, "is that they are not POWs," insisting that Powell has consistently held that view. Yet the 'draft memo' shows a considerable amount of disagreement between the State Department and the Oval Office on this issue. McCormick said that the final version of the disputed memo (which was never released to the media) reflects a unified consensus with the president's position.
Skeptical reporters asked McCormick how such 'inaccuracies' were included in the first draft of the memo if Powell stood in accord with the President's views. McCormick replied that it was a misunderstanding between lawyers. Under the Geneva Convention there is a section that deals with combatants who are not regular army troops. It is now being argued by the White House that Powell's position is that the al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in custody should be viewed as non-army combatants under the terms of the Geneva Convention, not that he felt they should be classified as POWs. McCormick was grabbing at nonexistent straws since the version that was leaked to the media was the same memo that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice distributed to senior Administration officials on Friday, Jan. 25, asking them to respond by 11 a.m. on Saturday. There may have been another memo issued by the National Security Council to the President, Vice President and senior staff after each had an opportunity to assess the views expressed in the Jan. 25 memo concerning whether or not to 'upgrade' the detainees status to 'prisoner of war'.
Clearly, what was going on behind the scenes was a battle of the lawyers. This is not the first time this has happened since September 11, and it is not the first time it has had adverse affects on the Bush Administration. In October, you will recall, Gen. Tommy Franks' special ops people located Muhammed Atef, Osama bin Laden's number two man. However, before he could launch a missile and bomb strike to take Atef out, an argument ensued between lawyers for the State Department, Defense Department, National Security Council, the Justice Department and eventually the Solicitor General. As they argued whether striking Atef could be construed by the liberals in the Senate as the assassination of a national leader, Atef vanished. Atef, who was related to bin Laden by marriage, was later killed in another bomb strike. The difference in the bomb run that ultimately killed him and the planned attack in October was that when he was finally killed, Atef was the random victim in a bombing attack. In October, he was specifically targeted.
In October it was the State Department which stopped the attack claiming it would open the White House to charges that it had authorized the assassination of a national leader. (And under current UN guidelines, that was a possibility.) Now the State Department is, for the same reasons, attempting to classify the captured Taliban and al Qaeda fighters as 'covered' combatants under the protective umbrella of the Geneva Convention.
What is most disturbing at Powell's attempts to force Bush to reconsider the White House position is that his 'allies' in this endeavor are  the liberal international media that is currently slamming the Bush Administration's 'care' of the detainees, arguing that they are suffering inhumane treatment because they are 'housed' out-of-doors,  the heads of the Islamic nations in the Mideast who don't want the U.S. Marines and the National Security Council to have unbridled access to the 158 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters who are being held at Gitmo, and  the socialist liberals in the Congress of the United States that need to tarnish 43's war record as they attempt to blame the current economic recession of Bush's tax cut in preparation for the midterm elections which will be held in November. At stake in November is control of both the House and Senate. If the detainees are classified as prisoners of war instead of terrorist detainees, then the United States military is greatly limited in the methods they may use to question them and the detainees can answer by providing only their names and ranks, if any. In addition, since they are Islamic, the American government would be forced to allow members of the Red Crescent (the Muslim equivalent to the Red Cross) to visit and examine the containment facilities. The biggest problem with that is that the Red Crescent is one of the Islamic charities that has been caught financing terrorism, and is a conduit that has been used to funnel money to the al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Furthermore, if the detainees are classified as POWs, they must be able to mingle freely together in a compound. The problem with that at Gitmo is that the detainees, restricted as they are in separate 8' X 8' cubicles, are already forming a leadership hierarchy and command structure. Clearly since most of these fighters have pledged suicide, if they were confined in a common area, there is no doubt they would attempt to overpower their armed guards in order to kill them before they themselves were killed.
If the al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are classified as terrorist detainees, they may be treated as criminals and questioned repeatedly not only by the military but by NSA officials, the CIA and the FBI. There is much more at stake here than the treatment the detainees are getting at Club Gitmo.
At stake here is how much authority the international community has over the sovereign affairs of the United States of America. Powell knows that. So does 43. And, so does 41 who believed in the New World Order so much that he was willing to surrender America's external sovereign rights (its right to control its own international diplomacy without interference from the European Union and the transnationalist industrialists and bankers who need to maintain a smooth working rapport with the oil patch in the Mideast), believing that all of the economic and political problems in the world would be solved with world government.
Powell, who was offered a shot at the Oval Office by the Bilderbergers in 1999 when George W. Bush seemed to be wavering about throwing his own hat in the ring, is clearly in bed with the globalists. Every decision he has made since becoming Secretary of State has been based on the utopian ideals of the New World Order. And most of those decisions appear to be at odds with 43's inner circle. Powell has clashed with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at least twice on policy matters dealing with the War on Terrorism and has lost both arguments.
There should not be any public division at the senior level of any President's administration, particularly when that division weighs America's right to make sovereign decisions concerning its internal security without kowtowing to the international consensus of transnationalists with a monetary interest in manipulating political policy.
It's time for Colin Powell to go.
Jon Christian Ryter is a former newspaper reporter with the Parkesburg, WV Sentinel. Ryter also wrote a syndicated column, "Answers from the Bible" which was followed each week by over a half million fans of his work. Today, Ryter works for The Washington Times as an advertising executive where he he now interacts with most of the notable conservative advocacy groups in the United States, as well as some of the nation's brightest conservative legislators. Author of the baffled Christian's handbook "Prince Albert: Prophet of Utopia" website: www.jonchristianryter.comold website: http://www.aol.com/baffauthor/jonchristianryter.html His latest book "Whatever Happened To America?" can be purchased from WorldNetDaily's on line store front, or Walter Publishing: 1-800-955-0116