At the time I was pretty convinced myself that Iraq had WMDs. I subscribed to The Economist at the time, the British magazine, and they were absolutely adamant that this was the case. So a lot of people believed in it, including journalists who specialize in foreign affairs from one of the most prestigious publications in the world. Diplomates from a lot of countries believed in it too - France was an exception and was crucified for it. We later found out that it wasn't true, that France was actually among the few who got it right, and yes, it was a big blunder, but in real time Secretary Powell had to go by what his intelligence services were telling him. You wouldn't expect that the Secretary himself would go undercover into Iraq and try to sort out the information, right? It is easier to look back and blame him, knowing what we now know, but at the time, he wasn't alone in believing in the wrong information. I don't think that Colin Powell was the type of man who shies away from his responsibility. I'm sure that what happened haunted him until his last days. But he was human, fallible, and was dragged into an error by faulty intelligence. It doesn't really detract from the admiration I have for him. Perfection is not an attainable ideal for a human being, but Colin Powell had a lot more character and a lot more integrity than the vast majority of politicians we have the displeasure of currently having in this country (in both parties).