Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, has diedMonday, October 18, 2021
WASHIINGTON (AP) — Colin Powell, who served Democratic and Republican presidents in war and peace but whose sterling reputation was forever stained when he went before the UN and made faulty claims to justify the US war in Iraq, has died of COVID-19 complications. He was 84.
In 1989 Powell, who was of Jamaican parentage, became the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that role he oversaw the US invasion of Panama and later the US invasion of Kuwait to oust the Iraqi army in 1991.
But his legacy was scarred when, in 2003, Powell went before the UN Security Council and made the case for US war against Iraq. He cited faulty information claiming Saddam Hussein had secretly stashed away weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's claims that it had not represented “a web of lies,” he told the world body.
In an announcement on social media, Powell's family said he had been fully vaccinated.
“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father and grandfather and a great American,” the family said. Powell had been treated at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Former President George W Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush were “deeply saddened” by Powell's death.
“He was a great public servant” and “widely respected at home and abroad,” Bush said. "And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”
Powell maintained, in a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, that on balance, US succeeded in Iraq.
“I think we had a lot of successes,” Powell said. “Iraq's terrible dictator is gone."