In the movie "Godfather III" Michael Corleone stands at the cusp of legitimacy. Then a violent act drives his family back into its past. The Don laments: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."
In the real world, Alaskan senator, Ted Stevens, is on trial, charged with accepting gifts (including expensive home renovations), and lying on senate financial disclosure forms. He asked Colin Powell to vouch for his character. Mr. Powell did just that.
It was not that long ago that George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield, and the gang needed some vouching for - somebody with the "creds" to assure the world that Bush's headlong rush to war with Iraq was legit. As Bush's Secretary of State, Colin Powell made the case with his presentation to UN of "mobile weapons labs" and other such evidence of Saddam's WMD program - a program that, in reality, did not exist. Thanks to his "good reputation," Powell was able to convince many that what did not exist, did. this good man sold the world a lie - a lie that cost 100,000 lives.
Nothing gnaws at a man like regret. Once the truth began to come out, and Powell realized how he had been used, he rued his critical part in this disastrous war. Too bad. Bush was done with him - this man with a conscience - and soon threw him over for someone (Condoleeza Rice) who had few qualms about keeping the lie alive. Ms. Rice's job: Further galvanize the "Coalition of the Swilling" - that motley collection of countries who sole stake in the Iraq War was what bounty they could reap from the US by joining.
It has been close to four years now, and Powell has steadily recovered what is innately his - his good reputation. It can happen, once you have disconnected yourself from that which is cancer.
Comes the senator, Ted Stevens, ranking "crook" and former chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee: "Colin," he says, "can you vouch for me?"
Just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in.