Stopping America’s Endless Wars Could ‘Sink The Ship Of State,’ Fmr. Bush Official Warns
Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and national security advisor during the Reagan administration. Wilkerson is an outspoken critic of the current US foreign policy. Appearing on ‘The Empire Files,’ retired U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson told Abby Martin that the Abu Ghraib torture photos inspired him to speak out against U.S. imperialism.
WASHINGTON — Disgusted by the infamous Abu Ghraib torture photos, an assistant to the Bush administration now speaks out against the excesses of American empire.
“I knew that the United States had been involved in heinous activities,” explained retired U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, during a Dec. 11 interview with journalist Abby Martin on her TV show, “The Empire Files.”
“I never knew in any time in our history where those bad things had not only been authorized by the highest levels in the land, but encouraged by the highest levels in the land.”
In addition to his service in the military, Wilkerson was an assistant to Colin Powell, when Powell was the national security advisor during the Reagan administration. When Powell became secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, Wilkerson served as his chief of staff until the news of the impending leak of torture photos caused a break between Wilkerson and the administration.
In his interview with Martin, Wilkerson asserted that the military-industrial complex, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned Americans about in his famous 1961 farewell address, sustains the U.S. economy and has permeated every facet of American government and society. “We aren’t going to correct this until something serious happens to correct the ship of state, which might also sink the ship of state,” Wilkerson warned.
“Today, the purpose of U.S. foreign policy is to support the complex in the national security state that is fueled, funded, and powered by interminable war and the ramifications thereof,” Wilkerson explained, later noting: “Capital is the driving force of the world.”
According to his analysis, corporate and commercial interests are steering the “ship of state” in the direction of unsustainable growth, which in turn requires an ever-expanding war machine. Even when military officials retire, they frequently become lobbyists or even members of the media, where they continue to promote an agenda that leads to endless war.
U.S. intelligence agencies also serve this corporate agenda, Wilkerson added, bending their reports to fit the needs of Wall Street to create more military action. As examples, he cited the falsified reports of weapons of mass destruction that led to a deadly, genocidal war in Iraq.
This data is based on 44,673 database entries from the beginning of the war to 30 Jun 2015, and on monthly preliminary data from that date onwards. (Credit: Iiraq body count)
Similarly, Wilkerson cited the controversial, disputed reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own population. In his own investigation of these reports, Wilkerson personally interviewed a variety of intelligence officials, but found that none could confirm that Assad had used chemical weapons. In fact, he said, “the evidence looked more strongly for other parties than the president,” such as rebel forces.