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Profile: Larry Wilkerson

 
  

Positions that Larry Wilkerson has held:

  • Secretary of State Chief of Staff


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, April 2004

   [Regarding sanctions on Cuba] “Dumbest policy on the face of the earth. It's crazy.” [Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ), 4/29/2004]


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Larry Wilkerson actively participated in the following events:

 
  

January 29, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       US Secretary of State Colin Powell gives his chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, a 48-page report from the White House on Iraq's arsenal of banned weapons. The dossier—written in the office of Dick Cheney under the guidance of his two hawkish aids, Lewis “Scooter” Libby and John Hannah—is meant to serve as the basis for Powell's upcoming speech to the UN (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003). Powell, skeptical of the report's data, instructs Wilkerson to have it looked over by the CIA. The analysts at the agency will quickly determine that the documents are based on unreliable sources (see January 30, 2003-January 31, 2003). [Vanity Fair, 5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell, Lewis Libby, John Hannah
          

January 30, 2003-January 31, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Colin Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, meets with other State staffers and CIA analysts at the agency's Langley headquarters in a conference room down the hall from George Tenet's office to review two White House reports on Iraq's alleged illegal activities. The two dossiers are meant to serve as the basis for Powell's upcoming speech at the UN (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003). One of the reports—a 48-page dossier that had been provided to Powell's office a few days earlier (see January 29, 2003) —deals with Iraq's supposed arsenal of weapons of mass destruction while the other, slightly more recent report totaling some 45 pages, addresses the issue of Iraq's history of human rights violations and its alleged ties to terrorism. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230] Shortly after the CIA analysts begin their review of the documents, the decision is made to scrap them and start from scratch. “They suspect much of it originated with the Iraqi National Congress (INC) and its chief, Ahmed Chalabi,” Vanity Fair magazine will later report. Powell's staff was also “convinced that much of it had been funneled directly to Cheney by a tiny separate intelligence unit set up by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230] A senior source later tells US News and World Report that the documents had included “unsubstantiated assertions.” According to several administration officials, Powell's team “tried to follow ... [the] 45-page White House script,” but “there were too many problems—some assertions, for instance, were not supported by solid or adequate sourcing—Indeed, some of the damning information simply could not be proved.” [US News and World Report, 6/9/03 Sources: Unnamed senior source] One item in the White House's original draft alleged that Iraq had obtained software from an Australian company that would provide Iraqis with sensitive information about US topography. The hawks' argument was that Iraqis, using that knowledge, could one day attack the US with biological or chemical weapons deployed from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). But when Powell's intelligence team investigated the issue, it became “clear that the information was not ironclad.” (see October 1, 2002) [US News and World Report, 6/9/03 Sources: Unnamed senior source] Summing it up, one official will later explain, “We were so appalled at what had arrived from the White House.” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230.]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, Larry Wilkerson, Ahmed Chalabi
          

February 1, 2003-February 4, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       On February 1, Secretary of State Colin Powell begins rehearsing for his February 5 presentation to the UN Security Council (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003) in which he will argue that Iraq represents a serious and imminent threat to the US. Powell is assisted by members of his staff, including his chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. [Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ), 4/29/2004; US News and World Report, 6/9/2003] Several other officials drop in during the pre-speech sessions, including George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Lewis Libby, and CIA deputy director John McLaughlin. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230] Cheney's staff continues to pressure Powell to include several unsubstantiated and dubious allegations. For example, the group insists that Powell “link Iraq directly to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington” and include the widely discredited allegation (see October 21, 2002) that Mohammed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer (see April 8, 2001). [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230.; US News and World Report, 6/9/2003] But Powell and his staff reject a good portion of the hawks' material. At one point, during one of the rehearsals, Powell says, “I'm not reading this. This is bullshit.” [US News and World Report, 6/9/03; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230] “[W]e fought tooth and nail with other members of the administration to scrub it and get the crap out,” Larry Wilkerson, Powell's Chief of Staff later tells GQ. [Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ), 4/29/2004]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Larry Wilkerson, Richard Armitage, John McLaughlin, Colin Powell, Lewis Libby
          

2:00 a.m. February 5, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet calls Colin Powell's hotel room at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson picks up the phone. Tenet says that he is concerned that too much has been cut from Powell's speech and tells Wilkerson that he wants to take one last look at the final draft. A copy of the speech is quickly sent to Tenet who is staying at another hotel. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 230-31]
People and organizations involved: Lewis Libby, George Tenet, Larry Wilkerson
          

(10:00 a.m.) February 5, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, attempts to telephone Colin Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, in order to persuade Powell to link Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and include the widely discredited claim (see October 21, 2002) that Mohammed Atta had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer in April 2001 (see April 8, 2001). Wilkerson refuses to take the call. “Scooter,” one State Department aide later explains to Vanity Fair magazine, “wasn't happy.” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 232]
People and organizations involved: Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell, Lewis Libby
          

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