Saskatoon – Colin Powell, the first black US Secretary of State, had an accomplished military and political career, which was later spoiled by his role in the US invasion of Iraq.
Powell, who died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 84, helped shape US foreign policy under several US presidents including Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and George W Bush.
The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell served during the Vietnam War and rose to the highest ranks of the national security establishment in America. As US Secretary of State under George W. Bush, he infamously made the case for the US invasion of Iraq. The United Nations was using intelligence that was later, to a large extent, misrepresented.
Here are pictures from some of the most important moments in Powell’s life.
Military career, early White House career
Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years and served during the Vietnam War, holding several command positions, and rising to the rank of four-star general. In this February 8, 1985 file photo, US Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger talks with then-Army Major General Colin Powell during testimony before the US Senate Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FILE)
Powell would serve as the first black person to hold multiple positions within the US government. In 1987, US President Ronald Reagan tapped Powell to be his national security adviser, the first black man to serve in that role. This photo shows them together at the White House in Washington on December 16, 1988. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma)
First black person to serve as US President of the Joint Chiefs
In 1989, US President George HW Bush named Powell as the 12th chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the time, he was the youngest and first black person to play the role. While in the role from 1989 to 1993, he oversaw US Desert Storm operations during the Persian Gulf War. In this September 14, 1990 photo, he is photographed speaking in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, after visiting US troops stationed in the country. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
On July 3, 1991, Powell was awarded his first Medal of Freedom. In this photo, US President George HW Bush is seen lending his glasses to First Lady Barbara Bush as she pins the medal on Powell. In 1993 he received his second Medal of Freedom with Distinction, a rare achievement. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
In this photo taken on July 24, 1991, Powell, in his role as US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. (AP photo, file)
Bush Years, Making the Case for the Iraq War
Powell was mentioned several times as a potential US presidential candidate after leaving the military. On December 16, 2000, during a ceremony in Crawford, Texas, then-U.S. President-elect Bush announced that he was choosing Powell as his Secretary of State – the first time a black man had been appointed to that role. . (AP Photo/David J. Philip)
Eight months after his term, he faced an unprecedented crisis when 19 al-Qaeda extremists hijacked commercial aircraft and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the US on 9/11. He supported military action against the Islamic extremist group. In this February 5, 2003 photo, before the United Nations Security Council, Powell presented a vial, which he described as a vial that could contain anthrax, as he presented evidence of Iraq’s alleged weapons programs Were. Powell later called the speech a “smear” on his distinctive record. (AP Photo/Alice Amendola, FILE)
In this December 1, 2010 file photo, US President Barack Obama talks to reporters after his meeting with former Secretary of State Colin Powell on the importance of ratifying the new START treaty – the nuclear weapons reduction agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation. talked to. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Although Powell identified as a Republican, he did not always follow the party line. He endorsed US Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for his presidency. And after the January 6 uprising at the US Capitol, he said he could no longer call himself a Republican. This is a video of Powell speaking during the second night of the US Democratic National Convention on August 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)