'Irrefutable and Undeniable'. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has laid out hard evidence that would convince any jury that there has been a huge Iraqi cover-up. By William Safire. [New York Times: Opinion]
Interpretations vary, of course. Most commentators seem to read the Powell presentation as reinforcing their existing points of view. But, as Safire observes:
Reasonable people take as a clear indication of underlying crime such activity as lying about that crime, suborning perjury about it in others, and intimidating scientific witnesses.
But unreasonable or fearful or self-interested people Ö the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, China and Luxembourg (where is Ambassador Perle Mesta now that we need her?) Ö do not want to find the crime that would necessitate war. That's why they shrug off the cover-up. Their reaction to Powell's graphic presentation of smoking guns: Send more inspectors to meet more delays.