Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson was the Chief of Staff to Colin Powel in the G.W. Bush State Department. On August 30, Wilkerson’s head exploded when he heard some of Dick Cheney‘s self-congratulatory promotional tour for his new book. Wilkerson made it very clear that he was ready to testify in any trial of Cheney or Bush, “I’d be willing to testify, and I’d be willing to take any punishment I’m due.” Strong words but no doubt long overdue. No one seems very interested in upholding the law and the Constitution, including President Obama.
I remember that Wilkerson was saying the same thing back in 2007 when he visited my university to speak at one of our classes on the Iraq War. My colleagues and I were teaching the FIRST COURSE in the NATION to explain the Iraq War and how we got there. That historic course led us to write the book The Iraq Papers, released in 2010. One of our students, Miguel Arvelo, had met Wilkerson while doing an internship in Washington, D.C. He was incredibly intelligent, poised, humble, and determined to bring the criminals in the Bush administration to justice.
Wilkerson is neither a bomb thrower nor a narcissist. In fact, I recall how patient and gracious he was with our students, spending a couple of extra hours with them, after the formal sessions were over, to patiently and astutely answer a busload of their questions. He admitted, at one point, that he had always been a Republican. He indicated, however, his intent to vote for Obama in the 2008 election because of how deeply horrified he was at the war crimes committed during the Bush administration. He was and remains determined to take the Bush Administration officials responsible for two unnecessary wars to court. Here is the Wilkerson interview: