Colin Powell (1937– ) is a US general who served as secretary of state to President George W. Bush. In 1989, as a career Army officer, Powell was the first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H. W. Bush. In 1993, he retired from the military. In 2001, he was appointed as the first African American secretary of state by George W. Bush, and in that position he sought support for the American war in Iraq. In February 2003, he delivered a speech before the United Nations supporting American action in Iraq, asserting that Iraq was creating weapons of mass destruction and seeking to create nuclear weapons. Those assertions were later revealed to be based on faulty intelligence, and the speech became a blot on Powell’s record. In 2004, following Bush’s reelection, Powell resigned as secretary of state and retired to private life.

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