Slow Burn: The Road to the Iraq War

Season 5: Bonus Episode 6
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The “Little Guys” Who Didn’t See Enough Evidence for War

What went on inside government agencies as the Bush administration strived to make the case for war.

Episode Notes

In this bonus episode, Slow Burn’s host Noreen Malone and producer Jayson de Leon discuss Colin Powell, interviewing former members of the CIA, and the complicated bureaucracies of government agencies. Then we’ll hear more from Carl Ford, the former assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research at the U.S. Department of State. He talks about the mistakes that were made inside the department during the leadup to the Iraq War, and its relationship to the Bush administration.

Mentioned in this episode:
Curveball, by Bob Drogin
Colin Powell Still Wants Answers,” by Robert Draper, New York Times, July 16, 2020

Production by Chau Tu.

About the Show

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster.

Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores the people and ideas that propelled the country into the Iraq war, and the institutions that failed to stop it. How did the Iraq catastrophe happen? And what was it like to watch America make one of its most consequential mistakes?

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  • Chau Tu is a former editor of Slate Plus.