Powell: Bush administration's National Security Council never met to discuss war in Iraq

In the book, Powell reportedly calls his February speech before the United Nations “one of my most momentous failures, the one with the widest-ranging impact.” He goes on to lay the blame on former Vice President Dick Cheney, who he says ordered his chief of staff Scooter Libby to write the “unusable” presentation as a lawyer's brief instead of an intelligence assessment.

“By then, the president did not think war could be avoided,” Powell writes. “He had crossed the line in his own mind, even though the NSC [National Security Council] had never met -- and never would meet -- to discuss the decision.”

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The book, “It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership,” is scheduled for public release May 22.