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Full-length version: What the public doesn’t know about Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. (AP Photo/Vincent Michel)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. (AP Photo/Vincent Michel)

This is the full, unedited version of our conversation with Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. Find the edited version here.

“I understood the consequences of that failure and as I’ve said on many occasions I deeply regret that the information – some of the information – not all of it … was wrong.” That’s Colin Powell in conversation with Al Jazeera, reflecting on his infamous UN speech.


But Powell was more than his mistakes. The son of Jamaican immigrants, he was an American success story with a strong moral compass.

He broke barriers – the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, secretary of state and national security adviser. A man integral to America’s foreign policy for decades.

In a full, unedited version of our program “What the public doesn’t know about Colin Powell,” Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Colin Powell’s chief of staff for more than a decade, reflects on Powell’s life and legacy.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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