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Wild Card of Musical Chairs

This Will Go on His Permanent Record

Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell says the famous U.N. speech in which he cited the threat from Saddam Hussein's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction would forever stain his reputation.

Powell, in an interview with ABC News reporter Barbara Walters to air tonight on "20/20" said he felt "terrible" when he learned he had been misled. "The intelligence system did not work well. There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at that time that some of these sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up. That devastated me."

Asked whether this would be a permanent "blot" on his record, Powell said: "Of course it will. It's a blot. I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and [it] will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now."

What if Dewey Defeats Truman?

Seems yesterday's Egyptian presidential election wasn't promising to be a cliffhanger, judging from State Department spokesman Sean McCormack's comments at Wednesday's news briefing.

"During this campaign, President [Hosni] Mubarak went out and spoke to the Egyptian people," McCormack said. "He made promises to the Egyptian people. And we would expect that he follow through on those promises, one of which is the lifting of the state of emergency."

"You say that you hope that President Mubarak will make good on his promises," a reporter said. "Does that mean that you're assuming that he's going to be reelected?"

"Well, we will wait to see what the final results of the election are," McCormack said.

Could be a shocker.

Twice Gun-Shy

Lawrence T. Di Rita, the Pentagon's top spokesman whom Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had recommended to the White House to be undersecretary of the Army, has withdrawn his name from consideration.

This is the second time Di Rita has removed himself from the running for a Pentagon job requiring Senate approval. The previous occasion was when he was up for assistant secretary for public affairs. This time, Di Rita is citing "personal reasons" for his withdrawal.

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