Janeane Garofalo: If Colin Powell had found his integrity, he could have changed the course of history
Nick Langewis and Mike Aivaz
Published: Saturday September 22, 2007


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Bill Maher sits down with musician Rob Thomas, comedienne Janeane Garofalo and author Salman Rushdie. The panel discusses the phenomenon of people who don't speak their minds until they have left their positions of influence, preferring instead to write a memoir or sit down with a reporter to share their grievances, after they can no longer influence change.

Maher cites Alan Greenspan's latest book, indicting the Republican Party for "abandoning their principles." He asks: "Wouldn't that have been a good thing for him to say while he was the Fed Chairman, perhaps?"

"It's not about change," says Thomas. "They don't speak out when it can affect their career."

"It's extremely cowardly," adds Garofalo. "Colin Powell knew he was lying in that 'war of the worlds' scenario in front of the United Nations."

"There is no glory," continues Garofalo. "In fact, it's worse afterwards to say 'You know, I knew this was wrong' -- or 'I knew this was a lie.' And, if Colin Powell had found his integrity on that day he addressed the United Nations, he could have changed the entire history of most of the world, on that day."

"He probably would have been taken out by a sniper, I'm sure."

Maher recalls a Rolling Stone interview in which former President Bill Clinton said that cannabis should be decriminalized.

"Gee, it's too bad you weren't in a position of power for the last eight years to make that point," he quips.

The following video is from HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, broadcast on September 21, 2007: