This is from a February, 2003 article by Fareed Zakaria titled ""A Dangerous Trust Deficit"
"We can't do an Adlai Stevenson," admitted an administration official about Colin Powell's upcoming speech to the U.N. Security Council. What he meant was that the administration did not have the smoking gun that Stevenson had when he presented the Council with images of Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962. But the real difference between 1962 and now is not what we say, but what people hear. Remember that in 1962 the "smoking gun" Stevenson presented to the world was a set of grainy aerial photographs with white smudges. The smudges, he explained, were Soviet missiles. And everyone believed him. Today, if Powell had digital video footage of Iraqi scientists caught in the act of manufacturing anthrax, there are many around the world--and increasingly in Europe--who would claim that Washington had manufactured the images.
The French, who are today the most disbelieving, played a special role in the 1962 crisis. After deciding to blockade Cuba, President Kennedy sent a special envoy, Dean Acheson, to France's President Charles de Gaulle. Acheson offered to show him the photographs. De Gaulle refused. "This is mere evidence," he said, "and great nations such as yours would not take a serious step if there were any doubt about evidence."
What we have today is not the lack of evidence, it's the lack of trust.
The United States has done its part to contribute to this atmosphere with careless and confrontational talk and actions. Other than Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, no one in the administration has bothered to build and nurture relationships with their counterparts abroad--odd when you consider that this was one of the chief skills of the elder President Bush. Dick Cheney has taken exactly one foreign trip in his current job, probably setting a record as the least-traveled vice president since John Nance Garner...."
Can you imagine anyone from the Bush administration going to most any foreign country today pushing bogus intelligence and exaggerated threat and having any of those countries' leaders say: "..This is mere evidence, and great nations such as yours would not take a serious step if there were any doubt about evidence.."???