Former Secretary of State Colin Powell fired back at what he called “cheap shots” made by former Vice President Dick Cheney, in order to sell his new book, due to come out on Tuesday. Powell contended that Cheney swiped at many in the former Bush Administration and used such allegations to pump up his new book entitled “In My Time.”
Cheney has been stumping all the talk shows championing his new biography and saying it will make some heads explode. To this, Powell takes exception. Politico discloses:
Powell said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that many disclosures seemed to be “cheap shots that he’s taking at me and other members of the administration who served to the best of our ability for President Bush.”
Powell took particular umbrage at Cheney’s claim he felt more comfortable expressing his views to the public than President George W. Bush, as the book brings to the surface bitterness over the 2003 decision to invade Iraq.
“The president knows that I told him what I thought about every issue of the day,” Powell said. “Cheney may forget that I’m the one who said to President Bush, ‘If you break it, you own it.’ And you have got to understand that if we have to go to war in Iraq, we have to be prepared for the whole war, not just the first phase. And Mr. Cheney and many of his colleagues did not prepare for what happened after the fall of Baghdad.”
Powell disputed the claim from the book “In My Time” that Cheney had pushed him out in 2004, saying that’s when he had intended to leave.
The retired Army general, who had also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the administration as dysfunctional at the time of his departure.
“It was clear by 2004 that the team was not functioning as a team,” Powell said. “And we had different views, and not just views, not views that could be reconciled. And so I said to the president that I would be leaving at the end of the year, after the election, and he ought to take a look at his whole team to try to resolve all these issues.”
Cheney also levels in his book some condescending criticism at Condoleezza Rice, Powell’s successor as secretary of state, and former CIA Director George Tenet, Powell noted.
Colin Powell has a long distinquished military record that pre-dates his service in the Bush Administration. He is one of the least partisan of anyone who has served as Secretary of State. He broke rank with Republicans in 2008 by supporting the candidacy of Barack Obama, a Democrat. He added he didn’t mind that Cheney revealed that the administration wasn’t always in agreement. What he found offensive was placing the administration’s disagreements on par with tabloid news. He felt that Cheney had going over the top in his efforts to promote his own book, often at the expense of those who served in the Bush Administration.
Who else from the Bush Administration will protest the ” ‘heads will explode” rhetoric used by Cheney? Will the former president be embarrassed by Cheney revelations or will the book endear us to George Bush and vilify Cheney? Did he go too far with his less than flattering depiction of Colin Powell? Powell seemed to take more offense at what Cheney said about others rather than about himself.