Colin Powell says Cheney book takes "cheap shots"

WASHINGTON Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:55pm EDT

Then Secretary of State Colin Powell is pictured in this November 12, 2004 file photo talking to then Vice President Dick Cheney during a joint press conference. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn GMH

Then Secretary of State Colin Powell is pictured in this November 12, 2004 file photo talking to then Vice President Dick Cheney during a joint press conference.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn GMH

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's new book levels "cheap shots" at colleagues and mischaracterizes events, ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday.

Powell, whose disagreements with Cheney on issues such as Iraq have been well known for years, said President George W. Bush's national security team did not function smoothly and that he had advised Bush to try to resolve the problem.

"We had different views," Powell told CBS's "Face the Nation," adding that the views could not be reconciled.

In the CBS interview, Powell was asked about passages in Cheney's book, "In My Time," that are critical of Bush administration officials, including Powell and his successor, Condoleezza Rice.

"They are cheap shots," Powell said.

He also dismissed Cheney's prediction that the book would cause heads to explode all over Washington.

"My head isn't exploding, I haven't noticed any other heads exploding in Washington, D.C.," Powell said.

Powell challenges the account in the book in which Cheney suggests that the Secretary of State was pushed out at the end of Bush's first term in office.

"(Cheney) takes great credit for my resignation in 2004. Well, President Bush and I had always agreed that I would leave at the end of 2004," Powell said. "I always intended to just serve one term."

He also disputed Cheney's suggestion that Powell had a tendency withhold his views from Bush and instead aired them outside the administration.

"The president knows that I told him what I thought about every issue of the day," Powell said.

Cheney's book is due out this week but copies of it have already leaked to the media.

According to accounts in the New York Times and Washington Post, Cheney described an incident in which Rice "tearfully" admitted to the vice president that he had been right in objecting to a public apology from the Bush administration for its allegations about Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

The administration apologized for a claim in Bush's State of the Union address in which he said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had sought uranium.

Powell accused Cheney of using a "condescending" tone toward Rice in the book.

(Writing by Caren Bohan; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Comments (14)
USAPragmatist wrote:
IMHO Cheney is a despicable man who rarely, if ever, takes the blame for his mistakes. No one is infallible, yet he thinks he is.

Aug 28, 2011 3:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
EN3 wrote:
@USAPragatist, will agree with you there. Much like our president barack obama. If I had to choose between the two I would choose barack obama hands down. What do you like it or not the people from the far left have to beat thankful for george w bush, if something had happened to george w bush, dick cheney would have become president, and may have chosen john boehner as his vice president.

Aug 28, 2011 4:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
whuppsadaisy wrote:
I wouldn’t expect anything less from this man who had a big hand tarnishing the reputation of the U.S. Unnessary wars, torture,and for good measure trash the economy on the way out the door.Way to go Dick. Now he’s trying to distort history to show what a great man he is, and that he was the one who actually ran the country,during the bush admin. So actually,he should be the one that is wanted in 147 countries for crimes against humanity, not Bush.

Aug 28, 2011 4:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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