Powell blasts Cheney's 'cheap shots'
August 28th, 2011
04:42 PM ET
10 years ago

Powell blasts Cheney's 'cheap shots'

(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday responded to criticism leveled at members of the Bush administration by former Vice President Dick Cheney in his new biography, characterizing Cheney's recent comments as "cheap shots."

Cheney takes issue with the actions of Powell, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former CIA Director George Tenet, among others, in the book titled "In My Time." While promoting the memoir last week, Cheney said there would be "heads exploding all over Washington" when his book hits the shelves Tuesday.

But Powell, a retired Army general, said his head and heads of others in Washington, D.C. aren't exploding.

Calling Cheney's use of sensationalist language more worthy of a supermarket tabloid than a former vice president, Powell said Cheney "had a long and distinguished career, and I hope in his book that is what he will focus on, not these 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."

According to Powell, Cheney accuses him in the book of not being forthcoming with his opinions to former President George W. Bush ahead of the Iraq War in 2003. On CBS' "Face the Nation," Powell called the critique "nonsense."

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

At the time, Powell said he told the president, "If you break it, you own it," in reference to the invasion. That was advice he said Cheney "may forget."

"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," Powell said. "And Mr. Cheney and many of his colleagues did not prepare for what happened after the fall of Baghdad."

Powell, who also served in the administrations of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, said Cheney wrongly took credit in the book for forcing Powell to resign in 2004. Instead, Powell said, it was always his plan to leave after four years.

By the end of the first term, Bush's Cabinet "was not functioning as a team," Powell acknowledged.

"We had different views … not views that can be reconciled," Powell said. "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 these issues because it was not a smoothly functioning team at that point."

Filed under: Colin Powell • Dick Cheney
soundoff (566 Responses)
  1. one voice

    Judgement day is waiting for dick, should be interesting.

    August 29, 2011 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  2. Kim

    Obama 2012. Powell 2016.

    August 29, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  3. zip

    Dick Cheney's Secret Service code name was "Old Yellow Stain." I had someone tell me once that as long Dick Cheney was VP, our military was in safe hands. I then told him that Cheney received five deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam. He called me a liar and stormed out. My God, it is a Fox Fake News world, And America the trailer park is filled with mindless sheep.

    August 29, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  4. The Judge

    Dick(less) Cheney is lucky he wasn't tried for war crimes. His backward policies sent this country back a few decades. I feel bad for Powell, he had a great career ahead of him until he lined up with Pinky and the Brain.

    August 29, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  5. peace

    Mr. Powell I belive every word you said is the truth. when bush ask u to take that position we as in people of color knew they was up to no good. Sorry that you have to find out they where trying to use u but thank god that u saw them for they was in the four years that u were their. dont worry mr. Powell they will get what"s coming to them if not them than their kids will suffer for the wrong they have done to u and this great nation god dont like ugly.

    August 29, 2011 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  6. Midwestmatt

    I'll believe Powell over our lying, conniving and self serving former veep any day.

    Powell has integrity, something Cheney couldn't buy if he wanted to.

    August 29, 2011 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  7. Larry

    General Powell made his comments on CBS, I was hoping he had too much class for those clowns at Fox. Thank you Generl Powell...

    August 29, 2011 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  8. ThinkAgain

    "And Mr. Cheney and many of his colleagues did not prepare for what happened after the fall of Baghdad."

    That has got to be the biggest understatement ... EVER ....

    August 29, 2011 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  9. Jeff S

    They sure did have different views. Starting with General Powell not actively trying to destroy the USA like certain other members of the administration.

    August 29, 2011 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  10. J.T. Higgins

    Dick Cheney is a war criminal.

    August 29, 2011 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  11. Bill

    Dick Cheney is an absolute disgrace to this country and has been his entire life. He chickened out of Vietnam by landing an astonishing five deferrals to dodge serving his country. He then made millions for himself and Halliburton by sending men and women who, unlike him, were not cowards to war. Once we finally rid Washington of the taint of this despicable degenerate, he went on a publicity tour, giving interviews to any second-rate media outlet who would have him, undermining the president, the military, and our government. I am not one to wish ill on anyone, but Cheney is an exception. He has more American blood on his hands than even Bin Laden and he never misses an opportunity to wipe it off with hundred dollar bills. He is the true embodiment of scum and it will be no loss whatsoever when his ticker finally gives out.

    August 29, 2011 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  12. PhonyRepubs

    I would believe General Pow ell over a five-timer draft dodger v p Cheney.

    August 29, 2011 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  13. Freddy

    I think Powell is a good man. What was he thinking when he decided to join the Bush-Chaney gang?

    August 29, 2011 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  14. Carmelle

    As I said to associates of mine who work with the Intel community, after telling them about these comments and comments Cheney made about the Intel community, "Why is Dick Cheney even still alive?" ... What a waste of life. His end time is coming soon anyway so I'm sure this is why he wrote this book and is spouting off at the mouth. He is satan personified!

    August 29, 2011 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  15. huxley

    Cheney just wanted to invade Iraq, whether or not there was actual evidence of wrongdoing or evidence of WMDs. You can hardly blame him. He just wanted to kick Saddam Hussein's butt, and he had trillions of dollars to waste and the most utterly powerful war machine ever created at his disposal to do it – so he did.

    August 29, 2011 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  16. derekur

    cheney is so tiring, why is this oil criminal still making news ? why havent his ticker stop already, cheney do us all a favor and just drop dead.. thank u. wonder why the general wont run for president, surely he can win over the gop top pick any giving day. how can u compare a rick perry or a michele bachmann or a romney to general powell ? u cant. it impossible to compare the mind different. the gop tea party are like a bunch of money running around america with bad ideas. i aint to crazy bout obama either but at least i dealing with a reasonable sane man, just think he need to be tougher in handling the gop tea party menace.

    August 29, 2011 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  17. John

    "Tricky Dick" made everyone's head explode... with his idiocy!

    August 29, 2011 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  18. larry

    Since when is telling the truth a blast cnn?

    August 29, 2011 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  19. Epidi

    Cheney is so vile. He makes my stomach turn! There's nothing he can say that I would not suspect an agenda behind to suit his own purposes.

    August 29, 2011 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  20. AaronT3

    I want buy the book, I'll just wait till its on a "Family Guy" episode. Stewie would make a great Chenny =-])

    August 29, 2011 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  21. Jerry

    Powell was way more qualified to be President than Bush.....anytime, any dimension, any universe, any where.....PERIOD!!!

    August 29, 2011 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  22. brad

    Can we really expect anything more from a guy like DICK?

    August 29, 2011 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  23. KC

    For Cheney to take issues with anyone else's actions is amazing! He is the epitome of smugness and evil.

    August 29, 2011 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  24. cony 007

    Men send young men to die for nothing. There are only two reasons for war. To kill people and make money. President Ike warned the world and especially the US about the Industrial War Complex but no one listened. So now we are stuck with worthless wars and worthless hopes of a better world. Men like Cheney are dime a dozen. They sell their souls to SATAN and try to justify their evil decisions that they are trying to save us from the boggyman. There is no good guys. There are only bad guys and worse than bad. Cheney, Bin Ladin, Gaddaffi, Bush, Reagan, Hitler and the rest of these rotten human beings are and will burn in hell forever and ever. Teach your children well, love them and cherish them because they are the only hope left. Our generation totally sold out. May the Bush Crime Family find happiness in hell fire. AMEN!!!!

    August 29, 2011 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  25. Shorn

    Cheney is just a piece of filth to be scraped off a shoe.

    August 29, 2011 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
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