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. a in austin

    Sad to see cheney trying make $$$ off others – I'm sure his facts are skewed to show how great HE was! Not –

    August 29, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. zisee

    Powell's always been a crybaby. Glad he isn't around too much. Powell if u are sooooooo great, go help Libya.

    August 29, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. c'mon america

    Powell gave a " preserve my reputation interview " before the invasion of iraq . Cheney should review that interview . In a very straight forward way he expresses his views and demonstraights his experience on Iraq .

    August 29, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. saywho

    Homeland security, TSA and the rest of what was wrought on us came from this misguided non-leader.

    August 29, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. DetroitFrank

    "why isnt cheney in jail?"

    He has not committed any crimes. Honorable service to our country for 40 over years.

    August 29, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Be Sane

    Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and Rummy among others of the Bush administration should all be behind bars, not walking among the honorable of this world. They all committed war crimes and should be punished.

    August 29, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. jim

    How unfair nature is, that rats, fleas, and other vermin die every day, yet scum like Cheney live on !!!

    August 29, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Vincent J. Petrosino

    I am very gratified to see that most comments favor Gen. Colin Powel over Dick Cheney. To make money from a book written by this evil, moniacal creature is a true travesty of justice. I hope his book tanks. And if you think Cheney is unique to the GOP, think again. Watch these GOP candidates play hard and fast with the truth and the facts. And then watch the Teabaggers nominate the most villaneous one of them all.

    August 29, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. Kevin, (Minneapolis)

    Though I have voted Republican since I was old enough to vote, I am not a fan of the approach to governing that was displayed by former President G.W. Bush, V.P. Cheney, and many of their peers. It would seem that their whole thrust was to curry favor with huge corporations, to ignore the middle class, and to carry on with the military machine/force Democracy upon the four corners of the world. Though I will likely continue to vote Republican, (there are too many things about the Democrat's platform to which I cannot agree), I will no longer support this type of Republican.

    August 29, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. SiriusVH

    I have always held Cheney to be intellectully and morally corrupt by nature. This only confirms me in my opinion. Not being privy to all the facts (by far), I will let historians give him his 'place' in American History. I doubt that it will be a very glowing one ....

    August 29, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |

    We lost some 241 in bomb blast in nairobi. we did not revenge and none of families members have to die again.

    August 29, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. carolyn

    How come that scoundrel Cheney isn't in jail?

    August 29, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Bob

    Message to Gen. Powell.......Boo Hoo Hoo....

    August 29, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. Ricky

    His book will be at dollar tree and at any five and dime store within a year.

    August 29, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Rosslaw

    Did Cheney cover how Halliburton traded with Saddam Hussein during the 90's in violation of trade sanctions. Cheney was CEO but blithely dismisses the matter with a "I didnn't know". How about trading with Iran? And lord only knows how many Americans died in Iraq due to secret, no bid contracts that accomplished nothing, aside from ginning up fake WMD's and "mushroom clouds". What a vile piece of work

    August 29, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Ayo Jays

    I don't blame Dick Cheney, I blame President Obama, Obama should have let Nigeria lock Cheney up in Nigerian jail which is a subdivision of hell, rather the president deployed a team to London to pay penalty to Nigeria for Halliburton and Dick Cheney indictment, now that he is free, he is writing a book blaming the whole world, he should be writing prison memoirs now, how interesting it would have read "My Life in Nigeria Prison over Bribery and Corruption"

    August 29, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. Pete

    Dick Cheney will go down in history as one of the Bush Administration cowards that almost destroyed America. Shut up, Dick.

    August 29, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. bassman

    Cheney was right... heads are exploding. How sad to see the once proud Powell going on a Sunday morning talk show just so he could respond. And our media likes to think Palin is thin-skinned. Powell's response is what thin skin looks like.

    August 29, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. boyamidumb

    Cheney should be tried as a war criminal for the damage he did to this country. During other wars he would certainly have been tried for profiteering considering how much money his company made and is making from the wars he created. EVIL MAN. He would have fit well with Hitler and his warmongering criminal staff.

    August 29, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Michael in Houston

    sorry General...you dont get a free pass. You were part of the most corrupt and incompetent administration in the history of the Nation. You lied to the UN just like the rest of the pack of jackals you were running with. You dont get to correct your mistakes now thats its convienent to do so. You should have thought of the consequences in joining this administration. Its not like you didnt know the people you were joining. Sir.

    August 29, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. us1776

    You cannot trust anything that Darth Cheney says.

    I'm glad Colin Powell is trying to correct this fascist liar Cheney.


    August 29, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Dennis

    Dick Cheney's book is not even worthy of it being used as toilet paper.I would love to take that idiotic book of nonsense and throw it at his sorry,arrogant face.Cheney you were not a Vice President.You were just involved in vice.Go away and shutup.Intelligent people are tired of even knowing you are still alive.

    August 29, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. Nick

    Powell's only mistake was to be USED by the Bush administration. He was picked, because they knew as a General and a man of honor , he would take orders even if it was against his beliefs.
    As for Chaney, I have my flag waiting for him to depart this earth and fly it at FULL mast.
    What he and Rumsfeld,Wolfkowitz and that bunch did to our country, is nothing less than Treasonous.

    August 29, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. James

    What's up here? Is Cheney broke or just dying for some attention? There wasn't a more corrupt individual in the Bush administration. Whereas Powell is one of the few worthy of any respect at all. Cheney, you even look like someone who sold his soul, which is nice since it matches your personality perfectly.

    August 29, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Jack

    Former Gen. Powell is one of the country's greatest and smartest military men. He gave great advice that was not listened to.

    August 29, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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