November 15, 2010
Gen Colin Powell was on Larry King tonite. They discussed barry, Iraq, Powell’s UN speech (“swayed public opinion, there’s no question about it), Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai (“we have to try to support him to the best of his ability”), OBL (“no reason to believe he’s not living”), Pres Bush, waterboarding (“wouldn’t support it now”), middle east peace, moderate conservativism, Tea Party, DADT, education, immigration, and strangeest of all – Ed Rendell as WH chief of staff.
Hasn’t barry messed PA up enough?
Relevant quotes follow.
Gen Powell does not miss govt and has “no interest in government service” (including SecDef). He does miss “working with people” and is “looking forward to a more diverse kind of experience in life”.
POWELL: The protocol is general, Larry. I’m a former secretary, but I’d rather be a general rather than a former secretary.
POWELL: But the American people are losing some focus on President Obama and what he’s trying to do. And when you look at the election results, as he said — I mean he got shellacked. But I think it was more than a shellacking, I think it was a real body blow that he now has to reflect on and figure out how to come back.
Powell never considered endorsing Secy Clinton (who talked about the economy and foreclosures from day one) and thinks barry made a mistake by not focusing on the economy. Duh.
POWELL: My own view is that he should have focused on the economy and doing something about unemployment to the exclusion of almost everything else domestically….And in my judgment, the main attack was to do something about the jobs situation, the unemployment situation. And everywhere I go in the country, this is what I hear fed back to me.
POWELL: The deficit is of deep concern to the American people, the amount of debt we’re piling on, the national debt. And the election results that we saw were not good for President Obama, not good for the Democrats.
POWELL: And so the next year, I think, is going to be very, very important to see how the Republicans use their majority in the House, how the Democrats respond with their majority in the Senate, and how the president responds as still the president for the next two plus years.
barry failure on recent trip:
POWELL: He didn’t get what he wanted with respect to a trade agreement with South Korea. He wasn’t able to persuade some of his G-20 colleagues of the direction to move with respect to the financial situation. He didn’t get what he was looking for with respect to trade policy changes.
POWELL: …they are not yet a political party that has an agenda — a clear agenda — that has standing in Congress.
POWELL: I think Governor Palin — former Governor Palin is a fascinating individual. I think she has become a political celebrity. And notice I put the two words together. She is a political force and she is quite a celebrity. Now whether she will run for president or run for any other political office in the future, I will leave that up to Governor Palin to decide.
And what exactly is barry other than a political celebrity?
POWELL: I think Secretary Clinton, a good friend and associate of mine, is doing an excellent job. She’s still stuck with the same problems that we gave her, but she’s doing an excellent job.
POWELL: And so I see some signs of improvement. But I cannot tell how firm that is and how real it is and whether it will still be there a couple of years from now.
KING: Has anybody consulted you on this?
POWELL: I have been in regular touch with authorities within the administration and the president.
KING: You talk to the president?
POWELL: From time to time, yes.
KING: And do they talk about Afghanistan with you?
POWELL: All the time.
POWELL: You know, when we were going through this, America had just been struck and we were trying to make sure we were protecting the American people in every way possible. And the intelligence agencies came forward with some procedures they wished to use to get as much information as they can. And we all talked about these. And we were concerned about the fact that, you know, we had responsibilities under international law.
And I think all of us felt that waterboarding was if not over the line, very close to the line.
But the president of the United States, who has a responsibility to protect the American citizens, felt that in that circumstance, waterboarding was appropriate.
And as he clearly said, he approved it and takes responsibility for the approval of it.
I think subsequently, as you kind of go down the years and take a look at what has happened over the years, I think it can be called now torture. You’ll know that the CIA stopped doing it. And there was a school of thought within the FBI and elsewhere that you don’t really get good information from this kind of thing. You can get it through more vigorous and professional interrogation.
But the president of the United States is the one who has the responsibility for our safety. And at that time, the one thing we were most concerned about is to make sure that we were getting everything we needed to prevent another 9/11 attack.
KING: You wouldn’t support it now?
Kept in touch with Cheney or Rumsfeld?
He closed by talking about his Colin Powell Policy Center at the City College of New York.