Powell disputes Cheney book passages

August 28, 2011

A new book by former vice president Dick Cheney levels “cheap shots” at colleagues and mischaracterizes events, former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said Sunday.

Powell, whose disagreements with Cheney on issues such as Iraq have been well known for years, said that 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 new 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 which Cheney suggests that the secretary of state was pushed out at the end of Bush’s first term.

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 to 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.

— Reuters

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