GQ Exclusive: Colin Powell Wants Out

GQ Magazine on Powell's Frustration With the Bush

Administration, His Battles With the Pentagon,

His 'Real' Relationship With Vice President Dick Cheney,

and Whether He'll Return For a Second Term



May 04, 2004, 01:00 ET from GQ

    NEW YORK, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of State Colin Powell is
 exhausted, frustrated, and bitter, uncomfortable with President George W.
 Bush's agenda, and fatigued from his battles with the Pentagon, reports GQ
 magazine writer-at-large Wil S. Hylton in the June 2004 issue of GQ magazine.
 Hylton's exclusive article, "Casualty of War," in which he talks with Powell
 and his closest friends and colleagues openly and on the record, is available
 online at www.gq.com.
 
     Highlights from the article include:
     Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, on whether Powell will return
 for a second term: "He's tired. Mentally and physically. And if the president
 were to ask him to stay on -- if the president is re-elected and the president
 were to ask him to stay on, he might for a transitional period, but I don't
 think he'd want to do another four years."
     Powell's mentor from the National War College, Harlan Ullman on Powell's
 discomfort with the Bush team: "This is, in many ways, the most ideological
 administration Powell's ever had to work for. Not only is it very ideological,
 but they have a vision. And I think Powell is inherently uncomfortable with
 grand visions like that ... There's an ideological core to Bush, and I think
 it's hard for Powell to penetrate that."
     Ullman on Powell's relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney: "I can
 tell you firsthand that there is a tremendous barrier between Cheney and
 Powell, and there has been for a long time ... It's like McCain saying that
 his relations with the president are 'congenial,' meaning McCain doesn't tell
 the president to go f*ck himself every time."
     Ullman on National Security Advisor's Condoleeza Rice's comments that
 Powell and Cheney are "on more than speaking terms," and that they're "very
 friendly": "Condi's a jerk."
     Ullman on Powell's pre-war presentation before the U.N.: "The trade-off
 was 'Go to the U.N., go to Congress, slow this thing down; it's not going to
 be regime change, it's going to be weapons of mass destruction.' And for that,
 Powell stayed a loyal member of the administration."
     Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on Powell's presentation pre-
 war presentation before the U.N.: "It's a source of great distress for the
 secretary."
     Rice insists that Powell had not been sent to the U.N. per se, because he
 was the only one who could have made the speech, and says: "There's really
 nobody else that can do it ... Everybody said it would have to be Colin ... We
 wanted to have enough of a profile. It was an important presentation. So we
 wanted to have enough profile."
     Hylton reports that Rice described Powell as enthusiastic about the
 presentation, spending four days and nights at CIA headquarters and scouring
 the evidence against Saddam Hussein for ways to punch it up. She tells Hylton:
 "He wanted to be sure that we put in the best, strongest aerials we had, both
 from the point of view of the ones that were best documented but also the ones
 that were going to be punchiest."
     But Armitage and Wilkerson describe Powell's four-day immersion at the CIA
 in very different terms -- not punching up the evidence but frantically
 scouring it for mistakes and faulty intelligence.
     Armitage on Powell's preparation for his U.N. presentation:  "Four days!
 And three nights! The secretary is a man of honor! He values being credible.
 To be credible, you have to be able to stand behind what you say. That's why
 he fieldstripped it." Armitage refers to the process, common in Vietnam, of
 tearing up smoked cigarettes so they will decompose quickly and leave no trace
 for the enemy. "On the last day and night [at the CIA], the secretary called
 me, and he said, 'I need a little extra reinforcement.' So I went out there
 and spent Sunday and Saturday night with him. He needed someone. He was the
 voice throwing everything out, and he wanted another loud voice at the table."
     Wilkerson describes those four days at the CIA as a battle, with Powell's
 team scrambling in the final hours to save the general from humiliation: "I
 was down at the agency as his task-force leader, and we fought tooth and nail
 with other members of the administration to scrub it and get the crap out."
     Wilkerson on the neocons: "I make no bones about it. I have some
 reservations about people who have never been in the face of battle, so to
 speak, who are making cavalier decisions about sending men and women out to
 die. A person who comes immediately to mind in that regard is Richard Perle,
 who, thank God, tendered his resignation and no longer will be even a
 semioffcial person in this administration. Richard Perle's cavalier remarks
 about doing this or doing that with regard to military force always, always
 troubled me. Because it just showed me that he didn't have the appreciation,
 for example, that Colin Powell has for what it means ... I call them utopians
 ... I don't care whether utopians are Vladimir Lenin in a sealed train going
 to Moscow or Paul Wolfowitz. Utopians, I don't like. You're never going to
 bring utopia, and you're going to hurt a lot of people in the process of
 trying to do it."
     Wilkerson on using sanctions against Cuba: "Dumbest policy on the face of
 the earth. It's crazy."
     Wil S. Hylton's article, "Casualty of War," is available online at
 www.gq.com, and will be available on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on
 May 18, and nationwide on May 25. GQ is the leading men's general-interest
 magazine and part of Conde Nast Publications, Inc.
 
 

SOURCE GQ
    NEW YORK, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of State Colin Powell is
 exhausted, frustrated, and bitter, uncomfortable with President George W.
 Bush's agenda, and fatigued from his battles with the Pentagon, reports GQ
 magazine writer-at-large Wil S. Hylton in the June 2004 issue of GQ magazine.
 Hylton's exclusive article, "Casualty of War," in which he talks with Powell
 and his closest friends and colleagues openly and on the record, is available
 online at www.gq.com.
 
     Highlights from the article include:
     Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, on whether Powell will return
 for a second term: "He's tired. Mentally and physically. And if the president
 were to ask him to stay on -- if the president is re-elected and the president
 were to ask him to stay on, he might for a transitional period, but I don't
 think he'd want to do another four years."
     Powell's mentor from the National War College, Harlan Ullman on Powell's
 discomfort with the Bush team: "This is, in many ways, the most ideological
 administration Powell's ever had to work for. Not only is it very ideological,
 but they have a vision. And I think Powell is inherently uncomfortable with
 grand visions like that ... There's an ideological core to Bush, and I think
 it's hard for Powell to penetrate that."
     Ullman on Powell's relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney: "I can
 tell you firsthand that there is a tremendous barrier between Cheney and
 Powell, and there has been for a long time ... It's like McCain saying that
 his relations with the president are 'congenial,' meaning McCain doesn't tell
 the president to go f*ck himself every time."
     Ullman on National Security Advisor's Condoleeza Rice's comments that
 Powell and Cheney are "on more than speaking terms," and that they're "very
 friendly": "Condi's a jerk."
     Ullman on Powell's pre-war presentation before the U.N.: "The trade-off
 was 'Go to the U.N., go to Congress, slow this thing down; it's not going to
 be regime change, it's going to be weapons of mass destruction.' And for that,
 Powell stayed a loyal member of the administration."
     Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on Powell's presentation pre-
 war presentation before the U.N.: "It's a source of great distress for the
 secretary."
     Rice insists that Powell had not been sent to the U.N. per se, because he
 was the only one who could have made the speech, and says: "There's really
 nobody else that can do it ... Everybody said it would have to be Colin ... We
 wanted to have enough of a profile. It was an important presentation. So we
 wanted to have enough profile."
     Hylton reports that Rice described Powell as enthusiastic about the
 presentation, spending four days and nights at CIA headquarters and scouring
 the evidence against Saddam Hussein for ways to punch it up. She tells Hylton:
 "He wanted to be sure that we put in the best, strongest aerials we had, both
 from the point of view of the ones that were best documented but also the ones
 that were going to be punchiest."
     But Armitage and Wilkerson describe Powell's four-day immersion at the CIA
 in very different terms -- not punching up the evidence but frantically
 scouring it for mistakes and faulty intelligence.
     Armitage on Powell's preparation for his U.N. presentation:  "Four days!
 And three nights! The secretary is a man of honor! He values being credible.
 To be credible, you have to be able to stand behind what you say. That's why
 he fieldstripped it." Armitage refers to the process, common in Vietnam, of
 tearing up smoked cigarettes so they will decompose quickly and leave no trace
 for the enemy. "On the last day and night [at the CIA], the secretary called
 me, and he said, 'I need a little extra reinforcement.' So I went out there
 and spent Sunday and Saturday night with him. He needed someone. He was the
 voice throwing everything out, and he wanted another loud voice at the table."
     Wilkerson describes those four days at the CIA as a battle, with Powell's
 team scrambling in the final hours to save the general from humiliation: "I
 was down at the agency as his task-force leader, and we fought tooth and nail
 with other members of the administration to scrub it and get the crap out."
     Wilkerson on the neocons: "I make no bones about it. I have some
 reservations about people who have never been in the face of battle, so to
 speak, who are making cavalier decisions about sending men and women out to
 die. A person who comes immediately to mind in that regard is Richard Perle,
 who, thank God, tendered his resignation and no longer will be even a
 semioffcial person in this administration. Richard Perle's cavalier remarks
 about doing this or doing that with regard to military force always, always
 troubled me. Because it just showed me that he didn't have the appreciation,
 for example, that Colin Powell has for what it means ... I call them utopians
 ... I don't care whether utopians are Vladimir Lenin in a sealed train going
 to Moscow or Paul Wolfowitz. Utopians, I don't like. You're never going to
 bring utopia, and you're going to hurt a lot of people in the process of
 trying to do it."
     Wilkerson on using sanctions against Cuba: "Dumbest policy on the face of
 the earth. It's crazy."
     Wil S. Hylton's article, "Casualty of War," is available online at
 www.gq.com, and will be available on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on
 May 18, and nationwide on May 25. GQ is the leading men's general-interest
 magazine and part of Conde Nast Publications, Inc.
 
 SOURCE  GQ