- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Colin Powell chronicles capture Washington for all it has to offer a retired general, statesman and esteemed member of the ruling class.

In his exposed emails, the nation’s capital is not only a stage for a cast of liars and incompetents but also a place to make sound investments and snare lucrative speaking fees. In his spare time, there is great TV featuring “chicks” and Irish chitchat.

Mr. Powell’s personal emails were hacked for a second time and displayed by the thousands last month on DCleaks.com. A hacker now behind bars — a Romanian with the nom de guerre “Guccifer” — previously invaded his privacy in cyberspace.

As a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and secretary of state, Mr. Powell is a proud member of the capital’s feted establishment and one of the most respected men in America.

That is what makes a trip into his Washington world so interesting. The latest hack shows that the first theft and exposure did not curtail Mr. Powell’s joy for email conversations. He touched on weighty issues such as NATO and gossiped about who should join ABC’s “The View.”

The mainstream media’s coverage of the hack focused on Mr. Powell’s distaste for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and harsh criticism of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for trying to drag him into her email scandal. He called Mr. Trump a “national disgrace.” He said Mrs. Clinton was caught lying, and “everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”

There are other sharp profiles.

On retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s main surrogate on defense issues, Mr. Powell said: “I’ve followed him. He was eased out of DIA (eg-fired.) A little on the loopy side, but smart. Trying to find a new podium in his life.”

A regular email confidant is Washington power lobbyist Kenneth M. Duberstein. President Reagan’s chief of staff for two years, Mr. Duberstein backed Barack Obama for president after rival John McCain declined his request to head a transition office, ABC News reported.

Mr. Powell told Mr. Duberstein in 2014 that Vice President Joseph R. Biden was insufferable at a White House event.

“Just suffered through Joe Biden talking for two hours after lunch in a hot tent,” he said. “He turned off the entire audience.”

“Why do u still do this stuff to yourself,” Mr. Duberstein replied. “Joe is becoming too much. And seems to have no clout inside that I can detect. Becoming a joke. Not the serious guy he was in Senate.”

In addition to politics, interview and speech requests, board meetings and travel plans, the stolen emails show the retired Army general’s mischievous side as he opines on popular culture.

Mr. Powell likes an African TV channel and Irish programming that shows up on the same number. His favorite is a show modeled after ABC’s “The View.” He likes the show’s salty banter and attractive “chicks.”

He said he watches only foreign news channels.

“I was surfing through the foreign channels and came to the Ethiopian channel which usually only has Ethiopian music videos,” he said. “However, I discovered that the channel at 1 pm has a ladies talk show that is an Irish version of The View and Tall from Dublin. The four chicks are talking about hairy legs and whose boobs are biggest.”

“‘Blonde hairy legs are probably ok. You can’t see it,’” he quoted the show as saying.

As for “The View,” he said the bombastic Rosie O’Donnell was not a good fit.

“I find Rosie an objectionable person,” he wrote in 2014. “She can’t just talk about her kids. ABC sounds lost. How does that other all women daily talk show do on the other channel?”

Miss O’Donnell’s second stint on The View ended in early 2015.

On other TV watching, Mr. Powell wrote: “A very nice day. I got caught up watching a cute chick show of LIFETIME. Four black women take a plain white chick and do a makeover. Kinda cute. Almost over.”

Mr. Powell, now 79, was once the darling of the Republican establishment, which methodically elevated him to the epicenter of Washington power.

He was Reagan’s national security adviser. President George H.W. Bush named him Joint Chiefs chairman, the top military officer in the land. He presided over Operation Desert Storm to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991. President George W. Bush made him secretary of state, where he defended a less-successful war, the 2003 invasion to oust Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein.

Perhaps because he presented a nationally televised argument to the United Nations that turned out not to be true, Mr. Powell made a pronounced shift to Washington’s liberal establishment.

He backed Mr. Obama. He said in 2012: “There is a level of intolerance in parts of the Republican Party.”

He said in 2015, “So I want to continue to be a Republican because it annoys them.”

He is involved in a billion-dollar private equity firm run by big Democratic donor Jeffrey Leeds. It was Mr. Leeds who told Mr. Powell in an email that Bill and Hillary Clinton refer to Mr. Obama as “that man.”

Mr. Powell received — and declined — a stream of interview requests.

A documentarian wanted Mr. Powell to talk about his old boss, Dick Cheney, who ran the Pentagon when he was Joint Chiefs chairman. Mr. Powell said no because the theme was Cheney-only. He generally disparaged Mr. Cheney and his daughters. One office worker hoped that the aggressive peace group Code Pink would disrupt their public appearances.

Mr. Powell also declined a request from The Washington Post to do a video interview on the use of the “N-word” in sports.

His chief of staff wrote to The Post: “General Powell believes that such a video will just raise the ‘n-word’ again rather [than] further bury it deeper. He believes coaches are in charge and should fine or fire any player that utters the word. He does not wish to participate in the video.”

In May, Mr. Powell assessed the Black Lives Matter group. His discussion came in an email on the topic of black female cadets at West Point raising their fists in a pre-graduation photograph. The women said the gesture was to symbolize unity and pride. They were cleared of any wrongdoing.

“I was afraid the Army was going to do something even dumber than the counseling,” Mr. Powell wrote. “I just saw a bunch of great young ladies who made it through West Point following a tradition.

“So they raised their arms. I see groups raising their arms all the time. Some guy writes that they are expressing support for Black Lives matter. Don’t know if they were, but what if they were? Black Lives matter is a movement that will fade. Noble, but has probably caused more opposition than support. I refer to it when appropriate, but follow with most black lives are being taken by black men and boys,” he wrote.

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