Colin Powell has spent most of this century trying to get back in the good graces of liberals who can’t forgive him for his role in the second Iraq war. He’s attempted this mainly by bashing Republicans and accusing them of racism. Never mind that Republicans were the ones who promoted him to positions that it’s far from clear he would have obtained but for his race.
The problem with Powell’s bid for forgiveness is that he isn’t much use to the left. Hillary Clinton, who voted to go to war in Iraq, can become president and implement the left’s agenda. Colin Powell can only warm the hearts of the few liberals who take him seriously by calling Republicans racists.
But now, liberals have finally found a use for Powell. They can, following Hillary’s lead, blame the Clinton email scandal on him. When all other defenses of Hillary’s criminally reckless use of a private server failed, her backers could say she was only following Powell’s lead and, indeed, his advice.
Hillary reportedly told the FBI that Powell advised her in a 2009 email exchange to use a personal account. And ardent Clinton supporter Joe Conason apparently claims that Powell so advised her at a dinner party hosted by Madeleine Albright in early 2009.
Powell, however, isn’t having it. He told the New York Post: “The truth is she was using [her personal email] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did [as Secretary of State].” Powell also says he has “no recollection” of the alleged dinner party exchange which, according to the Daily Caller, has not been corroborated by other attendees.
The Post says that Powell appeared angry about being made the fall guy. Asked why Team Clinton is trying to blame him, he shot back: “Why do you think?”
I’m no fan of Colin Powell. However, when it comes to a dispute over credibility, I’ll take the retired General’s word every time. More importantly, so will the American people.
Finally, as many have pointed out, there are key differences between Hillary Clinton’s email practices and Colin Powell’s. For example, Clinton exclusively used a private email account for official business; Powell did not. Second, Clinton received and sent emails on her private system that were classified at the time they were sent or received; Powell says he used the State Department’s classified network to send and receive such emails. Third, Clinton had a private email server; Powell simply used a commercial account.
Fourth, when asked by the State Department to turn over her emails, Clinton caused tens or thousands of emails to be permanently deleted. She failed to turn over many thousand more that were not destroyed. There is no indication that Colin Powell behaved in this fashion.
If a Republican tried to make Colin Powell a fall guy the way Clinton is, Powell would probably holler “racism.” Which is why I don’t mind that Clinton is trying to.