Apparently, former Secretary of State Colin Powell was not a fan of his security detail.
As a 2009 email exchange from Powell to his successor, Hillary Clinton, about use of private email at the State Department made headlines Wednesday, some keen observers found humor in an unrelated portion of Powell's memo.
"You will find DS driving you crazy if you let them. They had Maddy tied up in knots," Powell, presumably referring to Madeleine Albright, wrote in the Jan. 23, 2009, email.
"I refused to let them live in my house or build a place on my property," he added. "They found an empty garage half a block away."
The retired four-star general delighted in driving his "beloved cars" without being followed.
"I promised I would have a phone and not be gone more than an hour or two at Tysons or the hardware store," he wrote. "They hated it and asked me to sigh a letter relieving them of responsibility if I got whacked while doing that. I gladly did. Spontaneity was my security."
He also balked at having "two to three guys follow [him] around the building all the time."
"I said if they were doing their job guarding the place, they didn't need to follow me," he wrote. "I relented and let one guy follow me one full corridor behind just so they knew where I was if I was needed immediately. Their job is to keep you hermetically sealed up."
According to Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider blog, Democrats on a U.S. House panel released the emails Wednesday night as Clinton was pressed during an NBC News forum on why she set up a private email server while Secretary of State.
“This email exchange shows that Secretary Powell advised Secretary Clinton with a detailed blueprint on how to skirt security rules and bypass requirements to preserve federal records,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
In the exchange, Clinton asked Powell, "What were the restrictions on your use of your blackberry?"
Powell’s response described how he went around State Department security, as he warned Clinton that any business conducted via email might make it into official records.
“If it is public that you have a Blackberry, it may become an official record and subject to the law," he wrote.
– Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider blog contributed to this report.
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