Colin Powell’s leaked emails which appeared on the password protected DCLeaks website at first glance seem like a possible embarrassment for the former Secretary of State. Having one’s personal emails released is ostensibly not something anyone would welcome. However, someone in Powell’s peculiar predicament could theoretically use the idea of a ‘leak’ to convey a message they may not have an easy time of expressing in a more straightforward manner.
Powell’s predicament is clear: he can’t support Trump for what he sees as ethical concerns over Trump’s more extreme rhetoric. In the emails Powell calls Trump “a national disgrace and an international pariah” who led a “racist” birther movement.
On the other hand, Clinton and her handlers blatantly tried to drag Powell into her mess over the private server by lying to the press that Powell was the one who gave her the advice to set up said private server. One can easily ascertain that this would have bothered the Secretary of State, who despite his attachment to the Bush regime and promotion of the invasion of Iraq enjoys an unusual amount of bipartisan support among the American populatyion and who has made a career out of attempting to steer clear of the usual beltway drama.
And while there was never any chance he would have endorsed Donald Trump, once can reasonably assume that after two Obama endorsements he would have been more than willing to endorse the Democratic candidate to beat Trump had said candidate not tried to drag him down with her in the sinking ship of Neoliberal corruption that is the Clinton Criminal Syndicate.
So what’s the guy to do? He can’t come out and express his reasonable objections to Clinton in public, as that could be seen as a tacit endorsement of Trump. And if he had chosen to merely abstain from endorsing, he would have been hounded endlessly by colleagues and the media to ‘do the right thing’ and endorse Clinton.
So did he leak his emails to bypass this dilemma? I don’t know, but if that was his strategy he couldn’t have done much better. The idea of Powell endorsing either of them at this point seems like a joke that already fell flat.