Above is a photograph of Colin Powell pretending to play guitar in the style of seminal rock-n-roll hero Chuck Berry, backed by Clint Eastwood on saxophone, Jim Belushi on guitar, and Henry Kissinger singing, onstage at Bohemian Grove, where the global elite get drunk together and share war stories. The photograph comes from an email obtained by the website DCLeaks.com.
Powell sent the photograph to Emily Miller, his former deputy press secretary at the State Department currently working as a fake journalist for right-wing propaganda outlet One America News, after she sent him an email last July telling him that she missed him. “Awww, how sweet,” Powell replied. “You need a hug.” He went on to describe his summer to that point, noting that later the next week he would be going to Bohemian Grove for the weekend.
“I do need a hug from you :),” Miller wrote back, going on to describe her love life and her frustrations over her repeated attempts to get pregnant. “Bohemian Grove - doesn’t Clint Eastwood go to that ? Any other Hollywood people ?”
There are indeed other Hollywood people there, Powell replied: “Did i ever send you the photo of me, Clint, Belushi and Kissinger on stage at the Grove? There are quite a few celebrities there, all male of course and mostly old like me.”
Miller responded, asking for Powell to send her the picture. She also sent him three photographs of herself. “Here are a couple pics of me in my local news reporter life this week. Two out of three are about dead bodies. It’s very intellectual :)”
“Very nice photo and only one in pants,” the ever-charming Powell observed. “Wow. I like the first one best.”
(The photographs Miller sent Powell were not preserved in the emails published by DCLeaks.com.)
Powell sent Miller the photograph of him palling around with Kissinger and co. shortly. “My hand is over my open mouth as I’m leaning into my computer screen. This looks photo shopped- it’s so unreal!!!!!!” she replied. “Do you actually know how to play guitar or just air guitar?? This is one of your coolest moments EVER.”
The former secretary of state pretended to take offense. “Don’t you remember the crazy stuff I used to do at ARF meetings? Condi just played the piano. And then the tradition died because of media sneaking in or bribing attendees to film.”
“Yes you were the fun one — YMCA!!!” Miller recalled. “She is just boring,” she continued, referring to Powell’s successor, Condoleezza Rice. “I wonder if she has ever told a joke?”
Powell followed up the next week: “Back from Grove. Dinner with Kevin Spacey, lunch with Conan O’Brien.”
“I despise Kevin Spacey,” Miller wrote back, linking to a 2008 Politico story about a fight she got into with the actor on Twitter over her ex-boyfriend Michael Scanlon’s role in the Jack Abramoff scandal. “Conan O’Brien - is he funny in real life? I think he would be. Was Eastwood there. I adore him.”
A minute later, she wrote again: “I’m in a bad place. My last try at IVF failed. I don’t know how I can ever get over not having a family of my own. I’m barely functioning.”
“Get a grip,” Powell wrote. “Of course you can and will get over it. You are young, have your health and your mind.” He suggested looking into adoption. “You have your nephew (niece?).”
“My step mother tried to get pregnant with my father and kept miscarrying,” Miller shared. “She is 65 now and says it is a hole in her life that has never healed. So, no, I dont think you ever get over not having your own children.”
“Maybe you can’t fill the hole, but you can’t drop into it,” Powell advised.
“Good line, CP,” Miller wrote.
Powell attended Bohemian Grove again this year, a fact that he disclosed in response to in an email from one Christine Whitman—presumably the former New Jersey governor—asking whether he’d endorsed Hillary Clinton yet.
“Nope,” Powell responded. “You’ll recall that in 2008 and 2012 I waited until early fall.”
“I just can’t support Trump and the Libertarian’s platform is hopeless,” Whitman wrote. “I’m not a Dem but I’d like to be for someone.”
Powell appeared sympathetic.
“I was at Bohemian Grove over the weekend,” he told Whitman. “Lots of guys in that same position. Few vocal Trumpers. NYC finance guys hate him, wouldn’t lend him money. He cheats and then sues.”