Colin Powell visits Bay Area

June 7, 2012 9:37:59 PM PDT
General Colin Powell was both the first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. He served under several administrations, and while some hoped would run for president, he says political life was not for him. Powell was at the Santa Clara Convention Center Thursday for a conversation sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley, hosted by ABC7 News Anchor Dan Ashley.

Powell discussed his thoughts on the challenges in Iran, North Korea, and elsewhere, the state of U.S. military readiness.

When asked about the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy that he helped implement, he said he now believes that times have changed and supports the reversal of police that prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly.

He has no regrets about the decision not to run for president, but does regret the bad intelligence in his speech to the United Nations to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Powell credits that attitude and sense of optimism to his upbringing. He speaks and writes in his new book very fondly of the role his parents played in his life.

Written and produced by Ken Miguel