Departing the State Department along with Colin Powell is his deputy, Richard Armitage. As you might imagine, he has some interesting things to say about his time there. The key quote is this:

The biggest regret is that we didn’t stop 9/11. And then in the wake of 9/11, instead of redoubling what is our traditional export of hope and optimism we exported our fear and our anger. And presented a very intense and angry face to the world. I regret that a lot.

And in that you have the contradiction that is impossible to account for. From the mouth of President Bush we hear about spreading the gift of freedom, about how liberty is the birthright of every man, and about how the overarching goal of his administration is to free people from tyranny. And yet even former administration officials admit that neither our vision nor our execution of it are sources of hope and optimism to the people who need it most.

Both the link and quote are taken from Karl Martino.