Colin Powell Barring Recording Devices at Tonight's Speech at ASU

APRIL 13, 2006 - Posted at 7:47 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Those wanting to hear what Colin Powell has to say at Arkansas State University this evening will have to be there...the retired general and former secretary of state has barred anyone from recording his speech.

Two weeks after speaking in Pennsylvania on openness in government, Powell will speak tonight on diplomacy.  He is scheduled to deliver his remarks at the university's Fowler Center.  His $100,000 contract with the university bars all recording devices more elaborate than a pen and paper.

When former President Bill Clinton spoke at the university in 2003, Secret Service agents made sure the room was secure but Clinton did not restrict recording his remarks.  The Washington Speakers' Bureau, which represents Powell, did not return telephone messages left Tuesday and yesterday.

Powell's contract calls on him to sign 100 autographs before the event, but only in copies of his book "My American Journey."  The university must also provide a private jet for two, with a cost estimated at $18,000.  However, the university is not paying for all of that.  All costs of the contract are being paid for by Liberty Bank of Arkansas.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)