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BLITZER’S BLOG: “No love lost” between Cheney and Powell
August 29th, 2011
03:25 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: “No love lost” between Cheney and Powell

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - In May 1990, CNN asked me to serve as its Pentagon correspondent. I was expecting a relatively slow news story since the Cold War was winding down. I thought I would spend most of my time covering base closings and new weapons systems. That was not to be because Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait that August.

It was during the six months of Operation Desert Shield and the six weeks of Operation Desert Storm that I really got to know then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell. They were the leaders of the U.S. military. They became the chief spokesmen for the war buildup and then for the war itself.

During those days, they seemed to be a highly efficient team. They closely coordinated their public and private strategies. In short, they worked well together serving President George H.W. Bush. We used to talk about a Cheney-Powell doctrine.

Flash forward to the years after 9/11 when they again were serving a different President Bush. Things clearly had changed. Cheney, of course, was vice president; Powell was secretary of state. I began to hear grumblings from their respective aides during those years that things were not necessarily all that smooth between them. “No love lost,” I remember one top adviser saying.

I was surprised given what I thought was a strong partnership that had been forged during the first Gulf War.

Now, with the publication of Cheney’s memoir, I can see that that “no love lost” comment was clearly an understatement. Cheney is blunt in blasting Powell.

And even though the book is not officially being released until tomorrow, Powell already has responded with a direct counterassault on his former boss.

All of which goes to show you that relationships here in Washington aren’t always what they seem to be.

I’ll be interviewing Cheney next Tuesday. You’ll see the interview in “The Situation Room.” As you can imagine, I have lots of questions.

RELATED STORY: Powell blasts Cheney's 'cheap shots'

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Filed under: Colin Powell • Dick Cheney • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Morton Redner

    Same goes for Mitt Romney. Remember a fewt weeks back Romney accused the Obama White House of uncontrolled leaks. Then Romney visits the UK and announces to the world that he was just briefed on Great Britain's secret spy agency M-16.

    August 3, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • cleareye1

      Romney has made a fatal error by choosing to join the Cheney wing of the party and not the honorable wing represented ny Powell. An Obama runaway will end Romney's political career and bring sense back to the once honorable opposition Republican party. He can then go on the talk circuit with Palin and others.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  2. Herb

    Yes, and then there was the secret meeting with the oil company CEOs. I believe they divid up the Irac oilfields

    September 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  3. Steve

    Wolf, why don't you ask Dick if the law should be applied for identifying a CIA agent to all those involved.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • Hesham

      This was cool!!! Mike was good in this little clip. I clairtney don't doubt Mike OR Jesse when it comes to Dick Cheney. We all know he was behind getting the oil industry deregulated. Cheney didn't care how many people died to maximize his profits.

      August 3, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  4. clyde hall

    Cheney is without doubt,a liar and a coward.He does not deserve the attention he is getting.When he left office(in disgrace) we should never have had to hear from him again.The sad truth is that he has never given a damn about the American people or care one bit about what they think of him. He continues to make millions off of us thru his latest book. He also continues to get secret service protection at the expense of the taxpayers. That protection is supposed to expire 6 months after he leaves office but Obama has extended this privilage to him for reasons unknown....WHY? we all know he is a coward. He is a multi-millionaire and can pay for his own security just like Nixon did. WHATS BEHIND ALL OF THIS NONSENSE. PLEASE< SOMEBODY WITH CONNECTIONS TO THE CAFFERTY FILE SHOULD ASK THIS QUESTION.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  5. JTWilliams

    Dick Cheney should go crawl in a hole, and never show his face again! I'm sure the true insanity he brought to the highest office is classified, and will be for years. We need to get/keep these neoconservative psychopaths out of Washington, but sadly, the Obama administration is continuing the same agenda laid out in the Project for a New American Century. READ IT, AMERICA. It's about a global corporate system- they are taking out the last nations that remain sovereign. Next will be Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, AND THEN THEY'RE ABOUT DONE!

    August 31, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  6. Linda

    Re: Gloria Borger's remark that she thought Cheney was being "candid" in his book. "Candid" means "truthful and straightforward"- but someone's "candid" perception of a situation may differ significantly from other's perceptions. What Cheney regards as a CANDID description may not be the same as how other people would interpret the situation, and as often happens with people in powerful positions, honest feedback by colleagues or underlings may be hard to come by!

    August 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Cheney is unable to recognize "candid." He doesn't recognize "truth" either. A lifetime of lying will do that to a person.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  7. Kathleen Pedigo

    Ask Cheney why he was so gun ho to go to war when he had so many deferments and never served in the military. I personally never trusted him and think he is sleazy and slimey.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  8. Cleareye

    Herbert Hoover was a victim of big business criminals. Cheney represents the criminal class. It;s difficult to find anyone in our history responsible for more destruction of the American spirit than Cheney.

    August 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Then ask Dick about his close friendship with Ahmed Chalabi is the man whose information provided the justification for the American invasion of Iraq !

    You wont, your not a journalist !

    August 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Wolf ,

    Ask Cheney about this !
    The US government has wasted $30bn (£18bn) in contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade, according to a bi-partisan spending commission.

    The commission on wartime contracting blamed an over-reliance on contractors, poor planning and fraud for the waste.

    August 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  11. James


    Listening to your show tonight, you interveiwed several people covering the hurricane and you ask each guest what they thought about Ron Paul's idea to get rid of FEMA. Naturally in that situation the people were going to disagree with Ron Paul and say that FEMA was a essential government agency. Why is it that you only Mention Ron Pauls name in a effort to discredit him? Why did you not ask your guests about Pauls ideas of physical and economic responsibility? In the very next story you covered you talked about the new gallop poll that put Perry in the lead with 29%, Romney in second place and Bachman in fourth. What happen to third place? Why would you not mention Pauls name and tell the American people that Paul was in third place?

    I used to think that your show was unbiased however I learned differently today. I refuse to watch your show any longer and I plan to tell everone I know to do the same. You are nothing but a mouth peice for the establishment politicians and want nothing to disrupt their status quo.

    August 30, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Stewart

      Okay James, we see you are clearly a Rom Paul supporter. Check please

      August 30, 2011 at 10:56 am |
      • James

        Its easy to see with a comment like that that you are out to lunch.

        August 30, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  12. Mark in omaha

    One is an American Hero and the other should be tried as a war criminal (allegedly) and doesn't hunt very well,

    August 30, 2011 at 12:02 am |
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