In February 2008, an aide sent a news article to Vice President Dick Cheney reporting that former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell might vote for a Democrat for president. Sections were highlighted in yellow, and someone had circled a quotation from Mr. Powell in which he said America had lost “a lot” of prestige around the world.
Mr. Cheney recorded no reaction, but one can imagine some consternation at what the vice president presumably deemed disloyalty to the administration that both of them had served. Mr. Powell had been the vice president’s chief internal adversary during President George W. Bush’s first term and had grown disaffected. An aide clearly understood that Mr. Cheney would want to know the latest.
The article was among a batch of documents from Mr. Cheney’s files that was released on Friday by the National Archives and Records Administration in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. More than six years after Mr. Cheney left office, the files were the first made public by the archives about a figure who still generates considerable public interest and debate.