Dick Cheney

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Mariner, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    This is an old piece from "Rolling Stone," but very good:

    The Curse of Dick Cheney
    The veep's career has been marred by one disaster after another
    By T.D. ALLMAN

    ...

    This pattern of misplaced confidence in Cheney, followed by disastrous
    results, runs throughout his life -- from his days as a dropout at Yale to
    the geopolitical chaos he has helped create in Baghdad. Once you get to
    know his history, the cycle becomes clear: First, Cheney impresses someone rich or powerful, who causes unearned wealth and power to be conferred on him. Then, when things go wrong, he blames others and moves on to a new situation even more advantageous to himself.

    "Cheney's manner and authority of voice far outstrip his true abilities,"
    says Chas Freeman, who served under Bush's father as ambassador to Saudi Arabia. "It was clear from the start that Bush required adult supervision -- but it turns out Cheney has even worse instincts. He does not understand that when you act recklessly, your mistakes will come back and bite you on the ass."

    Cheney's record of mistakes begins in 1959, when Tom Stroock, a Republican politician-businessman in Casper, Wyoming, got Cheney, then a senior at Natrona County High School, a scholarship to Yale. "Dick was the
    all-American boy, in the top ten percent of his class," Stroock says. "He
    seemed a natural." But instead of triumphing, Cheney failed. "He spent his
    time partying with guys who loved football but weren't varsity quality,"
    recalls Stephen Billings, an Episcopalian minister who roomed with him
    during Cheney's freshman (and only full) year at Yale. "His idea was, you
    didn't need to master the material," says his other roommate, Jacob
    Plotkin. "He passed one psych course without attending class or studying,
    and he was proud of that. But there are some things you can't bluff, and
    Dick reached a point where you couldn't recover."

    Cheney might have been flunking in the classroom, but he excelled at making connections. "Dick always had this very calm way of talking," recalls Plotkin, now a retired math professor at Michigan State University. "His thoughtful manner impressed people." Forty years before the son of a U.S. president picked Cheney to be his running mate, the son of a Massachusetts governor picked him to be his sophomore-year roommate. Mark Furcolo, whose father, Foster, had been elected governor as a Democrat, invited Cheney to Cape Cod for a visit. "Dick came back enraptured," Plotkin says. "He was fascinated by the official state cars and planes. The trappings of it got him."

    It could have been the start of a brilliant career -- in the Massachusetts
    of the 1960s, it would not have been too great a leap from the Furcolos to
    the Kennedys. Instead, after only one term as a Yale sophomore, Cheney
    dropped out...

    After leaving Yale, Cheney had one of his few experiences working in the
    private sector, on a telephone-company repair crew. He showed no interest,
    one way or another, in the Vietnam War -- until a Texas president, nearly
    forty years before George W. Bush, turned a remote foreign struggle into a
    catastrophic, unwinnable war. Thanks to Lyndon Johnson's escalation of
    Vietnam, lounging around was suddenly no longer an option. Cheney snapped into action. First he enrolled in Casper Community College; then he went to the University of Wyoming. That kept him out of the draft until August 7th, 1964, when Congress initiated massive conscription in the armed forces. Three weeks later, Cheney married Lynne Vincent, his high school girlfriend, earning him another deferment. Then, on October 26th, 1965, the Selective Service announced that childless married men no longer would be exempted from having to fight for their country. Nine months and two days later, the first of Cheney's two daughters, Elizabeth, was born. All told, between 1963 and 1966, Cheney received five deferments.

    In January 1967, when he was enrolled at the University of Wisconsin,
    Cheney passed his twenty-sixth birthday, making him safe from the draft --
    and making it safe for him to abandon work on a doctoral degree. He had
    taken to hanging out with local politicians and acted as an unpaid
    assistant to Wisconsin's moderate Republican governor, Warren Knowles. In
    1968, he used Knowles to get a progressive Wisconsin Republican congressman named William Steiger to let him work as an intern in his office in Washington.

    For the first time, Cheney went to live in a city with a population of more
    than 200,000 people. What happened next occurred with amazing ease and
    speed. Having used Knowles as a steppingstone to Steiger, Cheney used
    Steiger as a steppingstone to a Nixon appointee named Donald Rumsfeld, then head of the Office of Economic Opportunity. "What I saw was a young fellow, intelligent, purposeful, laid-back," Rumsfeld later remembered, when asked why he'd hired Cheney...

    In 1973, while Nixon was self-destructing, Cheney, then thirty-two, got a
    job at the investment firm of Bradley, Woods and Company. "Dick needed to
    make some money," Bruce Bradley explained. "He and Lynne and their girls
    lived in a modest house, and he drove a used Volkswagen Beetle." Both
    Bradley and Cheney were Republicans, but they differed on Watergate.
    Bradley recognized that Nixon had violated fundamental American values;
    Cheney saw Watergate as a power struggle. They even debated each other, in
    a forum arranged for Bradley's clients.

    ...

    Nixon's resignation opened the way for Cheney's first truly astonishing
    inside move up. When Gerald Ford succeeded to the presidency, he needed
    experienced loyalists by his side who were untainted by the Nixon scandal,
    so he named Rumsfeld his chief of staff. Rumsfeld brought Cheney right
    along with him into the Oval Office.


    The period between August 1974 and November 1976, when Ford lost the
    election to Jimmy Carter, is essential to understanding George W. Bush's
    disastrous misjudgments -- and Dick Cheney's role in them. In both cases,
    Cheney and Rumsfeld played the key role in turning opportunity into chaos.
    Ford, like Bush later, hadn't been elected president. As he entered office,
    he was overshadowed by a secretary of state (Kissinger then, Powell later)
    who was considered incontestably his better. Ford was caught as flat-footed
    by the fall of Saigon in April 1975 as Bush was by the September 2001
    attacks. A better president, with more astute advisers, might have arranged
    a more orderly ending to the long and divisive war. But instead of heeding
    the country's desire for honesty and reconciliation, Rumsfeld and Cheney
    convinced Ford that the way to turn himself into a real president was to
    stir up crises in international relations while lurching to the right in
    domestic politics.


    Having turned Ford into their instrument, Rumsfeld and Cheney staged a
    palace coup. They pushed Ford to fire Defense Secretary James Schlesinger,
    tell Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to look for another job and remove
    Henry Kissinger from his post as national security adviser. Rumsfeld was
    named secretary of defense, and Cheney became chief of staff to the
    president. The Yale dropout and draft dodger was, at the age of
    thirty-four, the second-most-powerful man in the White House.


    As the 1976 election approached, Rumsfeld and Cheney used the immense
    powers they had arrogated to themselves to persuade Ford to scuttle the
    Salt II treaty on nuclear-arms control. The move helped Ford turn back
    Reagan's challenge for the party's nomination -- but at the cost of ceding
    the heart of the GOP to the New Right. Then, in the presidential election,
    Jimmy Carter defeated Ford by 2 million votes.


    In his first test-drive at the wheels of power, Cheney had played a central
    role in the undoing of a president. Wrote right-wing columnist Robert
    Novak, "White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney . . . is blamed by Ford
    insiders for a succession of campaign blunders." Those in the old elitist
    wing of the party thought the decision to dump Rockefeller was both stupid
    and wrong: "I think Ford lost the election because of it," one of
    Kissinger's former aides says now. Ford agreed, calling it "the biggest
    political mistake of my life."


    Back in Wyoming, Cheney used his connections to skim along to yet another
    success. "Some fellows from Casper called me," recalls former Sen. Alan
    Simpson, "told me they had found this amazing young man and were going to
    promote him for Con-gress. They gave a big to-do for him. I went to take a
    look. It was the first time I set eyes on Dick Cheney. You could tell right
    away he was a smart cookie." In the 1978 election, Cheney became Wyoming's
    sole member of the House.


    "The top people had decided it would be Dick, so that basically settled
    it," recalls John Perry Barlow, a fourth-generation Wyomingite who
    campaigned for Cheney. "Dick had been chief of staff to a president. That
    made everyone assume he knew what he was doing."


    In an overwhelmingly Republican state, Cheney now had a safe seat in
    Congress for as long as he wanted. On Capitol Hill, he combined a moderate
    demeanor with a radical agenda. People who find Cheney's extremism as vice
    president surprising have not looked at his congressional voting record. In
    1986, he was one of only twenty-one members of the House to oppose the Safe
    Drinking Water Act. He fought efforts to clean up hazardous waste and
    backed tax breaks for energy corporations. He repeatedly voted against
    funding for the Veterans Administration. He opposed extending the Civil
    Rights Act. He opposed the release of Nelson Mandela from jail in South
    Africa. He even voted for cop-killer bullets.


    "I don't believe he is an ideologue," says former Sen. Tim Wirth of
    Colorado. "But he is the most partisan politician I've ever met." Many
    weekends, while Congress was in session, Wirth and Cheney would take the
    same flight to Chicago, where they'd change planes for Colorado and
    Wyoming. "I spent a lot of time waiting for planes with Dick Cheney,"
    Wirth, a Democrat, says. "He never talked about ideology. He talked about
    how the Republicans were going to take over the House of Representatives."
    Wirth adds, "It seemed impossible, but that's exactly what happened."

    ...

    Cheney's strategy for gaining power was the same one he and Rumsfeld had
    foisted on Ford: making sure no one in the Republican Party outflanked him
    to the right. This was a deeply divisive approach, because it involved
    pandering to racial and religious extremists and using complex matters of
    national security as flag-waving wedge issues. "Dick's votes against civil
    rights and the environment were parts of complex deals aimed at enhancing
    his own power," says Barlow, his former supporter.


    In 1988, Cheney was named House minority whip, the second-ranking post in
    his party's hierarchy. Had he stayed in the House, it is possible that he
    would have become speaker. But the following year, another powerful person
    decided to confer great nonelective power on Cheney. When President George
    H.W. Bush named him to head the Defense Department, the Senate unanimously
    confirmed the choice. Not a single senator seems to have considered it
    anomalous that control of the strongest armed forces on earth was being
    conferred on a person who had gone to notable lengths to avoid service in
    those same armed forces.


    Appointed to another powerful position, Cheney promptly went about screwing
    it up. He pushed to turn many military duties over to private companies and
    began moving "defense intellectuals" with no military experience into key
    posts at the Pentagon. Most notable among them was Paul Wolfowitz, who
    later masterminded much of the disastrous strategy that George W. Bush has
    pursued in Iraq. In 1992, as undersecretary of defense, Wolfowitz turned
    out a forty-page report titled "Defense Planning Guidance," arguing that
    historic allies should be demoted to the status of U.S. satellites, and
    that the modernization of India and China should be treated as a threat, as
    should the democratization of Russia. "We must maintain the mechanisms for
    deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or
    global role," the report declared. It was nothing less than a blueprint for
    worldwide domination, and Cheney loved it. He maneuvered to have the
    president adopt it as doctrine, but the elder Bush, recognizing that the
    proposals were not only foolish but dangerous, immediately rejected them.


    By the end of the first Bush administration, others had come to the
    conclusion that Cheney and his followers were dangerous. "They were
    referred to collectively as the crazies," recalls Ray McGovern, a CIA
    professional who interpreted intelligence for presidents going back to
    Kennedy. Around the same time, McGovern remembers, Secretary of State James
    Baker and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft counseled the elder
    President Bush, "Keep these guys at arm's length."


    In November 1992, when George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton, Cheney had
    his second president shot out from under him. He knocked around Washington
    at various neoconservative think tanks for two years, and the old pattern
    repeated itself: Powerful benefactors once again gave Cheney a big break.
    As Dan Briody recounts in his book The Halliburton Agenda, Cheney was on a
    fishing trip in New Brunswick, Canada, with a group of high-powered
    corporate CEOs. "The men were discussing the ongoing search for a CEO at
    Halliburton," Briody reports. "Cheney was asleep back at the lodge and, in
    his absence, the men decided that Cheney would be the man for the job,
    despite the fact that he had never worked in the oil business."


    Halliburton was Cheney's first real chance to get rich; he grabbed it with
    both hands. His principal action was his acquisition of a subsidiary called
    Dresser Industries. Dresser struck lucrative deals with Saddam Hussein;
    Halliburton did business with Muammar el-Qaddafi and the ayatollahs of
    Iran. By the time Cheney left in 2000, Halliburton's stock was near an
    all-time high of fifty-four dollars a share. Then it turned out that
    Dresser had saddled Halliburton with asbestos lawsuits that could cost the
    company millions, and the stock plummeted to barely ten dollars a share.
    Even with the bounce Halliburton stock has received from the war, an
    investor who put $100,000 into the company just before Cheney became vice
    president would have less than $60,000 today. Cheney, meanwhile, continues
    to receive $150,000 a year in deferred compensation from Halliburton, even
    though he is supposed to divest himself of all conflicts of interest. The
    company has been awarded $8 billion in contracts by the Bush-Cheney
    administration for its work in Iraq.


    It could be argued that the vice presidency was the first job Cheney got
    entirely on his own -- by appointing himself to it. Bush initially asked
    Cheney only to advise him on whom to choose. After assuring Bush that he
    himself had no ambition to be vice president, Cheney then arranged it so
    that all options narrowed down to him.


    Since Cheney lived in Texas at the time, choosing him led Bush into a
    situation that, if the words of our Founding Fathers still have any
    meaning, is unconstitutional. The Constitution forbids a state's electors
    from voting for candidates for president and vice president who are both
    "an inhabitant of the same state as themselves." Yet by voting for Bush and
    Cheney, electors in Texas did precisely that. Cheney lived in Texas, had a
    Texas driver's license and filed his federal income tax using a Texas
    address. He had also voted in Texas, not in Wyoming, a state where he had
    not lived full-time for decades.


    As vice president, Cheney has been the decisive force pushing America into
    war. In the inner councils of the administration, it was he who emasculated
    Colin Powell, cut the State Department out of effective policymaking,
    foisted fake reports on the intelligence agencies and supplanted the
    National Security Council. It was also Cheney who placed appointees
    personally loyal to him, including Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, in charge of the
    Pentagon and speckled the warmaking bureaucracy with desk officers culled
    from neoconservative Washington think tanks -- ideologues with no military
    experience.


    "They were like cancer cells," says retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, who
    worked on the Defense Department's Near East and South Asia desk during the
    buildup to the Iraq war. "They didn't care about the truth. They had an
    agenda. I'd never seen anything like it. They deformed everything."


    Even within the State Department, officials of Cheney's choosing -- not
    Powell's -- controlled the key positions when it came to maneuvering the
    United States into the Iraq war. "Even when there was a show of Defense
    listening to State, it was just one Cheney operative talking to another,"
    says Greg Thielmann, a former member of the State Department Intelligence
    Agency. "We were simply bypassed from the start."


    Over at Defense, competent intelligence professionals were purged in order
    to ease the way to war. Douglas Feith, brought in under Rumsfeld to serve
    as undersecretary of defense for policy, applied an ideological test to his
    staff: He didn't want competence; he wanted fervor. Col. Pat Lang, a Middle
    East expert who served under five presidents, Republican and Democratic, in
    key posts in military intelligence, recalls being considered for a job at
    the Pentagon. During the job interview, Feith scanned Lang's impressive
    resume. "I see you speak Arabic," Feith said. When Lang nodded, Feith said,
    "Too bad," and dismissed him.


    Cheney suffered his biggest failure in March 2002, when he visited nine
    Arab and Muslim countries six months after the 9/11 attacks. The vice
    president anticipated a triumphal tour of the region as, one by one, he
    enlisted the countries he visited in the cause of "taking out" Saddam
    Hussein. In the end, not a single country Cheney visited provided troops
    for the Bush-Cheney war -- including staunch American allies in Jordan and
    Turkey -- and almost all refused to let their territory be used for the
    attack.


    Once again, however, Cheney did not let reality dissuade him from his
    course. As the disaster has unfolded in Iraq, he has continued to insist
    against all evidence that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction,
    that the dictator was aiding Al Qaeda, that nothing the Bush administration
    has done was a mistake. Those who have known him over the years remain
    astounded by what they describe as his almost autistic indifference to the
    thoughts and feelings of others. "He has the least interest in human beings
    of anyone I have ever met," says John Perry Barlow, his former supporter.
    Cheney's freshman-year roommate, Steve Billings, agrees: "If I could ask
    Dick one question, I'd ask him how he could be so unempathetic."


    It's a question Cheney is unlikely ever to answer. Throughout the years, he
    has sealed himself off from the possibility of such inquiries. The most
    famous example is his draft evasion during the Vietnam War. He has never
    candidly discussed his feelings about the war, the traumatic, formative
    event for American males of his age. Only once, in fact, has he even
    answered a question as to why he avoided serving.


    "I had other priorities," was all he has ever said.


    (Aug 25, 2004) Rolling Stone
     
  2. LuvRPgrl
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    LuvRPgrl Senior Member

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    What a JOKE!

    All great people have their lives full of strings of failures. Edison lamented about 99% failure rate to achieve that 1% of sucess.

    I could write twenty pages of President Lincolns failures.

    Lets hear your comment about one of your fat, tax evading, elitist, hypocrite, drunken, slobbering senators. Read this:

    Peter Jennings: Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts has launched a major attack on the president's war policies. He gave an interview yesterday which certainly got a lot of attention and today we asked ABC's John Cochran to check out what the senator had said and whether he had his facts right.

    John Cochran: Senator Kennedy has criticized the president on Iraq before, but never like this. Kennedy told the Associated Press the war in Iraq was a "fraud, made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically." Actually, Kennedy was referring to a speech the president's political advisor, Karl Rove, made not last January, but in January of 2002.

    Rove said then that national security issues were good political issues for Republicans, but Rove never said a war was going to take place in Iraq or anyplace else.

    Kennedy also said a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office showed that only $2.5 billion of the $4 billion being spent every month in Iraq could be accounted for by the Bush administration.

    We could not find a CBO report that mentions such a figure. Today, a source close to Kennedy agreed and said the senator had heard that figure from someone.

    Kennedy also said he believed that "this money is being shuffled all around to these political leaders in all parts of the world, bribing them to send in troops," but, again, a source close to Kennedy said he was not referring to actual bribery, but incentives to countries such as Turkey to send troops to Iraq. Today House Majority Leader Tom Delay called Kennedy's remarks "hateful and a new low."
     
  3. trobinett
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    trobinett Senior Member

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    Jeeeezzzzz, a political "hit piece".

    Thanks for the "heads up" Mariner. :bat:
     
  4. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    Geez Trob:

    How'd you stumble into here. This has been my haunt for awhile. I get my health back in here.
     
  5. ThomasPaine
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    ThomasPaine Active Member

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    .
     
  6. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    written in the most slanted language--but you guys around here are hardly known for your moderation of langauge, so don't go complaining. And it's filled with useful and interesting information, e.g. the details of Cheney's 5 deferments.

    Getting 5 deferments means you're trying pretty hard to avoid being sent to war. That looks pretty bad for a guy hell-bent on taking us to war in Iraq. Doubly suspicious given his history of doing business directly with Saddam Hussein in the mid-80's (AFTER the time Saddam committed the crimes he's currently on trial for).

    Cheney's current approval rating of 26% suggests the public is onto him.

    His choice of new advisers to replace "Scooter" is extremely disturbing--both are advocates for an imperial presidency, which seeks to avoid the checks and balances imposed by the constitution. They want maximum secrecy, and maximum power for the president to start wars and break treaties. I believe this is dangerous for the country, and every reason to keep thinking about what the shadowy Dick Cheney is up to and where he came from. That's why I posted.

    Mariner
     
  7. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Alright ..... yet another "Cheney is Satan thread" ....... :rotflmao:
     
  8. trobinett
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    trobinett Senior Member

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    Well, with you on the job Mariner, we have nothing to worry about. :bsflag:
     
  9. Democrat4Bush
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    Democrat4Bush Member

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    Let's see.

    So Cheney is a Sith Lord, bent on ruling the universe, by using the powers of the dark stuff(oil)?

    Man you guys are paranoid.
     
  10. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Would that make Libby Darth Maul, Darth Tyranaus, or Darth Vader?
     

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