Guest Writings
 
2/11/05 `Three Decades of Absolute Power … the Story of CEO VP Dick Cheney … and Iraq’
    
 TMPress – United News & Press Features

(TMPress International – New York – October 30, 2005) – The goal of liberty and freedom and the `bad guys’ Dick Cheney endlessly talks about is the same guys VP Cheney’s companies of Halliburton/KBR have been openly doing business with before and after 9/11 and that includes Iran – but the VP and his corporate Oil cronies still openly rob the American taxpayer in Iraq and Kuwait. Let us examine his rise to power, in order to find what really motivates this `dark character’ as some have called him over the last years in his grab for `raw power,’ within the elite structures of our national intelligence, defense contractors and `Big Oil.’

With even attachments to the shadowy Carlyle Group, the Vice-President’s history begins: Born on January 30, 1941, in Lincoln, Nebraska, Richard Bruce Cheney moved and was raised in Casper, Wyoming by his parents Richard H. and Marjorie Cheney. A robustly handsome and popular boy whose future was apparent, young Dick was a popular sort in Football, etc. at Natrona County High School, served as senior class president, represented the school at Boys State, and played halfback on the football team. Beginning the summer after high school graduation in 1959 and during the next six years, Cheney worked on power lines and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union. Cheney would win a scholarship to prestigious Yale University, but upon finding the academic culture there to be cliquish and self-congratulatory (in that supposedly unbearable New England way), Cheney would boycott his classes. In time, Yale officials would come to believe that Cheney’s academic performance was too poor to justify his continued enrollment, and would ask him to leave. Little did they know that the joke was on them – that Cheney’s apparent `failure’ was in fact a brilliant protest against the inherently isolated nature of Ivy League world. Cheney returned to Wyoming, where he would earn his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Political Science – amongst people capable of forming opinions of him based on more than any conspicuous contempt for so-called `debate’ and `didacticism.’ He later attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a doctoral candidate, but he left and entered politics before completing his doctorate. Cheney was selected for a one-year fellowship in the office of House Representative William Steiger, a Republican Congressman from Wisconsin. During the Vietnam War from 1959 through 1966, Cheney received a total of five military service draft deferments. Four were S-2 student deferments granted because of his university student status, and one 3-A deferment was granted in 1966 because of his wife’s pregnancy – it his here that his rise within the power-elite of the GOP takes off and his early White House appointments.

Dick Cheney’s public service career began under the Nixon administration in 1969. He served in a number of positions at the Cost of Living Council, at the United States Office of Economic Opportunity (as a special assistant to Donald Rumsfeld), and within the White House. Under President Gerald Ford, Cheney became Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff. He was campaign manager for Ford’s 1976 presidential campaign, while James Baker served as campaign chairman. From 1978 to 1989, he served as a U.S. House Representative from Wyoming and rose into some of the highest ranks in the GOP Congressional Caucus. In Congress, Rep. Cheney (R-Wyoming) opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, was an anti-abortion advocate, and supported federal enforcement of prayer in school. While serving in Congress, he was one of 21 members opposing the sale ban of armor-piercing bullets; was one of only four to oppose the ban on guns that can get through metal detectors; opposed sanctions against the apartheid-era South Africa in the mid-1980s along with voting against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela; voted for a constitutional amendment to ban school busing; voted against Head Start; and voted against extending the Clean Water Act in 1987. Thus he winds down his not so distinguishable House career and begins his `true rise to power’ in the executive branch.

From March 1989 to January 1993, Cheney served as the Secretary of Defense under then President George H.W. Bush and directed` Operation Just Cause’ in Panama and `Operation Desert Storm’ in the Middle East. In 1991 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for `preserving America’s defenses at a time of great change around the world.’ After the Bush I Presidential loss in 1992, Cheney joined the American Enterprise Institute after leaving office in 1993. In 1995 he became Chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company, a worldwide energy services corporation with a long history of service to the government and federal no-bid contracts – some Halliburton subsidiaries even served as private military contractors and covertly worked to develop Iranian and Iraqi oil-field reserves through these subsidiaries. He also sat on the board of Procter & Gamble, Union Pacific, and EDS. In 1997, he, along with Donald Rumsfeld and other neo-cons, founded the non-profit educational organization called the `Project for the New American Century’ whose goal was to `promote American global leadership and hegemony of the global economic structure.’ At this time and as a neo-conservative (aka `the Falcons’) … he was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Cheney is also at this period the CEO of Halliburton Company, which greatly benefits from contracts with the U.S. government, especially the second war with Iraq. Cheney has still maintained his ties to the Carlyle Group, and was a former Senior Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, while serving on the Advisory Board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and his founding member status within the `Project for the New American Century’ (PNAC). Starting in 1995 and as the CEO of Halliburton/KBR over five years, Cheney nearly doubled the size of Halliburton’s government contracts, totaling a whopping $2.3 billion. He convinced the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. to lend Halliburton and oil companies another $1.5 billion, backed by U.S. taxpayers – most of the of these loans went to a Russian company with ties to the Russian mafia underworld. Cheney’s rule at Halliburton was characterized by a ruthless geopolitical strategy that put aside political beliefs whenever they were inconvenient. In a number of cases, Halliburton and its subsidiaries supported or even ordered human rights violations and broke international laws. Some glowing examples include direct dealings with Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi – which engaged the now famous foreign subsidiary of the Halliburton Company, KBR to perform millions of dollars worth of work. According to the Baltimore Sun, Kellogg Brown & Root was fined $3.8 million for violating Libyan sanctions. (Although Cheney wasn’t leading Halliburton when these sales started, subsidiaries’ sales to Libya continued throughout his tenure.) Another glaring Halliburton blunder came when Cheney claimed that he still supported the U.S. sanctions on Iraq after the Gulf War, but the Financial Times of London reported that through foreign subsidiaries and affiliates, Halliburton became the biggest oil contractor for Iraq from the mid-1990s forward, selling more than $73 million in goods and services to Saddam Hussein’s regime. In Burma, Halliburton joined various oil companies in working on two notorious gas pipelines, the Yadana and Yetagun for the Burma (now Myanmar) military juntas that occasionally seized power a half-dozen times. According to an Earth Rights report, `From 1992 until the present, thousands of villagers in Burma were forced to work in support of these pipelines and related infrastructure, lost their homes due to forced relocation, and were raped, tortured and killed by soldiers hired by the companies as security guards for the pipelines.’ One of Halliburtonís projects was undertaken and continued during Dick Cheneyís tenure as CEO right up to the 2000 Presidential election.

In the spring of 2000, while still serving as Halliburton’s CEO, he headed George W. Bush’s Vice-Presidential search committee. After reviewing Cheney’s findings, Bush surprised pundits by asking Cheney himself to join the Republican ticket. Cheney resigned as CEO on July 25, and put all of his corporate shares and stock options into a charitable trust. However, as of July 2004 Cheney still received severance payments from Halliburton in the millions USD. This raised questions in America about a possible conflict of interest, since Halliburton was granted over $10 billion in no-bid contracts for the rebuilding effort following the war in Iraq. Mr. Cheney is still drawing a $1,000,000 per year paycheck from Halliburton while serving as the Vice President and evidently sees no conflict of interest between taking this paycheck, and participating in White House decisions that have allocated billions of dollars of no-bid contracts to Halliburton that have not gone on to open tender. His persistent imbroglio in the Junior Bush regime has been with his so-called `Energy Task Force’ through which during the early months of 2001 he was taking dictation from the now defunct and corrupt Enron Corporation and studying petro-maps of Iraq, Cheney has maintained all of those notes to his activities as a secret and unreleaseable under `Executive Privilege.’ Vice-President Cheney has been perhaps the most influential and powerful VP in United States history. During his 2001-2004 term with George W. Bush, since September 11, Vice-President Dick Cheney has kept a low profile and for months, he rarely appeared at all, emerging only to sell his political ideas, especially on Iraq and cable news channels or to dismiss allegations of corporate wrongdoing. Many in fact claim that Cheney has more control in the Bush White House than Bush himself. Even now, Cheney mostly stays in `secure locations,’ ready to spring into action – if he is somehow called to respond. Unlike most politicians, Cheney actually enjoys working in the background and by his own account, he doesn’t relish campaigning, and he’s hardly a natural spokesman, but rises to the occasion when needed and Cheney excels at assembling and managing teams of people to `get stuff done.’

As VP, Cheney championed Donald Rumsfeld for Defense Secretary, insisted, over fierce objections by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, on placing Paul Wolfowitz in the number two position at the Pentagon, insisted, again over Powell’s misgivings, on making another neo-con, the ultra-unilateralist John Bolton, then vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, and reportedly played a key role in the appointment of another controversial neo-conservative, Elliott Abrams, to head the Middle East office on the National Security Council. The VP has visited the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) several times (nearly the record of all VP’s in U.S. history … in the run-up to the war in Iraq, in what was seen as pressure on CIA analysts to take a darker view of Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to Al-Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction. Cheney’s staff, headed by another neo-con extremist … and now indicted I. Lewis Scooter Libby … who had a major hand in pre-writing Colin Powell’s February 2003 speech to the United Nations and Cheney himself was the patron of the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans and those officials tied to the nurturing of those polices of torturing combatants and non-combatants in Afghanistan and most recently Iraq. In fact his assertions that he did not pressure the CIA to send someone like Joe Wilson to Africa are totally false – he in fact demanded that then CIA Director Tenet and others do just that. The only thing they did not count on was Joe Wilson coming back with `empty Intel and then later an Iraq War critic.’

Many Presidential historians and experts have pointed out that this all-too powerful VP is too closely tied and beholden to the corporate world of the oil industry and military-industrial complex, and maintain that Cheney strongly influenced the decision to use military force in Iraq. On and off camera he was and still remains as one of the biggest defenders of the Iraq War, WMD claims and Saddam’s dubious ties with Al-Qaeda – although most assertions have now been proven to be outright falsities and manipulations of truth, seemingly pushed by the ever aggressive VP Cheney, his office and his neo-con allies. He continues to this day to make these claims! – By John Osborne, Sr. Political Editor – TMPress International Newswire

© 2005 TMPress International Newswire. Reprint granted without fee or license, please feel free to query for reprint permission.

Article Sources/Citations: TMPress International, international network and newswire services, Wikipedia and historical archives

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