SPADES | politicians

DICK CHENEY : king of spades
(CH, $, L) (what do these signs mean?)

Do Wars profiles in scourge: Dick Cheney, sometimes lives in the Vice President's house

Favorite Secret: His own voting record.

A life devoted to putting the interests of the country as a whole second to his quest for money and power, Dick Cheney yearns for the old days, rolling back environmental protections and rolling out the weaponry:

1981: Water Pollution Voted against reauthorization
1984: EPA - Voted against EPA research and development funding
Hazardous Waste Voted to eliminate right to sue over damages from dumping hazardous wastes
1981: Water Pollution Voted against reauthorization
1984: EPA Voted against EPA research and development funding
Hazardous Waste Voted to eliminate right to sue over damages from dumping hazardous wastes

Superfund Voted against reauthorization
Armor Piercing Weapons Voted against ban
Chemical Emissions Voted against tracking chemical inventory and any dangerous emissions

1986: Superfund Voted against reauthorization again.
Clean Water Voted against reauthorization.
Head Start Voted against reauthorization.
South Africa Voted against sanctions 10 times, and against resolution demanding Nelson Mandela's freedom.
1987: Endangered Species - Voted against reauthorization
1988: Terrorist Weapons Voted against ban.
Gun Purchases Waiting Period Voted against 7 day wait to check for prior felonies.
Family Leave Voted against allowing federal employees to take time off for sick family members.
Power to Vote Failed to vote in 14 of 16 local elections.

For more info: see

Favorite Power Tie Defense Secretary
Rules are made to be Broken: Cheney changed the rules restricting private contractors' work at military bases. As Robert Scheer writes, "This allowed Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary of his future employer, Halliburton, to receive the first of $2.5 billion in contracts over the next decade."

Revolving doors gather no moss but pay off in stock options: During the 2000 election, Cheney took credit for his "work" in the business world at Halliburton. As CEO, Cheney oversaw $23.8 million in business contracts to Iraq, getting around American sanctions by working through two European subsidiaries: Dresser Rand and Ingersoll-Dresser Pump.

When Sam Donaldson questioned Cheney about dealings with Iraq, he replied "No. No. I had a firm policy that I wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal." It was not the truth.

Favorite back scratcher foreign dictators
Political connections also helped Halliburton gain big contracts in Asia. Far from being normal market transactions, they frequently served the interests and policies of brutal dictatorships in Burma (Myanmar), Somalia, Indonesia, and elsewhere. Halliburton increased its involvement in Nigeria's Niger Delta after the military government executed ecology activists and crushed popular protests. In Burma, Halliburton pipeline projects benefited from the government's forced relocation of villages and violence against those opposed.

During his 5 years at Halliburton Cheney's political contacts helped Halliburton's bottom line, bringing in $2.3 billion in federal contracts, up from $1.2 billion the previous five years. Shortly after Cheney left Halliburton, it came under investigation for over charging the government for work performed under his watch. The company settled by paying $2 million. Then the SEC announced a probe into shady accounting practices adopted under Cheney's leadership, practices that inflated its profits. This "creative" accounting was necessary because even with the government contracts, Halliburton was not doing well. He still receives money from Halliburton.

Halliburton = asbestos
Halitosis Cheney's 1998 decision to acquire Dresser brought with it enough asbestos liability to threaten the company's existence. So Cheney, our Vice President, now supports a new federal law limiting damages that can be claimed against former asbestos manufacturers. This law is being considered as we prepare this report, constituting yet another example of corporate welfare and crony capitalism masquerading as legitimate business.

Favorite stock tip find a patsy
As CEO, Cheney sold his Halliburton stock just two months before its stock plummeted on bad news. He made an $18.5 million profit. Martha Stewart would have been very impressed - she is accused of making $40,000. Of course, Cheney has not been charged, but, as the Washington Post observed, either he did "not know the magnitude of problems at the oilfield services company he ran for five years, or he sold his shares in August 2000 knowing the company was likely headed for a fall." Incompetence or dishonesty? You choose.

He also received a $36 million payoff for his final year of "service' to the company.


Showing true grit - standing up for your principles = covering up for your friends
Cheney refuses to allow Congress or the public to know who met with him while he drafted his energy policy. Doing so, he claimed, would discourage frank and honest advice from people in the future. This was a lie, because the Bush administration released to Congressional investigators thousands of documents from the Clinton White House, including candid conversations between Clinton and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The only secrets worth keeping were their own.

The GAO asked for information on the meetings, which Cheney refused to divulge. Before it could get to a non-Bush appointed judge, Republican Congressional leaders threatened GAO's budget if they persisted. They backed down.

Cheney's report concluded there was an "energy crisis." California's blackouts were due to insufficient energy production, not corporate manipulation. Environmentalists, not Enron, were to blame. Cheney also belittled conservation. But there was no energy crisis and conservation and improved technology were the reasons why, as Forbes wrote at the time.


Maybe the reason Cheney wants his energy meetings kept secret is that exposure would demonstrate the same level of incompetence he showed while managing Halliburton.

Secret agent man
Cheney has sought to expand secrecy in every dimension of government. He argued vehemently against Congress exploring the events leading up to 9/11, once even suggesting that doing so would be unpatriotic. We now know there were good reasons the administration did not want a good public airing of pre-9/11 events. Conservative columnist Phyllis Schlafly declared correctly that: "The American people do not and should not tolerate government by secrecy." She elaborated that no one's "going to buy the sanctimonious argument that the Bush Administration has some sort of duty to protect the power of the presidency." Unfortunately she was wrong with respect to much that passes for journalism today.


No-clear nuclear
Cheney has also been a major dissembler and liar regarding the reasons for war with his old customer, Iraq. In Meet the Press, (3/16/03) Cheney informed us that Saddam "has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Strangely, in the same interview he also said "it's only a matter of time until he acquires nuclear weapons." Both statements were false - and they contradicted one another. We give credit where credit is due: this is hard to do in a single session.

It now appears that Cheney's office was well aware that Iraq's supposed efforts to get uranium from Africa were not supported by the facts. That his company Halliburton would make money dealing with Hussein, and then make even more money after Hussein was deposed, and do so with the active cooperation and dishonesty of Dick Cheney, should go down as one of the more disgusting episodes in recent American history.

Do Wars salutes...
Dick Cheney for his ability to work behind the scenes, pulling the strings, while maintaining his principles on secrecy, helping corporate friends, and misleading the American people. Think of how much our children can learn about true American values from this principled man about town.

American shadow

the web

copyright © 2003, inc | legal disclaimer | privacy policy