Friday, November 2, 2007

Vice-President Dick Cheney's Pre-1991 Rise To Power

The current U.S. Vice-President, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, gained experience representing Chevron’s special Wyoming interests when he served as Wyoming’s Republican Congressional Representative between 1979 and 1989 and voted for limiting the size of the windfall profit taxes on Chevron’s profits. As Wyoming’s only representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Vice-President Cheney also voted against the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion rights for women, opposed busing to achieve racial desegregation in the public schools and voted in favor of draft registration, continued military aid to the Nicaraguan Contras and prayer in the public schools.

In addition, Cheney voted against a nuclear moratorium, against a nuclear arms freeze and against a proposal requiring the U.S. president to notify Congress within 48 hours of the start of any secret intelligence operation. In 1989, Current Biography noted that then-Secretary of Defense Cheney believed “that the president’s ability to implement foreign policy had been hampered by repeated congressional attempts to impose restrictions on the White House” and that Cheney “sided with the House’s so-called conservative coalition of Republicans and southern Democrats on every one of the 50 votes in which the two groups joined forces.”

Cheney first acquired the political power to serve transnational oil company interests during the Nixon-Watergate era. And by 1990 the power of then-Pentagon Czar Cheney included the power to influence the allocation of public funds to U.S. cultural institutions and artistic and literary individuals. Former Secretary of Defense Cheney’s wife, Lynne Vincent-Cheney, was the chairperson of the national Endowment for the Humanities (which dishes out public grant money each year in the U.S. cultural world) in the early 1990s, for instance.

The husband of former National Endowment for the Humanities Chairperson Lynne Vincent-Cheney was quick to order huge numbers of U.S. military forces to mass both in Panama and near the borders of Kuwait and Iraq, after George W. Bush’s father (former U.S. President Bush I) named him Secretary of Defense in March 1989. Yet during the Vietnam War era the staunchly pro-war and politically conservative Dick Cheney did not risk his own life on the battlefield. After graduating from the University of Wyoming at the age of 24, Cheney went into Republican Party politics instead of the U.S. military and did not personally fight in the Indochina War that he helped prolong, by serving as former President Nixon’s Deputy White House press counselor. Unlike many 1990s [and 21st-century] antiwar activists like Ron Kovic, former Secretary of Defense and current U.S. Vice-President Cheney lacks any kind of military combat experience.

The U.S. civilian responsible for coordinating the 1991 U.S. military attack on Iraq was born in Nebraska in 1941, grew up in Wyoming, attended Yale University for three semesters before dropping out and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1965. After receiving academic recognition and an internship recommendation from NYU’s Center for Education in Politics, Cheney secured the job in 1969 which enabled him to quickly jump into Washington D.C. Establishment circles. He was hired as a special assistant to President Nixon’s Office of Economic Opportunity Director Donald Rumsfeld. When Rumsfeld, a former Republican Congressional Representative from Illinois, became Nixon’s White House press counselor in 1970, Cheney followed Rumsfeld into the White House as Rumsfeld’s deputy. When Rumsfeld became Nixon’s Cost-of-Living Council director in 1971, Cheney was named Rumsfeld’s Assistant Director for Operations. In 1973, however, Cheney gave up his government job to become a 32-year-old vice-president of Bradley Woods & Co., which is, according to Current Biography, “a Washington-based investment firm that advises private industry on legislative issues.”

After Nixon was forced to resign because of his Watergate affair crimes in August 1974, however, Cheney’s “Godfather-Rabbi” called upon the 33-year-old to again become his “deputy” when President Gerald Ford appointed Rumsfeld to head his presidential transition team. When Rumsfeld was named by Ford to become the new U.S. President’s special assistant, Rumsfeld again brought Cheney along with him as “deputy” to the President’s special assistant. According to Current Biography, during the first year of the Ford Presidency “in all but title, Rumsfeld was White House chief of staff and Cheney was his alter ego.” When Rumsfeld was named Ford’s Secretary of Defense in November 1975, Cheney succeeded him as White House Chief of Staff. Nearly 14 years later, Cheney, himself, was named U.S. Defense Secretary—despite his health problem of having had three heart attacks before reaching the age of 50. Cheney’s “Godfather-Rabbi,” Rumsfeld, meanwhile, sat on the board of directors of Sears Roebuck, Kellogg Company, Union Camp, Vulcan Materials and the RAND Corporation military research think-tank during the 1990s (after sitting on the board of directors of G.D. Searle & Co., Eastern Airlines, Bendix Corporation and the People’s Energy Corporation in the 1980s).

(Downtown 12/12/90)

[And when Rumsfeld’s “alter ego” became U.S. Vice-President in 2001, Rumsfeld returned to the Pentagon as U.S. Secretary of Defense again during the early years of the administration of former President Bush I’s son, George W. Bush.]

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