The Curse of Dick Cheney
The veep's career has been marred by one disaster after another
by T.D. ALLMAN
Ascent To Power
JANUARY 30, 1941:
Richard B. Cheney is born in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Cheney attends high school in Casper, Wyoming. He becomes football captain, top 10 student and meets his future wife, homecoming Queen, Lynne Vincent.
Cheney, a Yale student, turns 18 and becomes eligible for the draft.
FEBRUARY: Cheney was classified as 1-A, available for military service.
NOVEMBER 19: Cheney is arrested for drunk driving. (see the police court docket from the Smoking Gun website )
MARCH 20: Cheney applies for his first student draft deferment.
JULY 23: Cheney applies for his second draft deferment after enrolling at the University of Wyoming.
OCTOBER 14: Cheney applies for his third student draft deferment. By now the Vietnam war has escalated following the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.
Cheney marries his high school sweetheart, Lynne.
NOVEMBER 1: Cheney gets his fourth draft deferment.
Cheney graduates and is once more listed as 1-A, ready for military service.
JANUARY 19: When his wife was about 10 weeks pregnant, Cheney applies for 3-A status, the ''hardship'' exemption, which excludes men with children or dependent parents. It is granted.
JANUARY: Cheney turns 26 and is no longer eligible for the draft.
Cheney goes to work for Donald Rumsfeld as his special assistant at the Office of Economic Opportunity.
AUGUST: Cheney joins Gerald Ford’s presidential transition team when President Nixon resigns.
NOVEMBER: Cheney becomes Assistant to President Ford and Chief of Staff.
JUNE 18: Cheney suffers his first heart attack.
Cheney is elected as a congressman from Wyoming.
Cheney becomes Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee from 1981, a position he holds until 1987.
Cheney votes against a House resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and the recognition of the ANC.
Cheney is elected House minority whip.
Cheney undergoes quadruple by-pass surgery to clear clogged arteries.
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
MARCH: Cheney becomes Secretary of Defense when President George H.W. Bush’s first choice, John Tower, is rejected by the Senate for personal misconduct.
Cheney, when asked why he sought draft deferments during the Vietnam war said "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service."
AUGUST 2: Iraq invades Kuwait.
AUGUST: Cheney flies to Saudi Arabia to convince King Fahd to allow US troops into his country.
SEPTEMBER: The Pentagon says that 250,000 Iraqi troops with 1500 tanks are massed on the Saudi border. The photos are never made public.
Soviet satellite imagery taken that day shows no troops near the border.
Journalist Jean Heller learns about the Soviet satellite imagery and presents them to Dick Cheney's office at the Pentagon. They ignore the story.
JANUARY: Operation Desert Storm begins.
In the wake of Desert Storm, Cheney hires Halliburton to put out 320 well-head fires and engage Halliburton subsidiary Brown and Root to rebuild courthouses, schools, utilities, police stations, and computer systems in Kuwait.
JUNE 10: Cheney and the troops who fought in Desert Storm are honored with a ticker tape parade up Broadway in New York.
JULY 3: Secretary Cheney is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush for his work on the Gulf War.1992
NOVEMBER: Bill Clinton elected president. Cheney's term as Secretary of Defense is over.
Cheney sets up Political Action Committee and ponders run for presidency. The CEO of Halliburton contributes to his PAC. Halliburton will later be awarded contracts after invasion of Iraq.
On a fishing trip with Halliburton CEO Thomas H. Cruikshank, and other captains of industry in New Brunswick, Cheney is asked if he would be willing to become Halliburton’s CEO.
MARCH: President Clinton signs an order prohibiting "new investments [in Iran] by U.S. persons, including commitment of funds or other assets."
U.S. companies are prohibited from performing services "that would benefit the Iranian oil industry." Companies face fines of up to $500,000 and individuals may receive 10 years in jail for breaking the embargo.
MAY 6: President Clinton imposes a near total U.S. economic embargo on Iran.OCTOBER: Cheney becomes CEO and Chairman of Halliburton.
Cheney, acting as head of Halliburton, says in a video for auditing company Arthur Andersen, "I get good advice, if you will, from their people based upon how we're doing business and how we're operating, over and above just sort of the normal by-the-books auditing arrangement, They've got the traditional role to fill as our auditors...They do that extraordinarily well.” Arthur Andersen will collapse in the fallout of the Enron scandal five years later.
Cheney tests the waters for a presidential run, but manages to raise only $1 million.
SEPTEMBER 25: Halliburton Energy Services prepares an invoice for spare parts that have been sold to Abdulamir Mahdi. The invoice puts Kuwait as the final destination for the parts. In fact, the equipment is headed for Kala Naft in Iran.
OCTOBER 7: In a purchase separate from the Mahdi transaction, Kala Naft’s London office, the purchasing arm for the National Iranian Oil Company asks Halliburton subsidiary in Dubai to send a price quote for purchases for the Iranian oil industry.
OCTOBER 16: Mahdi’s office receives a statement of compliance from Halliburton Energy Services in Texas saying the parts he ordered has been inspected and meet Halliburton and industry standards.
OCTOBER 30: Spare parts purchased by Mahdi are shipped to Canada for a Halliburton cement unit in Iran.
Halliburton is opposed to the U.S. embargo and lobbies congress against the Iran/Libya sanctions bill.
Cheney negotiates the purchase of Dresser Industries for $7.7 billion.
After the purchase, numerous asbestos related lawsuits hit the hybrid company. The claims forced several Halliburton divisions into bankruptcy. Halliburton’s stock falls 80 percent in one year.
MARCH: Abdulamir Mahdi is arrested in Florida during a sting operation. At the same time his office in Toronto and his home are searched by the RCMP.
NOVEMBER 22: Abdulamir Mahdi receives a 51-month sentence on one count of conspiracy to evade export regulations for sending equipment to Iran and Iraq.
FEBRUARY: Halliburton opens an office in Tehran while Cheney is still CEO. At the same time, Halliburton ends its presence in Iraq.
SPRING: George Bush asks Cheney to help him find a vice-presidential running mate.
JULY 25: Bush tells the press that he has chosen Cheney to be his running mate.
JULY 30: Cheney says he actually wanted Mandela out of prision "Well, certainly I would have loved to have Nelson Mandela released. I don't know anybody who was for keeping him in prison. Again, this was a resolution of the U.S. Congress, so it wasn't as though if we passed it, he was going to be let out of prison."
AUGUST 16: Cheney quits Halliburton to run as Bush’s vice-president. He exits Halliburton with a stock payoff worth $30 million.
OCTOBER 24: Halliburton announces layoffs and assets sales because of weakness in its construction and engineering businesses. Analysts reduce Halliburton’s earning forecast.
OCTOBER 25: Halliburton announces it is under a grand jury investigation for over-billing the government of California.
NOVEMBER: Cheney suffers his fourth heart-attack.
NOVEMBER 13: It is reported that Halliburton stock has lost between $3 and $4 billion of its total market value.
Dressers Industries asbestos problem and weak engineering portfolio is blamed. Democrats question if Cheney had insider information when he sold his stock two months earlier for $30 million.
During the election campaign Cheney tells ABC News. “I had a firm policy that we wouldn’t do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal.”
However, during his time as CEO, Halliburton was selling millions of dollars to Iraq in supplies for its oil industry. The deals were done through old subsidiaries of Dresser Industries. It was done under the auspices of the corrupt UN Oil for Food Program.
Halliburton worked with Iran and Libya as well, using its own subsidiaries.
JANUARY 19: Dick Cheney is sworn in as Vice President of the United States.
JANUARY 29: President Bush announces the formation of the National Energy Policy Development Group in Cheney’s office. He announces that Cheney will chair the group.
FEBRUARY 2: Wall Street Journal publishes expose on Halliburton’s Tehran office.
Abdulamir Mahdi writes a letter to Cheney complaining that he is in jail for violating the Iranian embargo while the Vice President, who did the same thing, is free.
MARCH 5: Cheney has balloon angioplasty performed at George Washington University Hospital after suffering chest pains.
APRIL 19: Representatives John Dingell and Henry Waxman, Ranking Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, send a letter to the General Accounting Office, seeking to obtain information about National Energy Policy Development Group. They wanted to find out who had participated in the report.
MAY 16: Cheney presents to President Bush a report entitled National Energy Policy, which recommended the adoption of the national energy policy that had been developed by the NEPDG.
AUGUST 2: Cheney sends a letter to the Senate and House of Representatives, stating “actions undertaken by an agent of the Congress, the Comptroller General, which exceeded his lawful authority and which, if given effect, would unconstitutionally interfere with the functioning of the executive branch.”
Cheney says the GAO’s demand for documents compromise “the confidentiality of communications among a President, a Vice-President, the President’s other senior advisors and others.”
Cheney also states that he had provided "documents responsive to the Comptroller General's inquiry concerning the costs associated with the (Energy task force's work.)" Cheney was apparently writing about the 77 pages.
SEPTEMBER 11: Al Qaeda attacks in New York and Washington. In the wake of the attacks, Dick Cheney reportedly is taken to Raven Rock, a top-secret military base. He orders U.S. military fighters to shoot down any civilian planes that may have been hijacked.
FEBRUARY: Ambassador Joe Wilson is told by the CIA that Cheney is interested in an allegation that Iraq had tried to purchase Yellow Cake uranium from Niger. Wilson goes to Niger to investigate and concludes the rumour is false.
FEBRUARY 22: David Walker, the Comptroller of the General Accounting Office, files a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to get access to records relating to the activities of the National Energy Development Group. (see the document .pdf file)
JUNE 22: A memo written by INC (Iraqi National Council) lobbyist Entifadh Qunbar to a U.S. Senate committee lists John Hannah, a senior national-security aide on Cheney's staff, as one of two "U.S. governmental recipients" for reports generated by an intelligence program being run by the INC and which was then being funded by the State Department. The letter shows Cheney's office was getting intelligence from a highly suspect source.
AUGUST 26: Cheney tells an audience of veterans "There’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction [and that he will use them] against our friends, against our allies and against us.”
Selling the nuclear threat became key to convincing Americans to support the war.
DECEMBER 9: U.S. District Court Judge John Bates dismisses the high profile lawsuit filed by David Walker, the Comptroller of the General Accounting Office, against Vice President Dick Cheney.
MARCH: Cheney declares "we believe that he [Saddam Hussein] has in fact reconstituted nuclear weapons."
Cheney publicly states mid-March that U.S. troops would be "greeted as liberators” in Iraq.
MARCH 5: Army Corps of Engineers writes in an e-mail that a contract for restoring Iraqi oil fields is being coordinated with Cheney’s office. Three days later a Halliburton subsidiary was awarded the $7 billion contract.
MARCH 19: U.S. begins Operation Iraqi Freedom. Baghdad is bombed.
APRIL 7: Newsweek reveals that Cheney is still receiving annual compensation from Halliburton for his tenure as the company CEO. This while the U.S. military was giving contracts worth potentially billions of dollars to Halliburton.
JULY 14: Syndicated columnist Robert Novak reveals that Ambassador Joe Wilson’s wife is a CIA operative. That information, he writes, came from two senior administration officials. This leak violates U.S. law.
AUGUST 25: The GAO releases a report called Energy Task Force: Process Used to Develop the National Energy Policy.”
SEPTEMBER 14: Cheney repeats widely discredited report that 9/11 hijacker Muhammad Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001.
Bush publicly admits there is no evidence linking Iraq to September 11 terrorist attacks.
DECEMBER 15: U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Cheney appeal a lower court order that Cheney turn over documents related to the Bush administration’s Energy Task Force. Cheney had been fighting efforts to disclose the documents for three years.
JANUARY: Dick Cheney goes duck hunting with US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Halliburton states in an SEC filing "Since [Cheney's] nomination as vice president, Halliburton has been and continues to be the focus of allegations, some of which appear to be made for political reasons by political adversaries of the vice president and the current Bush administration.
We expect that this focus and these allegations will continue and possibly intensify as the 2004 elections draw nearer.”
U.S. Treasury department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control begins investigation into allegations that Halliburton may have violated the U.S. embargo against Iran through a subsidiary based in Dubai.
FEBRUARY 3: Halliburton is accused of overcharging the U.S. military $36 million for meals at a U.S. base in Kuwait.
FEBRUARY: Justice Department investigation into allegations that Halliburton paid $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials to get contract to build a natural gas plant in the late 1990s, when Cheney was still CEO.
Halliburton, in its annual report, says U.S. government contracts accounted for 26 percent of its revenues in 2003. That is up from 10 percent the year before.
MARCH: The Pentagon asks the justice department to help investigate allegations that Halliburton overcharged for fuel in Iraq by more than $80 million.
MARCH 18: Scalia releases a 21 page memo refusing to recuse himself from the Cheney appeal on the Energy Task Force lawsuit. Scalia had been asked to recuse himself because of a duck-hunting trip he took with Cheney in January.
JUNE: U.S. media reports that Dick Cheney had been questioned about the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame, the CIA-officer married to Joe Wilson.JULY: A federal grand jury in Houston subpoenas documents for Halliburton as it investigates allegations that the company may have violated the US embargo against dealing with Iran.
AUGUST: Halliburton settles with the Security and Exchange Commission, agreeing to pay $7.5 million for not disclosing a change in its accounting practices that allowed it to report higher earnings in 1998 and 1999. The SEC accused Halliburton of hindering its investigation.
OCTOBER 5: Cheney meets Democratic Vice-Presidential challenger John Edwards in a televised debate.
The U.S. Attorney investigating the Valerie Plame leak says his investigation is completed, except for the testimony of two reporters who refused to reveal their sources of information.
OCTOBER 13: Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry causes an uproar when he refers to Cheney's daughter Mary as a lesbian. Lynn Cheney tells reporters, "the only thing I can conclude is that (Kerry) is not a good man."
NOVEMBER 2: Cheney is re-elected Vice President.
MARCH 23: Halliburton tells New York City Comptroller that none of its subsidiaries will bid for work in Iran, however, the company will complete work already started in that country.
MARCH 31: The Presidential Commission looking into intelligence capabilities in Iraq regarding weapons of mass destruction writes that the documents purporting to show Iraq had purchased uranium for Niger had been forged.
APRIL 14: Nine Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee send a letter to U.S. Attorney General expressing grave concerns that no one has been arrested for leaking the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame to the press.
APRIL 5: Army announces it will withhold $55 million out of $200 million in payments it made to Halliburton in 2003 for providing dining services for troops in Iraq. Despite the allegations of overcharging by Halliburton, the army also announced it will pay the company $1.18 billion to feed troops in Iraq and Kuwait.
APRIL 12: A report released by Pentagon auditors reveals that Halliburton, may have overcharged the US government by $212 million for work in Iraq.
APRIL 15: Cheney releases his tax returns. His filings show that he earned $194,852 in deferred compensation from Halliburton in 2004.
FEBRUARY - Cheney shoots Harry Whittington, his aid in quail hunting trip.
the fifth estate: The Unauthorized Biography of Dick Cheney
Broadcast on the fifth estate Wednesday, October 6 2004 on CBC-TV at 9PM
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