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[Nettime-bold] MoveOn.org: Who is Dick Cheney?
martha rosler on Thu, 11 Jul 2002 22:10:01 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] MoveOn.org: Who is Dick Cheney?

Date: 11 Jul 2002 19:51:38 -0000
>From: "Wes Boyd, MoveOn.org"
>To: "martha rosler" <navva {AT} earthlink.net>
>Subject: Our first bulletin: Who is Dick Cheney?
> Dear friend of MoveOn,
> You can subscribe to the bulletin simply by clicking on the link below:


> MoveOn Bulletin
> Thursday, July 11, 2002
> Edited by Eli Pariser
>(<mailto:eli.pariser {AT} moveon.org>eli.pariser {AT} moveon.org)
> Subscribe online at:
> <http://www.moveon.org/moveonbulletin/>http://www.moveon.org/moveonbulletin/
 1. <#section-2.>Introduction 2.
<#section-3.>One Link 3.
<#section-4.>Cheney in Numbers 4.
 <#section-5.>Halliburton Days 5.
<#section-6.>A Lot of Energy 6.
<#section-7.>More About Cheney 7.
<#section-8.>About the MoveOn Bulletin and MoveOn.org
> "Cheney and Bush want privacy for their conversations, but not for anyone
>else's." --Tony Mauro in USA Today, Feb. 27, 2002
> Since September 11, Vice President Dick Cheney has kept a low profile.
>For months, he rarely appeared at all, emerging only to sell his political
>ideas on CNN or to dismiss allegations of corporate wrongdoing. Even now,
>Cheney mostly stays in a "secure location," ready to spring into action if
>President Bush is attacked.
> Unlike most politicians, Cheney actually enjoys working in the
>background. By his own account, he doesn't relish campaigning, and he's
>hardly a natural spokesman, but Cheney excels at assembling and managing
>teams of people to "get stuff done."
> Since he and Bush arrived at the White House, Cheney has managed to
>accomplish quite a bit. He's met with the heads of oil, gas, and nuclear
>power companies, assembled their "wish lists," and turned them into a new
>national Energy Plan. Cheney's close relations with folks like Ken Lay of
>Enron have made this one of the most corporation-friendly administrations
>in history.
> In this issue of the MoveOn Bulletin, we take an in-depth look at Dick
>Cheney. It's not surprising that Cheney is avoiding the limelight: an SEC
>investigation is under way on accounting practices at Halliburton, the
>company he ran, and Congress's investigative body is still trying to
>determine how much of the Energy Plan he organized was shaped by oil,
>coal, and nuclear energy executives. Given his key role in determining the
>policy and practice of the Bush administration, an understanding of
>Cheney's history is important.
> When Cheney was Chief of Staff for President Gerald Ford, his code name
>was "Backseat." Perhaps these days President Bush's nickname suits him
>better: for Cheney, it's "Big Time."
> "[S]triking another blow for freedom from government interference, Mr.
>Cheney led Halliburton into the top ranks of corporate welfare hogs,
>benefiting from almost $2 billion in taxpayer-insured loans from the U.S.
>Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. In the five
>years before Mr. Cheney joined the company, it got a measly $100 million
>in government loans." Molly Ivins' article, "Cheney's Mess Worth a Close
>Look" is online at:
> CHENEY IN NUMBERS *  Cheney's 2000 income from Halliburton: $36,086,635 *
>Increase in government contracts while Cheney led Halliburton: 91% *
>Minimum size of "accounting irregularity" that occurred while Cheney was
>CEO: $100,000,000 (One hundred MILLION dollars) *  Number of the seven
>official US "State Sponsors of Terror" that Halliburton contracted with: 2
>out of 7 *  Pages of Energy Plan documents Cheney refused to give
>congressional investigators: 13,500 *  Amount energy companies gave the
>Bush/Cheney presidential campaign: $1,800,000
> "[W]hen I was Secretary of Defense, my biggest problem was with the
>Congress of the United States.
> Now that I'm chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, my biggest
>problem is the Congress of the United States." --Dick Cheney, during an
>address to the Export-Import Bank Conference, May 8, 1997.
> Cheney was asked to assume the helm of Halliburton in 1995. As one of the
>largest global providers of equipment and services to the oil industry,
>Halliburton needed a chief executive who could ensure that the company had
>the government's full support. Cheney's close connections to top
>government and industry decision makers made him perfect for this role.
> In a debate with Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman in 2000,
>Lieberman noted that Cheney had done well for himself as CEO of
>Halliburton. Cheney responded flatly, "I can tell you, Joe, the government
>had absolutely nothing to do with it." But even a glance at Cheney's
>tenure at Halliburton suggests otherwise.
> During his five years as CEO, 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. As exposed in
>the article below, some of these loans went to a Russian company with ties
>to drug dealing and organized crime.
> 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. Consider the
>following examples:
> * Libyan dictator and suspected anti-U.S. terrorist Moammar Gadhafi
>engaged a foreign subsidiary of Halliburton company Brown & Root to
>perform millions of dollars worth of work. According to the Baltimore Sun,
>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.)
> * Cheney claimed that he supported the U.S. sanctions on Iraq, but the
>Financial Times of London reported that through foreign subsidiaries and
>affiliates, Halliburton became the biggest oil contractor for Iraq,
>selling more than $73 million in goods and services to Saddam Hussein's
>regime. (See
><http://gwbush.com/spots/postpage.html>http://gwbush.com/spots/postpage.html for
>a Washington Post article on the matter.)
> * In Burma, Halliburton joined oil companies in working on two notorious
>gas pipelines, the Yadana and Yetagun. 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 Halliburton’s projects was undertaken during Dick
>Cheney’s tenure as CEO." (The full report is linked to below.)
> Halliburton is now being investigated by the Securities and Exchange
>Commission for Enron-style accounting practices that took place while
>Cheney was CEO.
> More on Cheney and Halliburton:
> For an extensive briefing on Halliburton and Cheney's foreign policy
>impact, check out this well-written and thorough report:
> Cheney made $36 million at Halliburton in 2000 alone. Thesmokinggun.com
>has his tax returns to prove it:
> "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a
>sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." --Cheney, in a
>speech in Toronto, Canada, May 1, 2001.
> The ongoing fracas over Cheney's Energy Plan ties together many of the
>themes of his working life: his corporate alliances, especially with
>energy companies; his view of oil as integral to U.S. foreign policy; and
>his insistence on secrecy for the activities of the Executive branch.
> On May 16, 2001, Cheney revealed the results of months of meetings of his
>Energy Task Force: a national energy plan. President Bush had established
>the Task Force in January 2001, under Vice President Cheney's leadership.
> <http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/>http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/ for
>the final plan.)
> The plan essentially made Cheney's statement about 'personal virtue'
>national policy. It put a premium on exploring for and extracting more
>oil, and proposed that the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve be used for
>this purpose. While it paid lip service to alternative energy sources, its
>recommendations focused almost exclusively on the need for more "energy
>supply" -- more oil, more nuclear plants, more coal.
> According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, "the Bush plan would
>provide no short-term relief for Americans struggling to pay their
>gasoline and electric bills this summer. And, over the long-term, it would
>increase pollution, despoil the environment, threaten public health and
>accelerate global warming. Moreover, it would have no impact on energy
>prices, and no practical effect on U.S. dependence on foreign sources of
>oil. Who would benefit? The oil, coal and nuclear industries that shoveled
>millions of dollars into Bush campaign coffers."
> Shortly before the Plan was revealed, controversy arose. On April 19,
>2001, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Dingell (D-MI) wrote to
>the General Accounting Office (GAO), asking it to investigate the Task
>Force. According to the GAO, "The congressional investigation of the task
>force was prompted by news reports that the task force had met privately
>with major campaign contributors, such as Kenneth Lay, the CEO of Enron,
>to discuss energy policy. According to these reports, major Republican
>contributors attended private sessions with Vice President Cheney and the
>task force met secretly with other contributors in formulating the
>President's National Energy Policy."
> In response, Cheney's counsel returned a letter, refusing to disclose
>whom Cheney and the Task Force had met with and even who was on the Task
>Force's staff. The GAO made a formal demand for information; Cheney
>rebuffed it, citing Executive Privilege. It's worth noting that the GAO
>wasn't even requesting the minutes of the Task Force meetings; it merely
>wanted to know who the Task Force met with, and when.
> In late August 2001, a Los Angeles Times article exposed the connections
>between Cheney's Task Force and Bush's campaign contributors. The article
>described how the final report adopted verbatim a global warming policy
>suggested by the U.S. Energy Association (an energy industry group), how
>language was altered to favor Halliburton, and how a company called
>Peabody Coal and its affiliates gave more than $900,000 to the Bush
>campaign and "gained extraordinary access" to the Task Force. (See
>/headlines01/0826-02.htm for a copy of the article.)
> As Enron collapsed, Cheney continued to refuse access to the documents of
>the Task Force. In February 22, 2002, the GAO filed suit to obtain the
>documents, some of which have since been turned over. But large questions
>about the circumstances under which the Bush Administration's energy
>policy was formed remain. The evidence indicates that the final product
>was a gift for the energy industry from Cheney, their former colleague.
> More on Cheney and the Energy Plan:
> The GAO's comprehensive timeline of the Cheney failure to turn over the
>Task Force documents is viewable at:
> You can search the documents that Cheney was ordered to make public at:
> You can read NRDC's "Slower, Costlier, and Dirtier: A Critique of the
>Bush Energy Plan" at:
> "With so many new international crises erupting every day, it is hard to
>detect any clear forward direction to American U.S. foreign policy. At
>times, it appears that providing a response to the latest upheaval is
>about all that Washington can accomplish. But beneath the surface of
>day-to-day crisis management, one can see signs of an overarching plan for
>U.S. policy: a strategy of global oil acquisition." --Michael Klare,
>Pacific News Service:
> Satire: Cheney's 10 energy tips
> The White House's official page on the Vice President:
> A short, and perhaps too sweet, biography that captures the highlights of
>Cheney's career:
> The Christian Science Monitor offers a little more background on Cheney,
>prior to the 2000 election. "Cheney's connections and influence are seen
>everywhere these days - giving rise to talk that he's CEO to Bush's
>Chairman of the Board. Most people around Cheney probably suffer from
>something like Rolodex-envy."
> A PBS Newshour report on Cheney's management style and personality.
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