Dick Cheney

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Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney (January 30, 1941–) is the former Vice President of the United States, having served under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. Before becoming Vice President in 2001, he was the White House Chief of Staff in the Ford administration, a Representative for Wyoming (elected in 1978), and was Secretary of Defense during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, overseeing Operation Desert Storm. He has been chairman and CEO of the Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000. Cheney, and his wife Lynne, have two daughters: Elizabeth ("Liz") and Mary. Liz is a neoconservative activist, and Mary is an open lesbian.

Ideology and operating style

Cheney is usually described as conservative, and sometimes neoconservative. Charlie Savage writes that Cheney was committed to expand the power of the Presidency as early as 1969, based in part on ideas from Locke. [1]

According to Jack Goldsmith, working through his counsel, David Addington, Cheney was committed to a theory of "prerogative presidential power" or unitary authority, in which the President, regardless of Congress, must have the authority to do whatever he deemed necessary to prevent terrorist attacks. The job of the Executive Branch lawyers were to make Presidential decisions legal. The idea, according to Goldsmith, derives from ideas from Locke, Jefferson, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Addington, however, took it farther than Roosevelt and Lincoln, who still coordinated with Congress. Addington and Cheney, however, well before 9/11 had a goal of reversing what they saw as Congress' intrusions on unitary executive power.[2]

Bob Woodward said Colin Powell believed Cheney had "the fever" to look for a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attack, and indeed to take intelligence that indicated something might be happening and turn it into certainty that Cheney's interpretation was happening. [3]


  1. Charlie Savage, Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, Little, Brown, p. 9
  2. Jack Goldsmith (2007), The Terror Presidency, W.W. Norton,pp. 79-85
  3. Bob Woodward (2004), Plan of Attack, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 074325547X, p.292