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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/4/09

Whatever Became of Dick Cheney?

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I've been chasing that man around the country "religiously" since the 2004 election and "fanatically" longer than that. So just in case you have a clue, here is a Wiki about him.

Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney[1] (born January 30, 1941) served as the 46th Vice President of the United States from 2001 to 2009 in the administration of George W. Bush.

Cheney was raised in Casper, Wyoming. He began his political career as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger, eventually working his way into the White House during the Ford administration, where he served as White House Chief of Staff. In 1978, Cheney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming; he was reelected five times, eventually becoming House Minority Whip. Cheney was selected to be the Secretary of Defense during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, holding the position for the majority of Bush's term. During this time, Cheney oversaw the 1991 Operation Desert Storm, among other actions.

Out of office during the Clinton presidency, Cheney was chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000.

Cheney joined the Bush administration in 2000, after Bush selected him as his running mate

And here's a rundown on his early life. (Notice he is an adopted Wyomingite.)

Although not a direct descendant, he is collaterally related to Benjamin Pierce Cheney (1815-1895), the early American expressman. He attended Calvert Elementary School[4][5] before his family moved to Casper, Wyoming,[6] where he attended Natrona County High School. His father was a soil conservation agent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his mother was a softball star in the 1930s;[7] Cheney was one of three children. He attended Yale University, but, as he stated, "[he] flunked out."[8][9] Among the influential teachers from his days in New Haven was Professor H. Bradford Westerfield, whom Cheney repeatedly credited with having helped to shape his approach to foreign policy.[10] He later attended the University of Wyoming, where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in political science. He subsequently started, but did not finish, doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin├ éČ"Madison.[11]

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Dick Cheney and John Edwards tangled in a Vice-Presidential debate--something to do with sexual orientation. Since then daughter Mary bore him a grandchild and daughter Liz, who has several children and a husband, has taken to prestigious channels to tell how her father deserves statesmanship status. The man, himself, can whip up some mean paragraphs to tell the public how to handle a War on Terror. He also took time out to go back to his Alma Mater in Laramie to bestow an endowment, whilst he was honored with his name being on the Cheney International Center. There was a ruckus from some outlanders, but Casper's Star-Tribune Editorial Board in May of 2009 put that in perspective:

Cheney has a higher profile now than he did during much of his two terms as vice president, where his work was often behind the scenes and out of the spotlight. He's granted many interviews in which he's been critical of President Barack Obama and provided a sharp televised rebuttal to his speech on national security issues.

Apparently some pundits thought Cheney would follow tradition and quietly slip away to Wyoming's rivers to fish, one of his favorite pastimes. Or to write his much-anticipated memoirs, which he is reportedly working on at his Virginia home.

But politics has always stirred Cheney's soul, and it's no exception today. Since he's no longer serving as the No. 2 man in George W. Bush's administration, he likely feels freer to speak his mind than he did when he had to follow a tightly written script. While his former boss has held his criticism of Obama in check, as most former presidents do, at least initially, Cheney seems to take great pride in his defense of the Bush-Cheney legacy and is happy to point out what he thinks the new commander in chief is doing wrong.

It's not a knock on Cheney, but if no one supplants him as the party's chief spokesman, the GOP will have to walk a long and dreary road to the next presidential election

There are some tracks of Dick Cheney this past summer, more particularly about official doings which come from the House Judiciary Committee. As late as October 4, Truthout published an article from Jason Leopold (written Friday) and headed "Judge's Ruling Means Public May Learn New Details About Cheney's Role in CIA Leak" so all is not lost. Mr. Leopold further writes:

A federal court judge ordered the Justice Department Thursday to release portions of an interview transcript between former Vice President Dick Cheney and the special prosecutor assigned to investigate the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson and the role Bush administration officials played in her outing six years ago.

US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected arguments by Obama Justice Department appointees that releasing the transcript would discourage future vice presidents from cooperating with criminal investigations because their words could become "fodder for The Daily Show."

So I guess we have this VP to kick around a little more. Perhaps he is holed up in his Jackson home. Or maybe he is close to the Beltway circus. Wherever, it is not too late to play a little psychobabble with this political operative who claims no professional motives. It's still possible to read the 4-part series the Washington Post wrote Sunday, June 24, 2007 called "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency." His hometown paper wrote an editorial after having followed an unusual practice to reprinting the WaPo piece. That time is was more like an admonishment. I can probably find it in a backup file here, although my computer crashed around that time.
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Margaret Bassett passed away August 21, 2011. She was a treasured member of the editorial team for four years.

Margaret Bassett--OEN editor--is an 89-year old, currently living in senior housing, with a lifelong interest in political philosophy. Bachelors from State University of Iowa (1944) and Masters from Roosevelt University (1975) help to unravel important requirements for modern communication. Early introduction to computer science (1966) trumps them. It's payback time. She's been "entitled" so long she hopes to find some good coming off the keyboard into the lives of those who come after her.
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