You Don’t Know Dick

Unless otherwise noted, the following 24 Fun Facts About Dick are from Jane Mayer's article "Contract Sport" from the Feb. 16-23, 2004, issue of The New Yorker.

1. Dick Cheney was born in Lincoln, Neb., in 1941.

2. As a young man, Dick Cheney was twice convicted of drunken driving. Although the exact number of George W. Bush's convictions for drunken driving is not publicly known, the two have more such convictions than any previous presidential ticket, and perhaps more than all previous presidential tickets combined.

3. Dick Cheney's first job in Washington was a congressional fellowship with Rep. Bill Steiger, R-Wisc. One of Dick Cheney's duties in this job was visiting college campuses to evaluate/spy on antiwar activists.

4. Dick Cheney liked life inside the Beltway so much that instead of returning to graduate school after the fellowship, he took a job with former Rep. Donald Rumsfeld, R.-Ill., who had just been appointed head of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

5. Dick Cheney and his then-boss Donald Rumsfeld, "diminished the power of the [Office of Economic Opportunity] by outsourcing many of its jobs." In 1969, Rumsfeld eliminated 108 jobs at the OEO without explanation. Most had been held by "senior career civil servants who had been appointed by Democrats."

6. From 1979 until 1988, Dick Cheney represented Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives.

7. The highest score Rep. Dick Cheney, R-Wyo., ever received from the League of Conservation Voters was 20 percent during his first term. Dick Cheney's scores for his subsequent terms were: 4.5 percent, 13 percent, 16 percent and 0 percent.

8. As secretary of defense under Pres. George H.W. Bush, Dick Cheney oversaw the post-Cold War reduction of military forces, weapons systems and bases. "By the time he was done, the armed forces were at their lowest level since the Korean War."

9. Dick Cheney's approach to base closings and cutting weapons systems was criticized for focusing almost exclusively on bases and weapons programs based in Democratic congressional districts.

10. Toward the end of Cheney’s tenure, the Pentagon decided to turn over to a single company the bulk of the business of planning and providing support for military operations abroad — tasks such as preparing food, doing the laundry and cleaning the latrines. … [Dick Cheney] commissioned Halliburton to do a classified study of how this might work. In effect, the company was being asked to create its own market. Halliburton was paid $3.9 million to write its initial report, which offered a strategy for providing support to 20,000 troops. The Pentagon then paid Halliburton $5 million more to do a follow-up study. In August, 1992, Halliburton was selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do all the work needed to support the military during the next five years, in accordance with the plan it had itself drawn up.

11. Dick Cheney was hired to be the CEO of Halliburton in 1995, "not long after he went on a fly-fishing trip in New Brunswick, Canada, with several corporate moguls." Dick Cheney had almost no prior experience in the business world.

12. In 1998, Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney negotiated the acquisition of the company's main rival, Dresser Industries, for $7.7 billion. Halliburton had failed to detect the size of the legal liability that Dresser faced from long-dormant lawsuits dealing with asbestos poisoning. The claims proved so ruinous that several Halliburton divisions later filed for bankruptcy protection. The asbestos settlements devastated the company’s stock price, which fell by 80 percent in just over a year.

13. While Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, the company did business in and with Iran, Libya and Iraq, despite all three countries being considered state sponsors of terrorism at the time.

14. "Under [Dick] Cheney’s watch, two foreign subsidiaries of Dresser sold millions of dollars’ worth of oil services and parts to Saddam's regime" in Iraq.

15. Dick Cheney secured 15 times more in government credit guarantees for Halliburton than his predecessors.

16. Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney negotiated a $490 million loan guarantee from the Washington-based Export-Import Bank for the Russian company Tyumen Oil. It was the "largest loan guarantee to a Russian company in the bank's history."

17. Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney had to fight both the U.S. State Department and the CIA to win the loan guarantee for Tyumen Oil. That battle left him with a fierce animosity and frustration toward these agencies.

18. During his tenure at Halliburton, Dick Cheney was paid about $44 million.

19. Dick Cheney continues to collect about $150,000 a year from Halliburton in "deferred compensation."

20. Dick Cheney "retains stock options worth more than $18 million" in Halliburton. "He has announced that he will donate proceeds from the stock options to charity."

21. While still the CEO of Halliburton, Dick Cheney became the head of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush's vice-presidential search committee. "Cheney demanded reams of documents from the candidates he considered. In the end, he picked himself."

22. Dick Cheney almost certainly has not done paid work for former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein since Feb. 2003.

23. In the year 2000, Dick Cheney did paid work for both Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush. How many other people can say that?

24. Dick Cheney is the first vice president in my lifetime — probably the first since Alvin Barkley — to have no aspirations to succeed the incumbent. Part of the reason for this seems to be that moving into the spotlight as president would require Dick Cheney to give up too much power.

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  • GeoX

    Geez, he’s only in his early sixties? I would’ve put him in the seventies at least. I mean, every time you see him you half-expect him to collapse on the spot. My father’s about that old, and it’s like night and day. I guess evil takes a toll on your body as well as on your soul.

  • Jon H

    According to last month’s Atlantic, Cheney and Rumsfeld, during the 80s, masterminded a plan to set up an emergency skeleton government outside Washington. There were yearly drills up until the Clinton administration.

  • Fun Facts about Cheney

    Collect all 24 over at the Slacktivist.

  • Nell Lancaster

    #22 is my favorite. Almost certainly…

  • eyespy

    In #5 you left out the part about how the elimination of the 108 jobs was handled: a new phone directory was distributed that omitted the names.
    Now, I thought the article was unclear on this detail. I would assume those 108 people were actually told individually that they were no longer required, and the fact that they were gone was communicated to others via the phonelist; not that the 108 found out via the phonelist. In any case, it’s a chickenshit way to handle it. Just as it was chickenshit for Paul O’Neill ot be fired by Cheney, not by the President he reported to.

  • Adam Kotsko

    Are there term limits for vice presidents? If, God forbid, we have a succession of Republican presidents ahead of us, then Cheney could be the puppet-master for all of them, until he dies.

  • Mr. bill

    minor quibble, wasn’t the VP “Alban” Barkley?

  • Sith Lord Revealed?

    Slacktivist runs down the 24 things you should know about Dick.


    slacktivist: You Don’t Know Dick…

  • schwa

    Actually, he was Alben Barkley.
    And while I yield to nobody in my virulent dislike of Dick Cheney, I think #2 is petty and mean-spirited and the last sentence of #24 is unfounded speculation.

  • amit

    This is the type of information that leads me to the conclusion that Dick Cheney is a Bitch. I’ve linked to this site from my web page, great compiliation of factoids.

  • victor

    Good day,
    I apologize for taking unawares by the content of his letter.My is VICTOR the only son of Mr. Ernest Jem, my dad and my mummy died in the september
    11 attack at the world trade center during the their exhibition.My father was the former C.E.O of Avonix Diamond merchants Inc. liberia.
    Before their deaths, my father notified 1& my late mom that he had depositedUSD$16 (SIXTEN MILLION U.S D)/ 150KG of alluvial Gold dust in two trunk boxes with a deposit company in Accra Ghana, West Africa.My father said he got the money from sales of Diamond, pure liberia Gold an mining projects.I understood that my does not want to deposit this fund in th bank so thatfte we have be traveld out of liberia he can easily claim them to start investments & a new life in America,Europe,Asia. But unfortunately my parents are nomore.
    Prsently, i am living in Ghnan where I”m taking aylum as a refugee . I am
    seeking for your help for the invstment of the money and to be my nominatedbeneficiary to claim the boxs from the deposit company.You shall be entitledto 20% of the total sum from your assistant, you shall open an account for me since i have not handled such an amount of money before.I intend to buy a house,Hotel or invest as to my father”s wishes and also further my educationnin your country.I have every proof to the deposit with the security company.
    I wil expect your mail soon , may GOD almighty bless you as you
    Sincerely yours,