- U.S. Vice President
- Project for the New American Century: Founding Member
- American Enterprise Institute: Former Fellow
One of the hallmarks of Cheney's tenure as vice president has been secrecy. He has continually fought to keep his office records from official scrutiny and fended off a number challenges to get records from his meetings publicly released. The most famous example of this was the records of his meetings with energy industry executives that were aimed at helping formulate the Bush administration's energy policies, which became the focus of a drawn-out lawsuit spearheaded by the conservative group Judicial Watch. Summarizing this aspect of Cheney's tenure, the Washington Post opined: "Across the board, the vice president's office goes to unusual lengths to avoid transparency. Cheney declines to disclose the names or even the size of his staff, generally releases no public calendar, and ordered the Secret Service to destroy his visitor logs. His general counsel has asserted that 'the vice presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch,' and is therefore exempt from rules governing either" (June 24, 2007).
Cheney, a former fellow of the influential American Enterprise Institute (AEI), has also stridently fought off attempts to report on his office's classification activities, despite an executive order from Bush requiring every agency "within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information" to do so (Chicago Tribune blog, May 26, 2006). Commenting on Cheney's refusal to comply with the order, Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said: "It undermines oversight of the classification system and reveals a disdain for presidential authority. It's part of a larger picture of disrespect that this vice president has shown for the norms of oversight and accountability" (Chicago Tribune, May 26, 2006).
In late June 2007, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) disclosed that in response to repeated requests for compliance by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which is charged with reviewing agency classification activities, Cheney and his staff, led by his chief of staff David Addington, proposed abolishing the ISOO. Waxman, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote in a letter to Cheney that the proposal to abolish the ISOO "could be construed as retaliation" (Waxman letter to Cheney, June 21, 2007). Regarding Cheney's actions, Waxman told the New York Times (June 22, 2007), "I know that the vice president wants to operate with unprecedented secrecy. But this is absurd. The [executive order] is designed to keep classified information safe. His argument is really that he's not part of the executive branch, so he doesn't have to comply."
In his first four years as vice president, Dick Cheney became the key figure in the White House on foreign policy issues, as well as an intimidating presence in the nation's media. Like President George W. Bush and his other closest advisers, Cheney has repeatedly refused to acknowledge the many mistakes made by the administration in the lead-up to and the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
On any given day during George W. Bush's first term, a leading national newspaper might have carried a number of separate articles on controversial issues connected to Cheney. The September 17, 2003, Washington Post, for example, published separate articles on: Cheney's decision to appeal to the Supreme Court a lower court's order that the government turn over documents related to his secretive energy task force; an article about Cheney's financial ties to Halliburton, a contractor formerly headed by the VP that has been granted lucrative government contracts for Iraqi reconstruction; and a letter to the editor ("Mr. Bush's Artful Dodger") lambasting Cheney for using a rare public interview to stubbornly defend administration policies and contentions regarding Iraq long after they had proved to be misguided.
An example of Cheney's refusal to sincerely deal with the facts was his repeated assertion that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence agent Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani. In an effort to establish a connection between Saddam Hussein and the hijackers, Cheney repeated on various occasions before and after the Iraq War that the two had met in Prague in early 2001, despite the Czech Republic's admission that it could not verify the meeting took place and U.S. intelligence agencies' inability to prove that Atta was out of the United States at the time of the alleged meeting. According to a Washington Post article on September 29, 2003, Cheney, working with two key advisers— Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis Libby—worked hard to make sure references to the alleged meeting appeared in speeches and policy briefings even after the intelligence regarding the event had been discredited.
Early in Bush's second term, it became clear that Cheney had succeeded in consolidating his grip on administration foreign policy. While his neoconservative collaborators diminished in ranks, their hawkish fellow travelers during the first term—like Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley—were promoted. In one case, it seems that Cheney himself may have intervened to make sure that one of his guys didn't get passed over. When Rice became secretary of state, she failed to immediately give John Bolton—Colin Powell's undersecretary of state—a new portfolio, signaling that the hardline, anti-UN ideologue had fallen out of favor. Rice then surprised observers by supporting Bolton to be the next ambassador to the UN. One writer commented: "Many were shocked, not only because Bolton's beliefs are antithetical to the very position for which he was tapped, but because the move appeared so inconsistent with the hopeful direction in which the second Bush term began. Beltway watchers have speculated that Vice President Cheney engineered this dramatic U-turn. After all, the administration still owes Bolton a political debt for his role in halting the Florida recount in the 2000 elections. Cheney, who consistently voted to cut funding for the United Nations while a member of the House, perhaps saw Bolton as an ally in opposing the new multilateralism of Bush's second term" (Tompaine.com, April 11, 2005).
Cheney will meet Turkish President Abdullah Gul as well as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. He is also expected to hold talks with the Turkish General Chief of Staff Yasar Buyukanit.
Cheney, who will spend just one night in Ankara, last visited Turkey in 2002, during the administration of former Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. During his 2002 visit, Cheney met with Turkish officials about the possibility of using Turkish soil for US soldiers' entrances onto Northern Iraq territory.
His visit is expected to focus on the struggle against PKK, Turkey’s role in Iran’s nuclear standoff and Turkish army’s support to NATO forces in Afghanistan, the sources said. Throughout all of these meetings to take place in Ankara, authorities said a strong focus will be placed on the strategic partnership between Turkey and the US.
Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday thanked thousands of soldiers who recently returned from Iraq, saying "we must press on" so progress in the war on terror won't be lost.
About 19,000 1st Cavalry Division soldiers were deployed to Iraq about 15 months ago.
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is due to leave on March 16 2008 and will make stops in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank and Turkey ''for discussions with these key partners on issues of mutual interest,'' the statement said. He will visit the Middle East countries for talks with leaders this month, the White House said Monday in a statement.
Cheney's Mideast journey follows a trip to the region by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during which she tried to promote the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians despite recent Israeli military strikes into the Gaza Strip.
Violence increased sharply on Feb. 27 after Israel killed five Hamas militants in an air raid and Gaza militants retaliated with a barrage of rocket and mortar fire into Israel. But relatively calm returned recently amid reports about a truce reached between Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement.