The Dark Side of Dick Cheney: An Inside Look at American Ideals


The Film Archives
Published on Jan 9, 2018

Richard Bruce Cheney (born January 30, 1941) is an American politician and businessman who was the 46th Vice President of the United States from 2001 to 2009.

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Cheney was primarily raised in Sumner, Nebraska, and Casper, Wyoming. He attended Yale and then the University of Wyoming, at the latter of which he earned a BA and an MA in Political Science. He began his political career as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger, eventually working his way into the White House during the Nixon and Ford administrations, where he later served as the White House Chief of Staff, from 1975 to 1977. In 1978, Cheney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing Wyoming’s at-large congressional district from 1979 to 1989; he was reelected five times, briefly serving as House Minority Whip in 1989. 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 from 1989 to 1993. During his time in the Department of Defense, Cheney oversaw the 1991 Operation Desert Storm, among other actions. Out of office during the Clinton administration, Cheney was the Chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000.

In July 2000, Cheney was chosen by presumptive Republican Presidential nominee George W. Bush as his running mate in the 2000 Presidential election. They defeated their Democratic opponents, incumbent Vice President Al Gore and Senator Joe Lieberman. In 2004, Cheney was reelected to his second term as Vice President, defeating Senator John Kerry’s running mate, Senator John Edwards. During Cheney’s tenure as Vice President, he played a leading behind-the-scenes role in the George W. Bush administration’s response to the September 11 attacks and coordination of the Global War on Terrorism. He was an early proponent of Operation Iraqi Freedom and defender of the Administration’s anti-terrorism record. He became at odds with President Bush’s position against same-sex marriage in 2004.[4] Cheney was often criticized for the Bush Administration’s policies regarding the campaign against terrorism, wiretapping by the National Security Agency (NSA), and so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.[5][6][7]

In 2011, Cheney published his memoir In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir, written with daughter Liz Cheney, and in 2015, published another book, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, again co-authored with his daughter. He has been cited as the most powerful Vice President in American history.[8][9] At the same time he has been among the least favored politicians in the history of the United States: his approval rating when leaving office was only 13%.

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