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richard_cheney's Journal

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I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in January 1941, and grew up in Caspar, Wyoming. My brain crystallized into its current form just before the 1960s introduced the idea of fun into American life. My picture appears next to the definition of "dour" in the dictionary. It took a long time to develop that thing I do with my mouth where I can talk sideways.

I dropped out of Yale in favor of attending the prestigious University of Wyoming, where I majored in political science, and I went on to earn my doctorate from the prestigerous University of Wisconsin. In your face, Yale!

My life in politics began during the Nixon administration. Lets just say I distinguished myself as an asshole archconservative during those years, opposing everything from abortion to gun control to Head Start and the Department of Education. If it wasn't a laser-equipped satellite or a lunatic Nicaraguan commando, I wasn't going to waste federal funds on it!

When George Bush Sr. took office after the 1988 election, Bush settled on me as his Secretary of Defense, after his first choice, John Tower, self-destructed in a haze of alcoholic booty calls. I helped lead the Gulf War, personally twisting the arm of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia until he agreed to let a massive contingent of U.S. troops set up shop in the kingdom.

When George Sr. was creamed narrowly beaten by Bill Clinton in 1992, I became a titan of industry (that's what Karl calls it). With loads of insider Washington credentials on my resume, I became chairman and CEO of Halliburton in 1995. I made millions billions (er...that's sort of a secret), leading the massive oil industry construction company, while carefully screwing around with tweaking its accounting practices. A 1998 accounting change improved the company's revenues by $234 million over the course of four years.

We took a guess at what we'd collect and booked the sales as a done deal. Despite the fact that the practice looks and sounds a bit sleazy unorthodox, it's fairly commonplace in the industry. Of course, before Enron, off-balance sheet financing was pretty commonplace too. Unfortunately, due to criminal tendencies and greed clerical error, me and my crew "neglected" to inform the SEC about the change until more than a year later.

When I quit Halliburton to take the vice presidential nomination in 2000, the company offered me a $20 million going-away gift, characterized as a "retirement package" for my five many years of service in the private sector. Amid some liberal slander that Halliburton was buying access to the White House, I selflessly accepted only $13.6 million, indisputably preserving the ethical integrity of the Executive Branch. Those assholes will pay for that.

During the 2000 elections, my history of heart trubles raised serious concerns among the electorate. Voters worried that if I died while in office, my running mate George W Bush might be left in charge of the country. In a concession to these worries, I had a super high-tech pacemaker installed in June of 2001.

During the attacks of 9/11 I was grabbed by a couple Secret Service agents, who were, I believe, either al-Qaeda sympathizers or closet liberals (same difference), and carried to the White House basement, despite being fully conscious and not at all having a heart attack. While the George jumped in a plane and began a daylong hiding spree, I was running the country from the White House basement, or so the story goes. I suspect I was drugged and someone else was calling the shots. In the aftermath of the attacks, however, I took a while to resurface and my memory remains foggy about the details.

Almost immediately after the attacks, I regained most of my senses, and boy was I pissed! I and my old crony buddy, Don Rumsfeld began beating the war drums for a new invasion of Iraq, despite a complete absence of any after creating the necessary evidence that Saddam Hussein had his hand in the September 11 attacks and was undoubtedly on the al Qaeda payroll.

I got my way, eventually. After a confrontation at the United Nations, where Colin Powell told some fibs made the case for an invasion, the Bush administration discarded all hopes of attracting allies (other than faithful lapdog Britain), and despite my last-minute "can't we be friends" tour of Europe. The U.S. went ahead with the invasion in spring 2003.

My old buddies at Halliburton were finally seeing a return on that $13.6 million (and the $1 million a year in "deferred compensation" still being paid to supplement my measly six-figure government salary). Halliburton's first quarterly earnings report at the end of the short second Gulf War saw profits double from the previous period (more than $20 million).

Just before the Iraq war started, the President somebody awarded Halliburton an "emergency" contract for oil fields reconstruction, which was awarded without the usual cumbersome bidding process because of the "emergency" situation. Who knew we'd ever need to invade Iraq?

The deal was authorized for up to $7 billion, but the Army didn't trash the country with sufficient enthusiasm to justify the whole amount, and the actual size of the deal is now estimated at only about $600 million--assuming Halliburton survives the lawsuits from it's unpatriotic competitors who feel that they were unfairly cut out of the process.

A disappointment to be sure, but I have four more years to make it up to them. And then there's always Syria... And Iran... And...