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Cheney's Debate with Lieberman Sheds New Light on GOP 'Character and Integrity'
Steven Leser

The revelations of allegations regarding wrongdoing by Halliburton and Vice President Cheney during his tenure as Halliburton CEO put an interesting spin on the massive quantities of money that Cheney made at Halliburton, and his rather smug comments to Senator Lieberman during the 2000 Vice Presidential debate. (See bottom)

During the campaign, Cheney and Bush made continual references to character and integrity, references they continue to make today. What do these statements mean in light of continued evidence of wrongdoing by these men and in Bush's case, his adult family members? It means that in their opinion laws, scrutiny, punishment and consequences are only for Democrats and average Americans, but not for them, Republicans and their corporate officer and millionaire/billionaire buddies/contributors. Consider:

- In his past, Dick Cheney has had more than one DUI conviction

- In his past, George W. Bush has been convicted of DUI

- There is plenty of evidence to suggest cocaine use in George W. Bush's past

- Bush's daughters have been repeatedly cited for underage drinking

- Yet Bush increased the penalties for drug use, underage drinking and similar offenses while Governor of Texas. His daughters seem to be immune to the penalties therefrom.

- Bush on July 9 2002, called for increased penalties for insider trading, abuse, fraud and "cooking the books" by corporate officers.

- Yet there were inconclusive results on an SEC investigation into his trades at Harken. It is highly suspicious that he unloaded his shares at Harken shortly before the stock took a massive dive. And his delay in reporting his transactions suggests he was hiding something. The fact that the investigation did not have a conclusive end, and the fact that his father was President at the time and could exert influence over the SEC is even more suspicious, if that is possible.

- Now, we have revelations that Cheney's millions may have come at the expense of Halliburton share holders and cooking the books.

It seems to be the assertion of the Republican Leadership and elected officials that it is OK for them and their cronies to enrich themselves through cheating thousands of everyday shareholders (and, incidentally that includes people's retirement funds). If it ruins the American economy and markets, who cares? It isn't their problem. They will have their millions.

I guess this is the Republican version of good character and good moral values.

I get it now, theft and fraud that wipes out the retirement savings of untold thousands, brought on by entitled greed and avarice is OK as long as it is on a massive scale and as long as you don't have extra-marital affairs. I'm glad they cleared that up.


>From the 2000 Vice Presidential Debate

SEN. LIEBERMAN: Bernie, Dick Cheney must be one of the few people in America who thinks that nothing has been accomplished in the last eight years. I mean, the fact is that promises were made and promises were kept. I mean, has Al Gore -- did Al Gore make promises in 1992? Absolutely. Did he deliver? Big time; if I may put it that way. And that's the record. Look at the -- look at the 22 million new jobs. Look at the 4 million new businesses. Look at the lower interest rates, low rate of inflation high rate of growth. I think if you asked most people in America today that famous question that Ronald Reagan asked, "Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?" most people would say yes. And I'm pleased to say -- see Dick, from the newspapers, that you're better off than you w ere eight years ago, too. (Laughter.)

MR. CHENEY: And most of it --

SEN. LIEBERMAN: (Chuckles.)

MR. CHENEY: And I -- I can tell you, Joe, that the government had absolutely nothing to do with it.

SEN. LIEBERMAN: (Laughing.) (Inaudible.) (Laughter, applause.)

MR. SHAW: This question is to you. But --

SEN. LIEBERMAN: I can see my wife, and I think she's thinking, "Gee, I wish he would go out into the private sector." (Chuckles.)

MR. CHENEY: Well, I'm going to try to help you do that, Joe. (Laughter, applause.)

SEN. LIEBERMAN: No. (Laughs.) No, I think you've done so well there, I want to keep you there.