Feb 9, 2011

Vice President Aaron Burr & Dick Cheney

Aaron Burr was an interesting man. He had the social influence to get himself into the Vice Presidency and then appears to have used his influence to try and create a country in competition to the American Federation. When he was tried for treason he was acquitted but he never regained his former power or influence and pretty much disappeared.

The fact that he made it to the Vice Presidency shows that he was able to create an positive impression that he was a trustworthy and reliable man (at least for his part of society). He was also an ‘old style gentleman’ which also created an impression of nobility that added to his ability to charm. However, it was only his own self-interest that dominated all his actions. First to get himself into a position of authority and then to try and use the influence he built over the years (decades?) to try and create a war situation which he wanted to use to his advantage to gain more wealth and power. All he had to do was wait for, or try to instigate, a situation where he could get what he wanted.

However, the founding brothers were watching and immediately reduced his influence with a public trial. Here is an extract from the book American Lion (about President Andrew Jackson)

“He was becoming a man of standing in Nashville, and in that role he and Rachel were Aaron Burr’s hosts in Nashville in 1805. A former vice president and the man who had killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, Burr was an adventurer at the center of a murky on going conspiracy in these years to lead a military expedition of some kind in the Southwest, possibly to marry US land with Spanish holdings to create a stand-alone republic or empire. It was an elusive scheme, and with Jackson, Burr seems to have spoken only of preparing a force in the event of war with Spain in Florida, a subject of perennial interest in the Southwest at the time. At Burr’s request, Jackson agreed to build five boats and supply them with provisions.

That Jackson was not privy to a treasonous conspiracy seems evident; his call for the militia to make itself ready noted that they would move “when the government and constituted authorities of our country require it.” Burr had other ideas including the possibility of seizing New Orleans. Beginning to suspect trouble, Jackson wrote several officials, including President Jefferson and Louisiana Governor William C.C. Claiborne. “I fear there is something rotten in the State of Denmark,” Jackson told Claiborne. Ultimately Jefferson had Burr arrested and tried for treason; Burr was acquitted in 1807. The episode illuminates two elements of Jackson’s character: his ambition to secure the nation from foreign threats, an ambition so abiding that he very nearly allowed himself to become entangled in a terrible conspiracy; and second, his equally abiding love of the nation as a family that could not be broken up.”

Vice President Dick Cheney

Stephen reminds us of when Dick Cheney launched a pre-emptive strike -- on doubt. (3:29)

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Cheney's Pre-Emptive Strike
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Paul Krugman is part of that fringe 60% of the population that thinks the war was a mistake. (5:20)
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Paul Krugman
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A long overdue investigative report (overdue by several years!), stated plainly that the authorities seem to have intentionally misled us into a war.

Article: Cheney to Treasury: "Deficits don't matter"

Accountant David Walker warns of a 50 trillion dollar deficit and Stephen asks if his haircut can be a tax write off.

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David Walker
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Dick Cheney ignores polls in America but seems to use iraqi polls to show the strategy of iraq war is right

Another video

Daily Show: Dick cheney says that iraq will put us in a quagmire

Dick Cheney and Halliburton

Daily Show: Halliburton moves to Dubai

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2003: Cheney's Halliburton Ties Remain

(CBS/AP) A report by the Congressional Research Service undermines Vice President Dick Cheney's denial of a continuing relationship with Halliburton Co., the energy company he once led, Sen. Frank Lautenberg said Thursday.

The report says a public official's unexercised stock options and deferred salary fall within the definition of "retained ties" to his former company.

Cheney said Sunday on NBC that since becoming vice president, "I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years."

Waxman Raises New Questions on Cheney

As the government prepared for war in Iraq in the fall of 2002, a senior political appointee in the Defense Department chose oil services giant Halliburton Co. to secretly plan how to repair Iraqi oil fields, and then briefed Vice President Cheney's chief of staff and other White House officials about the sole-source contract before it was granted.

Nigeria Files Charges Against Dick Cheney, Halliburton Over Bribery Case

Nigerian prosecutors filed charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and companies including Halliburton Co., where he was chief executive officer until 2000, for alleged bribery, according to court documents.

Dick Cheney and Halliburton avoid bribery charges in Nigeria ... by forking over $250 million

The natural gas project contract in question was worth $6 billion, Femi Babafemi, a spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, told the Associated Press.

Last year Halliburton and KBR pleaded guilty in a U.S. court of paying off the Nigerian officials more than $180 million in bribes when Cheney was chief executive of Haliburton and were fined a record $579 million under the Foreign Corrupt Practices act, and a top KBR executive, Albert "Jack" Stanley was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Cheney/Halliburton Chronology

Vice President Dick Cheney told NBC's Meet the Press "I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts" that Halliburton received in Iraq.

But an internal Pentagon email later obtained by Time magazine indicates that months before the war "action" on the Iraqi oil contract was "coordinated" with Cheney's office. Two months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Wall Street Journal reported, "The Bush administration is eager to secure Iraq's oil fields and rehabilitate them, industry officials say. They say Mr. Cheney's staff hosted an informational meeting with industry executives in October, with Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Texaco Corp., ConocoPhillips and Halliburton among the companies represented. Both the Bush administration and the companies say such a meeting never took place." (Thaddeus Herrick, "U.S. Oil Wants to Work in Iraq," Wall Street Journal, Jan. 17, 2003.)

Halliburton got $7B in no-bid Iraq contracts

During Vice President Dick Cheney's tenure as its chief executive, the Halliburton Corporation altered its accounting policies so it could report as revenue more than $100 million in disputed costs on big construction projects, public filings by the company show. Halliburton did not disclose the change to investors for over a year.

Senate report

Vice President Dick Cheney’s stock options in Halliburton rose from $241,498 in 2004 to over $8 million in 2005, an increase of more than 3,000 percent, as Halliburton continues to rake in billions of dollars from no-bid/no-audit government contracts.

More on Dick Cheney

US vice president Dick Cheney has been charged with "organised criminal activity" over allegations about abuse in privately-run prisons.

Investigating prisoner abuse will be a political food fight, and that is messier than torture. (03:31)
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The Word - A Perfect World
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The only huge surprise about Dick Cheney having his own secret assassination squad is that it didn't include cannibalism. (03:09)

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Sniper Trifle
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Cheney's Secret Assassination Squad
It's hard to believe Dick Cheney had the time to command a secret lawless assassination squad with all the secret lawless torture. (02:10)

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Cheney's Secret Assassination Squad
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1 comment:

  1. Though I agree with you about Dick Cheney, you are wrong about Aaron Burr. The book you quote about Burr is absolutely wrong. Jackson was a Burrite, he went to Burr's treason trial to support Burr. As president, Jackson invited Burr to the White House.

    The two things Jackson is most famous for, closing the National Bank and giving white males who didn't own property the vote, were extensions of Burr's policies form the 1790s. Only Burr wasn't a racist like Jackson.

    Burr was a proto-socialist who created land coops so that people who could not afford property could vote. He also gave loans to the working classes breaking Hamilton's New York banking monopoly and threatening the National Bank. As a politician, he represented the most radical members of society including the Daughters and Sons of Liberty. He also was a feminist even by today's standards and he believed in the equality of the races and was therefore against slavery. Burr was also an environmentalist who brought clean water to New York City helping to improve the health of the citizens, especially the poor who didn’t have recourses to acquire clean water.

    In 1796 Burr finished fourth in the presidential election. In 1800 he tied Jefferson because of the radically progressive polices mentioned above. Burr was a threat to the succession of Madison and Monroe to the presidency and Jefferson had to destroy him. Despite Jefferson's writing, he supported expansion of slavery into the western territories and he knew that, as president Burr would not support those policies.

    Slave owners and bankers worked together to destroy Burr political career and reputation. Both Jefferson and Hamilton hired journalists to attack Burr and tell vicious lies about his character. If you know anything about American history, you will remember that Washington and Adams both stopped speaking and communicating with Jefferson for the same underhanded political tactics.