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Friday, April 16, 2004

Finally…some tough questions for the Cheney Family!

Out of the mouths of babes…

“Cheney's Wife Grilled by Third Graders Over U.S. Vice President's Military History”

(This is not an Onion article. Trust me. Here goes…)

By Soo-Jeong Lee Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 16, 2004

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, faced some tough grilling Friday when she met American and South Korean third graders on a tour of a U.S. military base in Seoul.

Among the questions: "Do you like America or Korea?" and "Did your husband ever fight in a war?"

(Halelujah! Can you believe it?! LITTLE KIDS asking questions the WH press dudes would NEVER ask!)

Mrs. Cheney stopped in at the Seoul American Elementary School on the sprawling Yongsan Army Garrison in the South Korean capital to give a short history lesson from her 2002 book "America: A Patriotic Primer."

(Mentioned previously in this blog – a primer for the kiddies - “G” is for GE, “H” is for Halliburton, “I” is for Islamic Terrorist, etc, etc.)

During the brief question and answer session, Cheney replied that Korea was a "wonderful country" but that "America is my country. I think there is something in all of us that loves our home."

As for the military record of husband Dick Cheney, she said: "He was in college, so he did not fight in a war."

?!?!?

Hmmmmm, sort of, Lynne. She failed to tell the third graders that hubby dropped out of his first college (Yale) in 1962 and returned to Wyoming. (Reported combo of semi-lousy grades, possible partying, and a severe case of homesickness. For more info, check out this article re: Dick and Yale at http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=12444.) He then married Lynne, went back to school at the Univ. of Wyoming, and…in his own words…realized that “he had other priorities than military service.”

Like having a kid. The following chart is from the 3/18/2004 Slate article entitled “Elizabeth Cheney, Deferment Baby: How Dick Cheney Dodged the Draft,” by Timothy Noah.

Aug. 29, 1964: Dick and Lynne Cheney marry.

May 19, 1965: The Selective Service classifies Dick Cheney 1-A, "available immediately for military service."

July 28, 1965: President Lyndon Johnson says draft calls will be doubled.

Oct. 26, 1965: The Selective Service declares that married men without children, who were previously exempted from the draft, will now be called up. Married men with children remain exempt.

Jan. 19, 1966: The Selective Service reclassifies Dick Cheney 3-A, "deferred from military service because service would cause hardship upon his family," because his wife is pregnant with their first child.

July 28, 1966: Elizabeth Cheney is born.

Jan. 30, 1967: Dick Cheney turns 26 and therefore becomes ineligible for the draft.

Cool.

So…the correct answer to the “did your husband ever fight in a war” question is, “NO HE GOT OUT OF THE WAR…BECAUSE …ELIZABETH WAS BORN…NINE MONTHS FROM OUR FRIGGING WEDDING NIGHT!!!”

“Ms. Cheney…how did your husband feel about the Viet Nam war?”

Gee. I wonder.

Check this out. A great excerpt from Jane Meyer’s 2/16/2004 article (“Contract Sport”) in the New Yorker.

"Around this time, in 1968, Dick Cheney arrived in Washington. He was a political-science graduate student who had won a congressional fellowship with Bill Steiger, a Republican from his home state of Wyoming. One of Cheney’s first assignments was to visit college campuses where antiwar protests were disrupting classes, and quietly assess the scene. Steiger was part of a group of congressmen who were considering ways to cut off federal funding to campuses where violent protests had broken out. It was an early lesson in the strategic use of government cutbacks."

"Instead of returning to graduate school, Cheney got a job as the deputy for a brash congressional colleague of Steiger’s, Donald Rumsfeld, whom Richard Nixon had appointed to head the Office of Economic Opportunity. According to Dan Guttman, who co-wrote “The Shadow Government” (1976), Rumsfeld and Cheney diminished the power of the office by outsourcing many of its jobs."

Something Dicky "got real good at.”

But let’s return to Lynne’s little sit down with the third graders:

"(Ms. Cheney) was quick to add that the 63-year-old vice president served as U.S. secretary of defense and that "he and I are both proud." Cheney served in that role from 1989 to 1993, directing the Gulf War."

And…privatizing the US military. And figuring out how he could capitalize on that privatization once he went back to the “private sector.” Again, “B” is for Brown & Root, and “H” is for Halliburton. Two companies that can “do a better job building things for the military than the military can.” Wink, wink.

Here’s another great excerpt from Jane Meyer’s New Yorker article.

"The end of the Cold War brought with it expectations of a “peace dividend,” and Cheney’s mandate (as the Sec. Of Defense) was to reduce forces, cut weapons systems, and close military bases. Predictably, this plan met with opposition from every member of Congress whose district had a base in peril."

By the way…most of those congressmen were Democrats.

Oh, life.

A quick list of questions for the next group of third graders:

1. Now that you’ve had time to think about it…will you re-publish “Sisters?”
2. Your husband has had, like, a million heart attacks. Is he “still alive?” If so, how? If not, who’s the double? That guy does a great job.
3. Have you ever eaten at Bubba’s in Jackson, WY? They have awesome pulled pork sandwiches.

More later…

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