Cast of Characters
Key Players in the Cheney series.
David S. Addington,
general counsel and later chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, worked under Cheney in Congress and at the Pentagon. He dominated White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales on issues of national security and executive authority, leading a legal triumvirate that also included Timothy E. Flanigan.
Samuel A. Alito, Jr.,
selected by President Bush for the Supreme Court after a vetting process run by Cheney.
Bush's first attorney general, clashed with Cheney on a role for the Justice Department in prosecuting suspected terrorists.
James A. Baker III,
White House chief of staff under Ronald Reagan, turned to Cheney for advice on how to run the executive branch. He calls Cheney "extraordinarily effective and adept at exercising power."
John B. Bellinger III,
the ranking national security lawyer in the White House, was kept in the dark about plans to use military commissions to try detainees.
Bradford A. Berenson,
associate White House counsel and a former Supreme Court law clerk, argued that the court would never accept absolute presidential authority to designate suspects terrorists and hold them without trial.
the White House chief of staff and former deputy, says the vice president's job is to advise the president, not to function as a "second-tier substitute."
Stuart W. Bowen Jr.,
deputy White House staff secretary, objected to demands that he bypass strict procedures of coordination and staff review when given an order for Bush to sign. He did not know the draft had come from Cheney.
a State Department lawyer, argued that giving legal process to al-Qaeda and Taliban forces would not compromise the administration's ability to prosecute the "war on terror."
assistant attorney general, signed the classified opinion stating that U.S. law permitted some forms of cruel and degrading treatment and that torture only occurred in cases with suffering equivalent to "organ failure . . . or even death." The memo was the product of legal analysis generated by a triumvirate of lawyers allied with Cheney.
Andrew H. Card, Jr.,
Bush's first chief of staff, sided with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman when she objected to a plan by Cheney's energy task force to transfer authority for regulating some power-plant emissions to the Energy Department.
a Cheney aide, said the vice president pushed for greater snowmobile access in national parks and for diverting water from salmon to farmers.
deputy solicitor general, was sent on the "suicide mission" of asking a federal judge to reconsider his decision that enemy combatant Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, had the right to counsel.
Susan J. Crawford
a Cheney loyalist who served in four positions under the future vice president at the Pentagon, was chosen to oversee military commissions for suspected terrorists.
Bellinger's deputy at the White House, said that Bellinger was unaware that a triumvirate of lawyers allied with Cheney was working on a plan to begin electronic surveillance - without warrants - of communications to and from the United States.
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.,
Bush's budget director from 2001 to 2003, said Cabinet secretaries were loath to go around the vice president and appeal budget cuts that Cheney had approved as chairman of a budget review board.
deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, had worked for Cheney in the White House, at the Pentagon and on the Hill. Her office worked with him to guide defense policy through the federal budget.
deputy defense secretary, tried to establish new rules protecting detainees after the abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison came to light, but Cheney's office quashed the draft Pentagon directive.
secretary of commerce, opposed Cheney's push for deep tax cuts to jumpstart the economy after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Harvard professor and member of Bush's kitchen cabinet of economists who also was Reagan's chief economic adviser. Feldstein is president and chief executive of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Timothy E. Flanigan,
deputy White House counsel, a close ally of Addington and John C. Yoo in developing the rationale for fundamental change in the laws governing the detention, treatment and trial of alleged terrorists.
former White House speechwriter and author of "The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W Bush."
Bush's former chief speechwriter, thought that Cheney's deeply principled and stubbornly held stance on the "war on terror" was both a great strength and a great weakness.
a Bush aide, said that Cheney realized the political implications of a federal decision to shut off water to farmers in order to save endangered salmon.
White House counsel and now attorney general, sided with Cheney after the Sept. 11 attacks on many of the legal issues involving the treatment of suspected terrorists.
a Republican former senator from Texas, was an ardent support of Bush's tax-cut plan. He contrasted Cheney, a "small government conservative," with Bush, a "big government conservative." He is now a vice chairman of the UBS Warburg investment bank.
Federal Reserve chairman from 1988 to 2006, told Cheney that he worried about the impact of Bush's tax cuts on the deficit, unaware that the vice president sought to undermine his arguments behind the scenes.
David J. Gribbin III,
Cheney's chief of legislative affairs and a friend of the vice president's from graduate school, said Cheney believes in exercising power in a way that sends a message.
William J. Haynes II,
Defense Department general counsel, was a key ally of Cheney's in pressing fundamental changes in the laws governing the detention , treatment and trial of suspected terrorists.
deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a former congressional aide to Cheney, helped Cheney eliminate the snowmobile ban in national parks and kept cutthroat trout, a species favored by recreational fishermen, off the endangered species list.
Australian prime minister, a staunch ally of the Bush administration in the fight against terrorism, he personally pressed Cheney at a meeting in Sydney for a trial for David Hicks, an Australian citizen held at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Shortly after Cheney returned home, a deal was reached in the Hicks case.
R. Glenn Hubbard,
chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said his conversations about the economy with Cheney went into far greater detail than those he had with the president.
Democratic congressman from Louisiana who was indicted this month on bribery charges. The FBI's seizure of his computer hard drive and files provoked a political and legal crisis that the vice president resolved behind the scenes.
James M. Jeffords,
then a senator from Vermont who bolted the GOP in 2001 to serve as an independent after the Bush administration, with Cheney's strong urging, rejected his demand for billions more dollars for special-education programs.
biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said his superiors deleted his scientific critique of a government plan to divert water from the Klamath River Basin in Oregon to farmers..
Edward P. Lazear,
Stanford University economist who is chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said he never disagreed for long with the vice president.
professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado. He chaired the National Academy of Sciences panel that questioned the science behind cutting off Klamath River Basin water to farmers.
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby,
the holder of an unprecedented triple title: Cheney's chief of staff and national security adviser, as well as assistant to the president, the same rank held by the national security adviser and the White House chief of staff. His convictions for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the unmasking of CIA officer Valerie Plame were a blow to Cheney. Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000, but on July 2, 2007 President Bush commuted Libby's prison sentence, meaning his convictions remain, pending appeal, but he will not have to serve time behind bars.
John O. Marsh, Jr.,
former Army secretary under Cheney and still a confidant, said Cheney believed that the vice president should function as de facto White House chief of staff.
counselor to the vice president and his longtime adviser, said the vice president focuses on the "iron issues" - the economy, security, energy - and brings a "spine quotient" to internal debates.
Brian V. McCormack,
Cheney's personal aide, progressed to assignments in the U.S. occupation authority in Iraq and then on the White House staff.
deputy attorney general, threatened to resign along with Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III if records seized from the congressional office of Rep. William J. Jefferson were returned to Jefferson. Cheney solved the dispute with a 45-day cooling-off period.
White House counsel after Gonzales, took Addington's side when most of Bush's aides sought a conciliatory gesture to Congress. Instead of welcoming a new law on detainee treatment, Bush wound up signing a statement implying that he may not follow the law.
Navy general counsel, opposed the relaxation of rules banning "cruelty" in the treatment of detainees. He did not know that Cheney was behind the change.
Robert S. Mueller III,
FBI director, threatened to resign along with Gonzales and McNulty if records seized from the congressional office of Rep. Jefferson were returned to Jefferson. Cheney resolved the dispute with a 45-day cooling-off period.
Gale A. Norton,
secretary of the Interior Department. After the vice president quietly engineered the reversal of the cutoff of irrigation water to Oregon farmers, she flew to Klamath Falls to open the head gate as farmers chanted, "Let the water flow!"
Sandra Day O'Connor,
former Supreme Court justice. Her retirement in 2005 prompted the president to pick as her replacement John G. Roberts Jr., one of five finalists on a list compiled by a search committee led by the vice president.
Cheney protege who was administrator of NASA and deputy chief of the Office of Management and Budget.
solicitor general, a stalwart conservative, worried that Cheney and his allies had staked out a losing legal position in denying lawyers to two U.S. citizens declared enemy combatants.
Paul H. O'Neill,
Treasury secretary, irritated the vice president in 2002 with opposition to big tax cuts on grounds the government was moving toward "fiscal crisis." Cheney soon demanded his resignation.
White House budget director, sought Cheney's counsel when putting together the budget, using him as a "sounding board" on issues involving taxes and defense.
secretary of state, was surprised to learn from CNN that the administration had approved a plan to try enemy combatants by military commissions, a position Cheney advocated.
Adam H. Putnam,
Florida congressman who attended the 2003 retreat of House GOP leaders in West Virginia, where Cheney revived his argument for a cut in the capital gains tax on investments.
former vice president, told Cheney that vice presidents spend their time fundraising and attending state funerals around the world, but Cheney said he had a "different understanding with the president."
William H. Rehnquist,
named to the Supreme Court by President Richard M. Nixon and made chief justice by Reagan. His death in 2005 gave Bush a chance to put his mark on the future of the court by elevating John G. Roberts Jr. to the post.
Bush's national security adviser, was surprised to learn from CNN that the administration had approved a plan to try suspected enemy combatants by military commissions, a position Cheney advocated.
John G. Roberts,
a conservative whom Bush first chose to replace O'Connor on the Supreme Court, was then promoted him to chief justice after Rehnquist died. At 50, Roberts became the youngest chief justice in 200 years.
the 41st vice president of the United States, under Ford, he was marginalized to the point that he was dumped from the ticket, an event witnessed up close by the young Cheney, who was then Ford's chief of staff.
Bush's chief political adviser. Many observers assumed it was Rove who was behind the reversal of a government decision to cut off irrigation water to Western farmers in favor of threatened species of fish. Cheney left no tracks.
Florida State University law professor who served on the National Academy of Sciences panel that studied the Klamath River Basin irrigation dispute. He thought the Bureau of Reclamation's decision to divert water to farmers was "not supported" by the panel's findings.
Cheney's mentor under Nixon and Ford, joined with the vice president to push the idea that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters captured on the battlefield. Rumsfeld resigned after last November's elections.
Robert F. Smith,
a Republican former congressman from Oregon, had Cheney's ear when he argued that the government should not cut off irrigation water for his state's farmers for the sake of threatened species of fish.
William H. Taft IV,
the legal adviser to Powell, was frozen out of discussions about detainee policy and was wrongly accused by Cheney's men of leaking a secret memo that made his boss look bad.
a Republican congressman from California and Cheney confidant who guided Bush's tax-cut bill to passage - adding a cut in the tax on capital gains that Cheney was unable to persuade the president to include.
deputy assistant defense secretary for detainee affairs, abandoned a proposal to increase protection for military prisoners after Addington and Libby told him the idea was unacceptable to the vice president.
Christine Todd Whitman,
the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, resigned because of Cheney's insistence on easing air pollution controls.
Sue Ellen Wooldridge,
the Interior Department official who oversaw the Klamath Basin water dispute. She initially ignored a voicemail from the vice president, thinking it was a prank.
Read about the important people in and out of government who have had an impact on Vice President Dick Cheney's career.
Dick Cheney's colleagues, friends, and acquaintances shared stories with Post reporter Bart Gellman.
Starting as a junior aide on Capitol Hill, Dick Cheney built an unmatched Washington resume as White House chief of staff, House minority whip and secretary of defense.