Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney (born January 30, 1941) was the 46th Vice President of the United States, serving under President George W. Bush. Previously, he served as White House Chief of Staff, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming, and Secretary of Defense. In the private sector, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton Energy Services.
- Principle is okay up to a certain point, but principle doesn't do any good if you lose.
- Let us rid ourselves of the fiction that low oil prices are somehow good for the United States.
- I think that the proposition of going to Baghdad is also fallacious. I think if we we're going to remove Saddam Hussein we would have had to go all the way to Baghdad, we would have to commit a lot of force because I do not believe he would wait in the Presidential Palace for us to arrive. I think we'd have had to hunt him down. And once we'd done that and we'd gotten rid of Saddam Hussein and his government, then we'd have had to put another government in its place. What kind of government? Should it be a Sunni government or Shi'i government or a Kurdish government or Ba'athist regime? Or maybe we want to bring in some of the Islamic fundamentalists? How long would we have had to stay in Baghdad to keep that government in place? What would happen to the government once U.S. forces withdrew? How many casualties should the United States accept in that effort to try to create clarity and stability in a situation that is inherently unstable? I think it is vitally important for a President to know when to use military force. I think it is also very important for him to know when not to commit U.S. military force. And it's my view that the President got it right both times, that it would have been a mistake for us to get bogged down in the quagmire inside Iraq.
- And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.... Once we had rounded him up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is what do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq.
- Because if we had gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. It would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over and took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world. And if you take down the central government in Iraq, you could easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. Part of it the Syrians would like to have, the west. Part of eastern Iraq the Iranians would like to claim. Fought over for eight years. In the north, you've got the Kurds. And if the Kurds spin loose and join with Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq. The other thing is casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact that we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had, but for the 146 Americans killed in action and for the families it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad and took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein was, how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? And our judgment was not very many, and I think we got it right.
- Cheney, on not pushing on to Baghdad during the first Gulf War; C-SPAN 4-15-94 Interview on CNN
- The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business is.
- Speech delivered at the Cato Institute, (June 23, 1998)
- Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow.
- The suggestion that somehow, because this was a close election, we should fundamentally change our beliefs I just think is silly.
- CBS News program Face the Nation (December 2000)
- We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will.
- Interview on NBC (September 16, 2001)
- Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction; there is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.
- Address at the Opening Session of the 103rd National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (August 26, 2002)
- We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.
- Cheney on NBC's Meet the Press, March 16, 2003 
- [In response to "Do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?"] "Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I’ve talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House....The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."
- My belief is, we will, in fact be greeted as liberators.
- Meet The Press with Tim Russert.  (March 16, 2003)
- [In response to "Reconstituted nuclear weapons. You misspoke."] Yeah. I did misspeak. I said repeatedly during the show weapons capability. We never had any evidence that he had acquired a nuclear weapon.
- Meet The Press with Tim Russert.  (Sept. 14, 2003)
- [In response to "We have not been greeted as liberators."] "Well, I think we have by most Iraqis. I think the majority of Iraqis are thankful for the fact that the United States is there, that we came and we took down the Saddam Hussein government. And I think if you go in vast areas of the country, the Shia in the south, which are about 60 percent of the population, 20-plus percent in the north, in the Kurdish areas, and in some of the Sunni areas, you’ll find that, for the most part, a majority of Iraqis support what we did.
- Meet The Press with Tim Russert.  (Sept. 14, 2003)
- If we’re successful in Iraq, if we can stand up a good representative government in Iraq, that secures the region so that it never again becomes a threat to its neighbors or to the United States, so it’s not pursuing weapons of mass destruction, so that it’s not a safe haven for terrorists, now we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.
- Meet The Press with Tim Russert.  (September. 14, 2003)
- You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.
- Remarks on Paul O'Neill (January 9, 2004)
- We haven't really had the time yet to pore through all those records in Baghdad. We'll find ample evidence confirming the link, that is the connection if you will between al Qaida and the Iraqi intelligence services. They have worked together on a number of occasions.
- Interview with Rocky Mountain News, January 2004 
- America has shown we are serious about removing the threat of weapons of mass destruction."..."We now know that Saddam Hussein had the capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction.... We know he had the necessary infrastructure because we found the labs and the dual-use facilities that could be used for these chemical and biological agents. We know that he was developing the delivery systems — ballistic missiles — that had been prohibited by the United Nations.
- Speech at a Fundraising dinner in New Mexico, (February 16, 2004)
- What we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do. If I had it to recommend all over again, I would recommend exactly the same course of action.
- If the Democratic policies had been pursued over the last two or three years...we would not have had the kind of job growth we've had.
- With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People...ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.
- Remarks on same same-sex marriage Washington Post (25 August 2004)
- Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas. And that makes the whole thing mutual — America sees two John Kerrys.
- Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention. - Video and text available. (1 September 2004)
- Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind set if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts, and that we're not really at war. I think that would be a terrible mistake for us.
- The senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11, but there's clearly an established Iraqi track record with terror.
- At the Vice Presidential Debates, October 5, 2004. 
- The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantanamo are bad people. I mean, these are terrorists for the most part.
- Interview talking about the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay on Fox News (13 June 2005)
- I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time... The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.
- Larry King Live. interview (June 20, 2005)
- I think so. I guess if I look back on it now, I don't think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we've encountered.
- [In response to the question "Do you think that you underestimated the insurgency's strength?"] Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize Luncheon, June 19, 2006
- What the Democrats are suggesting, basically, about a withdrawal — you can call it redeployment, whatever you want to call it. Basically, it in effect validates the terrorists' strategy. You've got to remember that the Osama bin Laden-types, the al Qaeda-types, the Zarqawi-types that have been active in Iraq are betting that ultimately they can break the United States' will. There's no way they can defeat us militarily. Their whole strategy, if you look at what bin Laden's been saying for 10 years, is they believe they can, in fact, force us to quit, that ultimately we'll get tired of the fight, that we don't have the stomach for a long, tough battle and that we'll pack it in and go home. If we were to do that it would be devastating from the standpoint of the global war on terror. It would affect what happens in Afghanistan. It would make it difficult for us to persuade the Iranians to give up their aspirations for nuclear weapons. It would threaten the stability of regimes like Musharraf in Pakistan and the Saudis in Saudi Arabia. It is absolutely the worst possible thing we could do at this point. It would be to validate and encourage the terrorists by doing exactly what they want us to do.
- Interview with John King on CNN (June 22, 2006)
- Here's what I can tell you about Don Rumsfeld. You're never going to get any credit. And you'll only know how well you're doing if he gives you more work. If that happens, you're doing fine.
- Quoted in Bob Woodward's, State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III, Simon & Schuster, 2006
- This is an existential conflict. It is the kind of conflict that's going to drive our policy and our government for the next 20 or 30 or 40 years. We have to prevail and we have to have the stomach for the fight long term.
- On Fox News Sunday responding to the opposition against sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq (January 14, 2007)
- Wolf, you can come up with all kinds of what-ifs; you've got to deal with the reality on the ground. The reality on the ground is, we've made major progress. We've still got a lot of work to do. There's a lot of provinces in Iraq that are relatively quiet. There's more and more authority transferred to the Iraqis all the time.... Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes and we will continue to have enormous successes.
- CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer responding to the question, How worried are you of the Iraqi government turning against the United States? (January 24, 2007)
- If fine speech-making, appeals to reason, or pleas for compassion had the power to move them, the terrorists would long ago have abandoned the field.
- Speech at the American Enterprise Institute (21 May, 2009)
- [W]atching a coordinated, devastating attack on our country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities.
- National Secruity Speech, American Enterprise Institute (21 May 2009)
- Dick Cheney: I'm more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.
Chuck Todd: 25% of the detainees though, 25% turned out to be innocent. They were released.
Dick Cheney: Where are you going to draw the line, Chuck? How are—
Chuck Todd: Well, I'm asking you.
Dick Cheney: —you going to know? [Overtalk]
Chuck Todd: Is that too high? You're okay with that margin for error?
Dick Cheney: I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.
- Meet the Press (NBC), 14 December 2014 , quoted in Anthony Zurcher. "Cheney: 'No problem' with detaining innocents". BBC News. Retrieved on 2014-12-21.
- Asked about Gul Rahman, who was taken into CIA custody as a result of mistaken identity, and died from CIA abuse.
- Hugh Hewitt: Is he naïve, Mr. Vice President? Or does he have a far-reaching vision that only he entertains of a realigned Middle East that somehow it all works out in the end?
- Dick Cheney: I don’t know, Hugh. I vacillate between the various theories I’ve heard, but you know, if you had somebody as president who wanted to take America down, who wanted to fundamentally weaken our position in the world and reduce our capacity to influence events, turn our back on our allies and encourage our adversaries, it would look exactly like what Barack Obama’s doing. I think his actions are constituted in my mind those of the worst president we’ve ever had.
- Hugh Hewitt Radio, 8 April 2015 , quoted in DANIEL HALPER. "Cheney: If You Wanted a President 'To Take America Down … It Would Look Exactly Like What Barack Obama’s Doing". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved on 2015-04-17.
- Hewitt and Cheney discuss Obama's ongoing nuclear talks with Iran.
- I think this whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims, just ban a whole religion, goes against everything we stand for and believe in. I wouldn't support a ban on all Muslims coming into this country.
- On The Hugh Hewitt Show (7 December 2015).
- I think what we did in Iraq was the right thing to do. I still believe that.
- If we hadn’t taken down Saddam, Gaddafi would not have surrendered his materials. Now Gaddafi’s gone, dead, [and] ISIS plays a significant role today in Libya, [and] they would have inherited that material,” Cheney said. “So that whole area of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and so forth, everybody wants to say, ‘Well, there wasn’t any WMD in Iraq,’ but that’s a small, small way to look at the problem.
- NATO's crucial. NATO's maybe the best, or most successful, alliance in history... To suggest that it’s obsolete is not correct. It’s not obsolete. A lot of our NATO allies sent troops to serve alongside ours in Afghanistan after 9/11 and a lot of European soldiers were killed supporting what essentially was our response to an attack upon the United States.
- The threat levels are going up, the dangers are increasing and our capability to deal with them has gone down because of the way the Obama administration has operated for the last eight years.
- [F]ascinating... significant movement... [P]art of the American tradition... There's something positive... when we can simultaneously swear in a new president and at the same time have a democratic process of people expressing their views. It's their right and we shouldn’t be surprised by it, or annoyed by it.
Quotes about Cheney
- Cheney and Rumsfeld were inveterate schemers whose cynicism about going to war was exceeded only by their ineptitude in conducting it.
- Jacob Heilbrunn, "Why the United States Invaded Iraq" New York Times (28 July 2020)
- Few talk or think about Iraq these days; the media ignores this important but demolished nation. Iraq, let us recall, was the target of a major western aggression concocted by George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Britain’s Tony Blair, and financed and encouraged by the Gulf oil sheikdoms and Saudi Arabia... We hear nothing about the billions of dollars of Iraqi oil being extracted by big US oil firms since 2003.
- Recognize that Dick Cheney is the most cynical political figure to hold high office in this country since his former boss Dick Nixon. And he is perfectly willing to say what he thinks will advance him, particularly in an election season. In 1994, he was, at least in his own mind, competing for the Republican nomination for President in 1996. In 2000 of course he was competing for the vice presidency. In both cases he needed to seem to be a mainstream and responsible figure. But the real Dick Cheney, the man who was secretary of defense in 1990 and produced a secret plan for invading Iraq and capturing Saddam Hussein that was ultimately rejected by Norman Schwarzkopf and others, I don't think ever relinquished his desire to take control of Iraq and its oil.
- John Nichols, author of Dick: The Man Who is President, reconciling the perceived change of heart Cheney had over toppling Saddam after 9/11, CSNBC 8-18-07
- One of the things that [his old professors at Yale] said is that back in 1960 he was a guy who was looking for simple ideas about the world, most of them rooting back to the idea of the United States being able to do whatever it wants without any consequences. I don't think Dick Cheney has changed at all, but I do think we often see different faces of him when he believes it is politically convenient.
- John Nichols, author of Dick: The Man Who is President, reconciling the perceived change of heart Cheney had over toppling Saddam after 9/11, CSNBC 8-18-07
- One week into the [Gulf] war, the public mood had become unsettled and the media was becoming critical. After the success of the first day and the excitement of watching cruise missiles strike with incredible accuracy, it looked from the outside as though the war was going nowhere. "Why isn't the war over?" people were asking. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and I realized we had to act to settle things down. The point of decision for us at that moment was not in our offices or in the situation rooms monitoring the war, but down in the press room. We called a press conference where Dick gave an excellent summary of the strategic and political situation, and then I covered the military campaign. I summarized our actions during the previous week, concluding with a few sharp words detailing our strategy to kick the Iraqi army out of Kuwait: "First we are going to cut it off," I told the assembled reporters, "and then we are going to kill it." My line was picked up by all the newspapers and all the radio and TV news shows. It did the trick. It told the people out there what they needed to know. Confidence about our war aims returned. And Dick and I could leave the front lines and get back to our offices.
- Colin Powell, It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership (2012), p. 58
- I don't believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons.
- Donald Rumsfeld, at a hearing of the Senate's appropriations subcommittee on defense, May 14, 2003 ; Cheney asserted that Iraq had nuclear weapons March 16 of the same year on Meet the Press. On Sept 14 of that year, Cheney said the original statement was misstatement, and that he had meant to say "reconstituted nuclear weapons program".
- The real anomaly in the administration is Cheney. I consider Cheney a good friend — I've known him for 30 years. But Dick Cheney I don't know anymore.
- Brent Scowcroft 
- Harry Whittington [clip]: My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this past week.
Jon Stewart: Wow. How powerful a man do you have to be to able to shoot someone in the face and have that guy say, "My bad"?
- He became vice president well before George Bush picked him. And he began to manipulate things from that point on, knowing that he was going to be able to convince this guy to pick him, knowing that he was then going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush — personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum. 
- Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Colin Powell.