Entries in Dick Cheney (9)


Supreme Court Issues Ruling In Suit Against Cheney Security Detail

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Two Secret Service Agents, who were charged with protecting then-Vice President Dick Cheney in 2006, are entitled to qualified immunity from a lawsuit filed against them, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The case stemmed from a suit filed by a Colorado man, Steven Howards, who approached the then-vice president at a public event and took the opportunity to confront Cheney about the administration’s Iraq policy. Howards walked up to Cheney and said that his “policies in Iraq are disgusting,” and then left.

But Secret Service agents saw things differently. They said Howards touched Cheney’s right shoulder with an open hand. The agents engaged Howards for questioning and he initially proved uncooperative and denied having touched the former vice president. The agents arrested Howards and turned him over to local police. Although state charges against Howard were eventually dropped, he sought to sue the agents for monetary damages in their personal capacity.

He alleged that the agents arrested him in retaliation for his exercising his First Amendment rights. The agents claimed they had immunity from such suits and that they had probable cause to arrest Howards partly because of “unsolicited physical contact” with the vice president.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court said, “When Howards was arrested it was not clearly established that an arrest supported by probable cause could give rise to a First Amendment violation.”

The ruling was 8-0; Justice Elena Kagan was recused. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, which was joined by Justice Stephen Breyer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney Released from Hospital After Heart Transplant Surgery

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(FALLS CHURCH, Va.) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released from the hospital on Tuesday, 10 days after receiving heart transplant surgery, according to a written statement released by his office. 

The surgery was performed at Inova Fairvax Hospital in Virgina.

“He would like to thank the physicians at Inova Fairfax and George Washington University Hospitals for the outstanding care they have provided.  He and his family are also grateful to the ICU nursing staff at the Heart and Vascular Institute,” according to the statement.  “As he leaves the hospital, the former Vice President and his family want to again express their deep gratitude to the donor and the donor’s family for this remarkable gift.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


EXCLUSIVE: The Story Behind Cheney’s Heart Transplant Surgery

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Dick Cheney was sound asleep when the phone rang after midnight on Friday. It was a call from the cardiology department at Inova Fairfax Hospital; he was told to come to the hospital quickly – a donor heart was likely to become available within hours.

“His response was to say, ‘Sure. What time?  Let’s go,’” said Dr. Jon Reiner, Cheney’s cardiologist, who accompanied Cheney for the surgery, which was performed by Fairfax cardiologists Alan Speir and Anthony Rongione.

About an hour later, Cheney was at the hospital preparing for heart transplant surgery.  The surgery, which started at 10 a.m. Saturday, was over by 5 p.m., about 17 hours after Cheney received his wake-up call from the hospital.

“The surgery went flawlessly,” Dr. Reiner told ABC News. “It exceeded expectations.”

Cheney is still in intensive care, but Dr. Reiner said his recovery has been “dramatic” and that Cheney is doing “remarkably well, amazingly well” and was already out of his hospital bed and sitting in a chair Monday morning.

“The organ has functioned terrifically.  There can still be challenges, but so far, so good,” Dr. Reiner said.  “So far, so very good.”

If recovery continues without significant setback, Dr. Reiner says Cheney’s prognosis is “excellent” and that he could live “many, many years” with his new heart.

“If you ask is it reasonable for a patient, like this patient, to consider 10 years, yes, I think that’s reasonable,” Dr. Reiner said.  “And good quality life.”

Cheney first went on a donor heart wait list in June 2010, but didn’t make a final decision about a transplant until a few weeks ago, when he was told he had moved up on the list to the point where a donor heart was likely to come soon.

“It is not an easy decision to make,” Dr. Reiner said. “The decision to have surgery is like going all-in in a poker game. There’s great reward, but there’s also great risk.”

Dr. Reiner described Cheney as both “excited” and “calm” going into the surgery, adding, “He was ready.”

“When the time came, there was no equivocation, no wait a little while, and let’s think about it. It was, let’s go,” Reiner said.

Cheney’s wait for a donor heart was nearly 21 months – considerably longer than the average wait.  His doctor says it is impossible to get preferential treatment and that Cheney was adamant, in any case, that he would wait his turn.

“It is impossible for a patient to get special consideration,” Dr. Reiner said.  “And, I’ll tell you, he made it explicitly clear that he was going to wait his turn.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Supreme Court to Hear Case on Dick Cheney’s Secret Service Detail

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court announced Monday it would decide whether a lawsuit against two Secret Service agents who were guarding Vice President Dick Cheney in 2006 can go forward.

The case arose when Steven Howards was taking his son to a piano recital in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and saw then-Vice President Cheney shaking hands with members of the public. He decided to confront Cheney about the administration’s Iraq policy.

Gus Reichle and Dan Doyle were part of the Secret Service detail protecting the vice president that day.

Doyle says he overheard Howards say into his cell phone that he was going to ask Cheney “how many kids he’s killed today” referring to the conflict in Iraq. According to court papers Howards approached the vice president and told him his “policies in Iraq are disgusting” and as he left he touched Cheney’s shoulder.

When questioned by an agent after the brief confrontation, Howards initially said he hadn’t touched Cheney. Based in part on the fact that other Secret Services had witnessed what they considered an “unsolicited physical contact” with Cheney, Howards was arrested. He was turned over to local police. State charges against him were later dismissed.

Howards sued the Secret Service agents, arguing in part that they had violated his First Amendment rights by arresting him after he had engaged in what he considered constitutionally protected speech.

The agents claimed immunity to the suit, arguing that they should be shielded from such suits because they had probable cause to arrest Howards. A lower court ruled the suit could go forward.

Lawyers for the Secret Service argue in court papers that while agents “will never allow concerns over potential legal liability to compromise their solemn and critical duty” they shouldn’t have to fear personal liability.

They say the issue is of grave national importance because “there is nothing more debilitating to the Nation than the assassination of the President” and that the agents must be allowed to make “split-second decisions that could have life-or-death and historic consequences. It is vitally important, therefore, that Secret Service agents act without hesitation.”

The Obama administration has weighed in on behalf of the agents, arguing that the lower court decision could “potentially permit a constitutional claim any time the circumstances of an otherwise lawful arrest happen to implicate expressive activity.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bush, Cheney Named Among 'Worst People of All Time' in Yearbook

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.) -- Someone appears to have forgotten to read the rules about what's appropriate for the school yearbook at Arkansas' Russellville Middle School.

One of the categories that somehow slipped the attention of editors was "Top 5 worst people of all time."  Those making the dubious list in order were Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Some parents discovered the list, which Russellville School Superintendent Randall Williams called "an oversight."  Since it was too late to republish the books, the school put permanent tape over the list, although it wasn't so permanent since the tape can easily be removed.

As it turned out, the list originated from a website called, although the former president and vice president were ranked at numbers 22 and 26 respectively on that list, meaning someone had to have modified the list that appeared in the yearbook.

Williams says he's questioned the adult sponsor of the yearbook, who admits not scanning that particular page before it went to print.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


George W. Bush, Dick Cheney Share Stage for First Time Post-Presidency

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney shared a stage together Tuesday for the first time since the two left office, showering each other with praise as they reflected on the legacy of their administration and the decision to run for office together.

The two men united for the groundbreaking of the $300-million Bush Presidential Library on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. Hundreds of Bush administration alumni, including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and first lady Laura Bush, also attended.

Bush has said the library and affiliated George W. Bush Policy Institute will be "the focus of our attention and forum for our public service" for the rest of his life. The library and institute are also largely seen as vehicles through which Bush can continue to shape his presidential legacy.

"Two years after your tour at the White House ended," Cheney said to Bush, "judgments are a little more measured than they were. When times have been tough and the critics have been loud, you've always said you had faith in history's judgment. And history is beginning to come around."

Cheney, who has been one of the most ardent and outspoken defenders of the administration, appeared gaunt and frail in what was a rare public appearance since having heart surgery in July.

It was also the first time the men appeared together since the release of Bush's new memoir, Decision Points, in which the former president writes that he considered replacing Cheney as his running mate during the 2004 re-election bid.

Bush began his remarks by directly addressing the episode and offering unambiguous support for the man he ended up keeping by his side.

"I'm asked about Dick Cheney," Bush said. "Here's what I say: Dick Cheney was the right pick in the year 2000, and as I stand here, there is no doubt in my mind he was the right pick then, he was a great vice president of the United States, and I'm proud to call him friend."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


Bush Nearly Dropped Cheney from 2004 Ticket

Photo Courtesy - Randomhouse dot com(NEW YORK) -- Former President George W. Bush considered dropping former Vice President Dick Cheney from his 2004 campaign ticket, according to The New York Times, which obtained an early copy of the former president’s memoir.

In Decision Points, which will not hit store shelves until Nov. 9, President Bush explains the consideration was made in an attempt to "demonstrate that I was in charge," according to The Times.

Cheney offered to drop off the re-election ticket during a private lunch in 2003, writes the former president, who admitted Cheney was a "lightning rod for criticism from the media and the left."

"He was seen as dark and heartless -- the Darth Vader of the administration," Bush writes. "Accepting Dick's offer would be one way to demonstrate that I was in charge," notes The Times.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Texas Man Shot By Dick Cheney in 2006 Still Waiting for Apology

Photo Courtesy - Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly five years after being shot by Vice President Dick Cheney on a hunting trip, Harry Whittington is still waiting for an apology.

Now 82, Whittington tells The Washington Post’s Paul Fahri in an extensive interview he still has about 30 pieces of birdshot inside him, remnants from the Feb. 2006 shooting incident that happened on a south Texas ranch.

Fahri reports Whittington’s injuries were “more dire than previously disclosed.”

Four days after the shooting, the birdshot near his heart cause it to “beat erratically” and Whittington was admitted back into the intensive care unit. Whittington’s doctors said he suffered a mild heart attack, but he downplayed it as a heart “event.”

He also suffered a collapsed lung and doctors performed invasive exploratory surgery to check his vital organs for damage.

“The load from Cheney's gun came close to, but didn't damage, the carotid artery in his neck,” Fahri reports. “A rupture could have been fatal, particularly since it took the better part of an hour to transport him from the vast Armstrong ranch to the Kingsville hospital.”

But perhaps the most stunning revelation in the article is that nearly five years later, Whittington is still waiting for an apology from Cheney.

When asked if Cheney ever said sorry to him, Whittington “who has been talking about his life and career for hours, suddenly draws silent.”

"I'm not going to go into that," he says sharply after a short pause.

Fahri writes that Whittington is “too gracious to say it out loud, but he doesn't dispute the notion, either.”

The circumstances of the 2006 shooting were illustrative of the way Cheney operated for eight years at the White House -- flying under the public radar and keeping the press at a distance.

Cheney’s office worked in a completely separate orbit from the Bush White House. While the president always has a group of reporters traveling with him, the same rules did not apply for the vice president -- and do not now for Vice President Biden.

Cheney often took trips that the public and press are not aware of – hunting trips, fishing trips or just visits to his home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The shooting happened on a Saturday evening but the vice president did not speak to investigators until the next morning.

Cheney’s office did not inform the media about the shooting until after it was reported in a local Texas paper. The vice president did not comment publicly for several days.

Cheney said that week it was the “right call” to disseminate the information through Katharine Armstrong, the daughter of the ranch's owner and a witness to the shooting. Armstrong contacted her local newspaper on Sunday morning.

The vice president said at the time he knew there was no way to minimize the story but he wanted to make sure it was as accurate as possible.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Cheney Appears Frail at First Public Event Since Heart Surgery

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BAKERSFIELD, Calif.) -- Former vice president Cheney appeared frail and noticeably thin during a public appearance this weekend at the Bakersfield Business Conference.

Cheney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The former vice president has been on the mend since a July procedure to implant a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) into his heart. Cheney said at the time he was "entering a new phase of the [heart] disease" when he began to "experience increasing congestive heart failure."

Cheney was released from the hospital August 9.

The California event was Cheney’s second appearance this month. Last week, he spoke at a closed press event for the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers in Colorado Springs.

Cheney’s history of heart problems includes five heart attacks, dating back to his first in 1978 when he was just 37 years old. His most recent one took place in February.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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