Elizabeth Cheney

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Elizabeth "Liz" Cheney joined 2008 presidential hopeful Fred Thompson's foreign policy team in May 2007. Other team members include Mark Esper, "national security adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist [and] Joel Shin, a top policy staffer on Bush-Cheney 2000. ... Esper, Shin, and Cheney are well known and well respected in the Washington foreign policy community and generally regarded as hawkish in their views on national security. They will continue to give Thompson's foreign policy advice as the effort becomes a formal campaign."[1]

Elizabeth Cheney is the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney of the American Enterprise Institute.

Bush's Democracy Tsarina

Most recently, Cheney served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Coordinator for Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiatives, heading the Iran-Syria Operations Group.

Cheney was the American "bureaucrat in charge of the vast budget for support of the MEK and other insurgents" and "responsible for the 'democratization' of Iran," Michael Carmichael wrote in the October 11, 2006, Baltimore Chronicle.

Previously, Liz Cheney ran the Office of Iranian Affairs, the reincarnation of the Office of Special Plans, "apparently housed in the same Pentagon offices inhabited by its predecessor and involving some of the same slimy personnel," Gary Leupp wrote May 29, 2006, in Dissident Voice. In Spring 2006, Cheney left the State Department to have her fifth child.

Cheney is also credited with the design and launch of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), "an effort to provide funding for programs to advance political and educational reform and women's rights in the region," CNN reported May 19, 2005. [1]

"Aaron Friedberg, who served as [Dick] Cheney’s director of policy planning for three years, ... says that he worked on issues of 'terrorism, Asia, Europe, Russia, North Korea, Iran, just about everything outside of Iraq,' suggested that the biggest issue on which Cheney had to confront the bureaucracy was over the administration’s push for democracy, especially in the Middle East. That program’s overseer is his daughter Liz Cheney, a top State Department official," Robert Dreyfuss wrote April 17, 2006, in The American Prospect.

Elizabeth Cheney and Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority's "civil administrator of Iraq", were among the 1,400 foreign ministers and businessmen who attended the June 22, 2003, World Economic Forum at Shuneh on the Jordanian coast of the Dead Sea, the DEBKAfile reported. [2] The gathering "brought to the fore mainly in behind the scenes conversations" that "the United States has big plans for Iraq and is forging ahead in its drive for a new Middle East."

According to the DEBKAfile, "Bremer informed anyone who wanted to listen, including UN secretary general Kofi Annan and European foreign ministers, that Washington has not been sidetracked by the guerrilla attacks which has taken the lives of 50 US troops in the weeks since the war ended. The plague will be overcome but, in the meantime, two key plans have taken form [as stated]:

  1. "On July 15 , the US administration begins building the New Iraqi Army, starting with the 1st Brigade of 5,000 armed men who will serve under Iraqi officers. Conscription of 40,000 men is targeted by the end of this year, roughly one tenth of the size of Saddam Hussein’s armed forces at the outset of the war in March 2003.
  2. "On the political side, Bremer has selected 25 to 30 prominent Iraqis to serve on a national council to select ministers for a future Iraqi government and create commissions to frame a new Iraqi constitution."

Additionally, Elizabeth Cheney reportedly "turned up at the World Economic Forum not only with a plan of action but a $100 million budget to support it: The money is there to promote democracy and advance women's rights in the Middle East," the DEBKAfile reported. [3]

According to Cheney, the "challenge is to help open up the space for public debate in these countries, so that when you get to the point of an election, people have a choice beyond the extremists," Steven R. Weisman wrote in the November 9, 2003, New York Times. Cheney "added that the United States must combine its support for democracy with financing of independent moderate groups, nongovernment organizations, a free press and an unfettered business environment."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "handed the first effort for political transition in Iraq" to Elizabeth Cheney, Sidney Blumenthal wrote September 20, 2006, in openDemocracy. "She had had no experience in the region beforehand. She then handed off the task to someone named J. Scott Carpenter, the former legislative director to Republican Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. One disaster followed another as convoluted manipulations of the Iraqis produced frustration, chaos, sectarian friction and outbursts of violence. The CPA finally chose the leaders of the interim government ... 'in the equivalent of a smoke-filled room'," according to the Washington Post's Baghdad reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Blumenthal wrote.

Cheney vs. the Koran on women's rights

"The connection between manifest failure and the suppression of women is unignorable. And you sometimes feel that the current crux, with its welter of insecurities and nostalgias, is little more than a pre-emptive tantrum - to ward off the evacuation of the last sanctum of power," Martin Amis wrote September 10, 2006, in the UK's The Observer. "What would happen if we spent some of the next 300 billion dollars (this is Liz Cheney's thrust) on the raising of consciousness in the Islamic world? The effect would be inherently explosive, because the dominion of the male is Koranic - the unfalsifiable word of God, as dictated to the Prophet:

"'Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme' (4:34).

"Can we imagine seeing men on the march in defence of their right to beat their wives? And if we do see it, then what? Would that win hearts and minds? The martyrs of this revolution would be sustained by two obvious truths: the binding authority of scripture, all over the world, is very seriously questioned; and women, by definition, are not a minority. They would know, too, that their struggle is a heroic assault on the weight of the past - the alpweight of 14 centuries," Amis wrote.

Arab Renaissance

In May 2005, the Al-Arabiya TV network held a debate on "What Will It Take to Unleash an Arab Renaissance?", Jay Nordlinger reported in the May 27, 2005, National Review.

"The participants make an interesting crew: Amr Moussa, the Arab League honcho; Prince Turki al-Faisal, formerly Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief and now its ambassador to the U.K.; an official from the Shamil Bank of Bahrain, Khalid Abdulla-Janahi; Hoshyar Zebari, the foreign minister of Iraq; Bassam I. Awadallah, the finance minister of Jordan; and . . . Liz Cheney," Nordlinger wrote.

In response to a survey commissioned by Al-Arabiya, Arabs expressed that they "are hungry for political change, for the kind of governance that really free peoples enjoy. Prince Turki rebukes the poll, dismissing it as illegitimate — and he won’t be the only one, as we will see.

"Liz Cheney speaks beautifully, remarking that 'people are demanding a voice' and 'asking their governments to respond.' There seems to be no quailing in her; she holds up the American end — certainly the Bushian end — admirably," Nordlinger wrote.

Later, moderator "Mohannad Khatib, has a question for Liz Cheney: 'For decades, the United States supported the status quo in the Middle East. Why are you changing now?' Liz does not blink or dispute. She says, 'You’re exactly right. We did support the status quo, in the mistaken belief that this was necessary for stability. But as we learned on September 11, supporting the status quo does not make for stability.'"

"The moderator then asks one of the Questions of the Weekend: What if democracy brings 'rule by clergy'? Amr Moussa responds that 'no liberal force is ready and prepared to lead'; therefore, if we open the democratic floodgates — Fundamentalist City. But Minister Awadallah makes the key point about republicanism: 'If Islamic parties respect minority rights, if they respect pluralism,' then there should be no problem. Liz Cheney jumps in to say that it is 'racist' and 'prejudicial' to assume that Arabs don’t want the same rights that other people want, and deserve. No one, anywhere, 'wants a knock on the door in the middle of the night.' She then speaks about her 'little girls,' at home, and the sort of future she desires for them. I have the feeling that Liz knows she is speaking to a very large Arab audience," Nordlinger wrote. "She is making the most of it."

Office of Near East and South Asian Affairs (NEA)

"Contrary to prevailing wisdom, members of the Bush team contend that what the press took to be [then Secretary of State Colin] Powell's defiance was as often as not the defiance of a bureaucracy only nominally under his supervision," Lawrence F. Kaplan reported in The New Republic Onine, December 7, 2004. "In this telling, instances of Powell flouting official policy tended to be exceptions to the norm. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Kyoto, direct negotiations with North Korea, the war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict--in each of these cases, Powell lost the policy arguments and, without skipping a beat, went on to implement the very policies he had just lobbied against.

"The only problem was, the bureaucracy continued to lobby," Kaplan wrote. "The bureau that most concerns [Condoleezza] Rice and her colleagues in this regard is NEA. When, for instance, [President George W.] Bush proposed an ambitious and concrete plan to promote democracy in the Middle East [in 2004] (a plan that Powell enthusiastically supported), NEA, responding to the objections of Arab leaders, watered down the eventual proposals beyond recognition--contributing to, among other things, the departure of Liz Cheney, the project's driving force."

Note: Powell resigned November 15, 2004.


In May 2006, Liz Cheney left "her senior-level post at the State Department to have a baby," CNN reported May 19, 2006.

"Cheney, 39, has served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs since February 2005. In that role, she launched the Middle East Partnership Initiative, an effort to provide funding for programs to advance political and educational reform and women's rights in the region.

"She also worked in the State Department from 2002 to 2003, before leaving to work on her father's re-election campaign." [4]

"Prior to that Ms. Cheney practiced law in the private sector and at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. Ms. Cheney has also served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State for Assistance to the former Soviet Union, and as a USAID officer in US embassies in Budapest and Warsaw. Ms. Cheney received her bachelor's degree from Colorado College and her law degree from the University of Chicago." [5]

"Cheney and her husband, Philip Perry, the general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security, have four other children, including a son born in the middle of the 2004 campaign," CNN wrote.

Resources and articles


  1. Stephen F. Hayes, "Hawks for Thompson. Thompson puts together a foreign policy team The Weekly Standard, June 12, 2007.


Speeches, Comments by Liz Cheney

External articles