The Locker Room

Did Cheney "flip-flop" on Iranian sanctions?

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 11:30 AM

Last night Dick Cheney was criticized for “flip-flopping” with regards to his position on Iranian sanctions. Apparently he was against the sanctions as CEO of Halliburton but in favor of the sanctions as Vice President. But in reality there is no reason to expect that he or any other person would hold the same view when serving in these very different roles. As a CEO your first responsibility is to your shareholders, as Vice President your first responsibility is to the voters and to the advancement of a particular policy agenda. There is no reason to expect these interests to coincide. If the absence of sanctions was in the interest of Halliburton when he was CEO he had an obligation to shareholders to advocate this position. If, when he is Vice President sanctions are in the interest of advancing the administration’s foreign policy then his obligations to the country is to favor the sanctions. It is actually a testament to Cheney that he understands this distinction and can act accordingly. There is no question that John Edwards understands it. Indeed lawyers are expected to serve their client and to take different positions depending on who the client is. In fact, for lawyers this is considered to be a virtue.

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