The top officials

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George W. Bush is the 43rd president of the United States.

Richard "Dick" Cheney is the vice president of the United States. As the secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush, he directed the U.S. military effort in the 1991 Gulf War. After leaving the government Cheney became the chairman and chief executive officer of Halliburton Company. He was President Gerald Ford's chief of staff from 1975 to 1977. From 1979 to 1989, he served as a U.S. Representative from Wyoming.

Ari Fleischer was the White House press secretary from January 20, 2001, to July 14, 2003, serving as President Bush's principal spokesperson and conducting daily news briefings. Prior to his White House appointment, he served as the senior communications adviser and spokesman for the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign.

Scott McClellan was the White House press secretary from July 15, 2003, when he succeeded Ari Fleischer, to May 10, 2006; before that he was the principal deputy White House press secretary. During the 2000 presidential campaign he was George W. Bush's traveling press secretary.

Colin Powell was the secretary of state from January 20, 2001, to January 26, 2005. His 35-year army career included assignments as national security adviser to Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989 and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 until 1993, when he retired as a four-star general.

Condoleezza Rice has been the secretary of state since January 26, 2005, succeeding General Colin Powell. During the 2000 presidential campaign she was George W. Bush's chief foreign policy adviser, and in 2001 she became President Bush's national security adviser — the first woman to hold the post. Rice was provost of Stanford University from 1993 to 1999.

Donald Rumsfeld was the secretary of defense from January 20, 2001, to December 18, 2006. In that role he directed the U.S. military effort in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rumsfeld, a former U.S. Representative from Illinois, also served under President Gerald Ford as White House chief of staff from 1974 to 1975 and as defense secretary from 1975 to 1977.

Paul Wolfowitz was the deputy secretary of defense from March 2, 2001, until May 13, 2005. He became the president of the World Bank in June that year. He resigned that position effective June 30, 2007, in the wake of the disclosure that he had played a direct role in giving a promotion to a World Bank employee with whom he had a longstanding personal relationship. From 1973 to 1993, Wolfowitz served in several different positions in the State Department, Defense Department, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.