March 15th, 2009
10:55 AM ET
5 years ago

Cheney: Obama decisions are putting country at risk

Photo Credit: Josh Rubin/CNN.
Photo Credit: Josh Rubin/CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN's John King Sunday that he believed President Obama's decision to eliminate the use of many of the most controversial interrogation practices used under the former administration had put the country at risk.

Asked whether he thought those moves had made the United States less safe, Cheney said he did. "I think those programs were absolutely essential to the success we enjoy, of being able to collect the intelligence that let us defeat all further attempts to launch attacks against the United States since 9/11," he said on State of the Union. "I think it's a great success story. It was done legally, it was done in accordance with our constitutional practices and principles..."

Watch Cheney tout Bush administration accomplishments

Obama campaigned against those practices, said Cheney, "and now he's making some choices that in my mind will raise the risk to the American people of another attack."


Filed under: Dick Cheney • State of the Union
soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. gl, Pittsburgh

    luvinman29 March 15th, 2009 10:56 am ET

    President Obama is the only thing standing between Dick and a "War" crimes indictment. I say, if he keeps trying to undermind the President, Obama should lower the hammer on him.

    -------------------------------–

    You could not have say that any better. President Obama is the only one keeping Dick from being proscuted.

    March 15, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. phoenix86

    Cheney's is right and you know it. Obama's actions and policies are strengthening terrorists all over the world. You can already see it.

    The next attack will be fully Obama's doing.

    March 15, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Georgia Gal

    amb ... in some ways you're right. No the Bush administration wasn't solely responsible for what happened on 9/11, because a lot of the planning was going on before they took office, however that said, the planning continued to go on for the first 7 1/2 months they were in office leading up to 9/11 and if they had done their job prior to 9/11 like they should have they could have most definetely put a a stop to what happened that day, but they didn't so 9/11 happened and since he was "W" and "Dick" were President and Vice President on that day they are the ones that are ultimately to blame.

    March 15, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Dorothy in NC

    You have got to be joking. Obama hasn't been President long enough to put anyone at risk. I guess when you are guilty, the best think to do is blame everyone but yourself.
    The Bush Presidency or I should say the Cheney presidency put our country at risk more than any other presidency on record. Between torturing and bullying people, having no reguard for anyone or anything except yourselves, your power and your money and threatening countries that didn't do exactly what you wanted and spending trillions of dollars with no regard for the people who will have to pay for your mess, you did more to hurt and endanger this country and put us in more danger than anyone. I am so glad you are out of power I could scream and I want to know when the war crimes trials will start. If anyone deserves to be put on trial, it is you and Bush

    March 15, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Lori

    Mr. Cheney, let's get this right. You and the Republicans are WISHING for a terrorist attack so that the American people can turn on President Obama. The problem with that is that we know this and if a terrorist attack does happen, the American people will turn on you and your party and it will backfire in the Republicans face. We will always rally behind our President, especially one we know genuinely cares about the average American.

    Get lost Mr. Cheney. Your time is up!

    March 15, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. katiec

    Bush/Cheney brought us to our knees financially,. There was no need for another terrorist attack.
    For anyone of intelligence to believe or support what this man is saying is beyond me.
    He was and is a dictator and was very instrumental in almost destroying our country.
    CNN. shame on you for bringing this man into the limelight, headlining him and supporting his lies, thoughts and distortion.

    March 15, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. sngeorgia

    I am an American citizen strong morals and principals, the kind you were raised with, and expect the leaders of our country to have some too. However, the past administration led our country without Any in regard to war, human life, human rights and the financial dignity of it's people. Mr. Cheney should be enjoying his retirement, and not commenting on the present administration since he was a Big part of the traversties we have today. I would like the AG to aggressively find out the Truth and prosecute those who betrayed the American people.

    March 15, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Bird Lives

    I am a 74 year old Korean War veteran.(17 months in country on the line). I am also a Law School grad. I have seen much change in the world in my life.The beginning of the end for the U.S. as I know it, came when Scalia, Thomas, Rhenquist, et. al gave Bush the job. Since then we have seen 9/11, Katrina, Iraq, Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo, Cheney, Abu Grahib, the escalation of torture, billions spent on the "war" on drugs, and moral and financial bankruptcy. Bush nominated two extreme right wingers (Roberts and Alito), to the SCOTUS who will continue to harm our country. We have more hatred against one another not seen since the Civil War and the Internet and the press show the low level of discourse that is now the norm.
    Fake celebrities fill the new and places like Darfur are given short shrift. Now some idiots want to give a voice to one of the most hateful people in the U.S. because it will do?????? and to watch the Obama haters crawl out from their holes so that theycan glorify
    Cheney at the expense of a man who has inherited the Bush-Cheney mess is beyond funny. It used to be God bless America-it is now God HELP America.

    March 15, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Noel Potts

    Why does CNN, in the name of free speech, waste everyones time putting on old hacks, such as Dick Cheney to air their outrageous behaviour. That war in Iraq could not in any sense of the imagination justify the loss of life of nearly 5,000 young American lives. Further to that the impoverishment of the American/World economy, which will take a long time to recover.

    March 15, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. shibby

    hey dick! where have you been hiding out the last few years? you and karl rove should go on a media tour trashing the new administration after not giving interviews until you were booted out. please go back into hiding!

    March 15, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Jean Casey

    Who can honestly believe anything this man says? You are giving a public platform to a man who has turned his back on his country and its Constitution in a twisted quest for personal power. Enough!

    March 15, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Eric

    Studies show that the techniques used by the Bush administration are not effective. People will admit to anything so that the torture stops. Unreliable information we don't need.

    In my opinion, cutting taxes and going to war was a bad policy for American, and fiscally irresponsible.

    March 15, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    No attacks yet on the Obama watch. Didn't the Bush administration say the bottom line is no attacks on US soil after 9/11?
    He seems to be insinuating that their policies reduced risk because nothing happenned but Obama's policies put us at risk and nothing having happenned is irrelevant.

    March 15, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. sngeorgia

    Mr. Cheney.......it is obvious you have not an ounce of creditibility. You cannot continue with your politics as usual. With thousands of Americans dead, you have no merit. Bin Laden is still strong after 8 years, and the American people was left with an unstable middle east, unaccounted for monies, and most sad of all.....thousands of young men and women who are no longer with us. Mr. Cheney, you are not a decent man when you stood before the American people and told a "bold faced" lie to enter us into an un-called for war.

    March 15, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Amy

    This man has got to be kidding.

    The jokers that put us at risk are Bush and Cheney. Not only did they miss the clues to prevent 9/11, but they, through their words, policies, and actions, have made us the most hated country on Earth.

    If we have any hope at a peaceful, prosperous future, it is because of President Obama.

    March 15, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. marc

    Would someone please lock this clown up...!

    March 15, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. SD,Michigan

    50 somethings days into this new administration and it's "Obama's recession" (ha!)
    7 months after Bush took office , 9/11 attack takes place ...and "he kept us safe". He did????
    As for Cheney ,there's a special place for him...with fire and brimstone.

    March 15, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Otto

    Two words to describe this guy. Scum bag. What a waste of time on the air waves. AC should not have given this a second and should have left him in his bunker to rot.

    March 15, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. John

    What a delusional man–and a criminal–openly espousing torture. If you don't think it was torture, check out the description of what occurred in America's clandestine prisons; a quick internet search of Mark Danner and "Torture and Truth: America, Abu Graib, and the War on Terror." IT WAS TORTURE, and everyone up to George Bush knew completely what was going on. There should be no protection for these criminals; they have shamed the nation.

    A few incredibly misguided peopl seem to want to justify torture. Apart from the fact that very little actionable intelligence ever comes from it, it also prevents future prosecution, as charges are routinely thrown out due to the torture. Not that it's utility should even be an issue: in torturing, we lower ourselves to the level of terrorists, violate our solemn commitments, and put every American soldier in danger of receiving similar treatment. Read what was done, and ask if you would ever want your loved one to endure such inhumane brutality.

    March 15, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Kevin in Ohio

    Cheney is 100% correct. Obama is ruining this country, and I truly have my doubts we will survive as a result.

    March 15, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. marc

    Someone please lock this clown up...!

    March 15, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Jeffer65

    After eight years of ruling in secret and silence, now Dick is suddenly "chatty Kathy" Why is anyone even interviewing this scumbag? is he running in 2012?

    March 15, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. ldk

    @amb – saying Dubya/chaney kept our country safe is like me saying my fountain pen keeps away elephants. I dont see any. NO ONE can prove either way that they did or did not.

    March 15, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Kevin in Ohio

    To those of you who think Cheney is a war criminal and should be brought to trial in the Hague.... be careful of what you wish for. If this happens just once, not even your precious Obama will be safe in the future.

    March 15, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. DB25

    Dick Cheney is a loser. He has no right to make comments about other administrations on protecting the US. Remember what a great job they did of protecting us when Bush came into office? 9/11…great job Dick and Bush. If you had been doing such a wonderful job as you claim we never would have been attacked in the first place.

    March 15, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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