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. Steve

    I am always stunned when the bush apologists claim " he kept us safe from terrorists".

    Buncha Bull.

    Does eveyone forget the anthrax attacks which killed 5 people and put 17 in the hospital? That was the second terrorist attack under bushs' watch.

    Or the Beltway Snipers who killed 10 and critically injured 3 before bushs' imcompetent goons stumbled on the culprits.

    3 strikes your out !

    .

    March 15, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. SpaceCat

    I can't think of a better endorsement for Obama's policies than these backbiting, unseemly comments from Darth Vader himself.

    March 15, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Dan

    Try him for war crimes, then send him to Gitmo.

    March 15, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. Bill P

    Since Cheney has been wrong on everything else so far, this is good news! If Cheney says we are in more danger, that means we aren't!

    March 15, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Linda in MS

    The only way what Cheney and Co. did was legal is because they got a yesman to tell them it was legal. They manipulated everything, including the American people to get their way. Cheney is an evil, dangerous man.

    March 15, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. What's all the fuss about

    You mean decimating our military force in an unjustified war, allowing the Taliban to move back into Afghanistan and motivating recruitment of terrorist doesn'y put our country at risk? I'm sorry, but I missed that.

    March 15, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. shannon

    Well Dick, you and your horrible policies almost destroyed America, so I don't think we should care what you think.

    March 15, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Jon King

    Lets see...9-11 happened 9 1/2 months into Cheney's term. And when it happened there were no plans to address terrorism by Bush-Cheney.

    How can this clown preach when he is the one who was on duty when 9-11 occurred??

    March 15, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Anonymous

    "The Bush Administration did not cause 9/11, but did whatever they had to do to get intelligence about who and where the enemy was and to apprehend them." -amb

    The Bush Administration may not have cause 9/11, but the had an opportunity to try to prevent it. Despite what he cronies say, Bush receive a PDB warning the Bin Laden was determined to strike within US. This is when the doing "whatever they had to do to" should of started. Also, when you say "enemy" of 9/11 do you mean Saddam. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Saddam and Iraq had nothing to do with that.

    March 15, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. fb

    My "dear Cheney"..... the only thing i regret about 9/11 they killed innocent people instead of CHENEY'S & BUSH'S & THE ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION..... BIN LADEN IF YOU READ THIS COMMENT PLEASE NEXT TIME ONLY THE ABOVE......

    March 15, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Independent

    If everything was done legally, than tell me why, the CIA destroyed all those 90 plus tapes??????? Just tell me, oh that is right, you are a liar and that is beyond you to tell the truth....

    March 15, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Sue

    No – it's the decisions of Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Rove that put our country at risk. Obama is trying to clean up the mess they've created. THE PAST IS NOT MUTABLE.

    March 15, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. CranialRectalLoopback

    Please let the 5th time be the charm ...

    March 15, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Saad from NJ

    Obama's decisions are putting our country at risk! And what did your decisions today Sir? Wipe our country out! Took away all the values that made us the greatest nation on this planet! Made us hypocrite and the biggest lying nation in the world – just like we were another 3rd world country. So Obama is putting our country at risk? You took our country away SIR!

    But I don't get mad at you anymore. You are not normal. For you to still think what you did was right and justified – you are one sick human being, if I can even call you that.

    I wish you well though but just go away. Enjoy whatever life you have left with the billions you have earned at our cost and at the cost of our brave men and women as well as the innocent Iraqi civilians. Just go away.

    March 15, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. A.P. Fremont, Ca.

    It's decisive military actions in the right places at the right times that will keep America safest against terrorism. Tortured interrogation, in itself, is not what wins wars, and best defends a country against an enemy. The pre-emptive military strike is MOST reliable for results from great TECHNOLOGICAL intelligence. Not "shaky" tainted testimony from tortured suspects who are willing to say anything to stop their own torture at the hands of their captives......

    Dick Cheney is a Bozo..............

    March 15, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Rorschach

    Please, please, Cheney – go back to your "undisclosed location" and STAY THERE. You are a menace.

    March 15, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Kaci

    Mr. Cheney, you should be ashamed to live in this country and call your self an American. With the lies, deceit, violations of the constitution and geneva convention, warrantless wire-tapping, the patriot act – the list goes on – YOU and the BUSH ADMINISTRATION have made this country less safe by obliterating the very values that made this country once great. You sir, are a war criminal and the failure of the Obama administration to convict you and your cohorts will make America no better than some of the countries we claim to be more advanced than.

    March 15, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Doreen

    Why is this man on CNN? My goodness, have Americans not had enough of that administration? He should be tried as a war criminal.

    March 15, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Charles from Atlanta

    The only thing Bush/Cheney and their supporters can say at this moment is "we have not had an attack after 9/11." Forget about doubling the national debt, two failed and mismanaged wars, unable to find Bin Laden, financial crisis, all they want to talk is "we have not had an attack after 9/11." They forgot to tell you, 9/11 shouldn't happen. These terrorists got into America legally, trained flying commercial airplane at US, hijacked airplans using box cutter, do you think these will happen again? Also they forgot to tell you, their irresponsible actions caused creating more terrorists during the Bush/Cheney administration. Remembered Bin Laden said "he wants to bankrupt US"? And he's almost getting closer to his goal. Folks, wake up, we need to have a "SMART" leader know how to fight terrorists. Bush/Cheney definitely DOES NOT belong to that category..

    March 15, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Ron Skrzysowski

    This is truly "Darth Vader" in a business suit. HE is the one who just doesn't get it. 9/11 was a tragedy and deserved our full response. But so was Pearl Harbor, so was Viet Nam, so was Korea, yet the government DID respond then but NOT at the cost of everything else. And if Dick Cheney can PROVE that ANY DEMOCRAT IN CONGRESS hindered our response to care for ALL of our country, then THEY TOO should be tried as traitors to the American people, thrown out of office and locked up. I have had enough of these pick-and-choose hacks who say they act on our behalf and still pursue their own agenda. You were ALL responsible for the good of the AMERICAN PEOPLE and THEIR WAY OF LIFE. Was this furthered by an unjust war in IRAQ that has cost us loss of life and limb for some of out best and brightest, not to mention the older guardsmen who had to serve because we were stupid enough to abolish the draft? I don't think so.
    Old Man, leave, take the tragic memory of your so-called service with you and go cry in the corner because you didn't get your way to start World War III cause that's what you wanted. You and Bush were two lost figures in way over your head and lost sight of WHY you were there.
    Don't go away mad, but please for God's sake just go away and let us, the American people, get our government back by never taking our eyes off Washington again and keeping these political hacks under OUR thumb.

    March 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. ppresto

    Cheney remaining out of prison is testimony to the myth of America being a country of laws and not men. He is rubbing it in our faces.

    March 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Don Peters

    This country will never truly be healed from the scars of BUSH/CHENEY until they are prosecuted and held accountable for the deaths of many thousands.
    (Read Vincent Bugliosi's book for the most comprehensive accounting of their misdeeds, which are too numerous to itemize here)

    March 15, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Lee Ann

    Why are you people at CNN letting this vile, evil man try to rewrite history? We will not forget all that his administration has done to America. He should be tried for war crimes, not given a platform to spew his lies.

    March 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. Chris, MI

    Cheney just would not shut his evil mind until he's ....

    Interesting how he's still lounder than Bush even today. This miserable man is looking for happiness in detroying others. DON'T let him.

    March 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Mare Nostrum

    amb: "The Bush Administration did not cause 9/11"

    Oh yes they did! Wake up! They were emphatically warned by Richard Clarke et al in January 2001 that this needed to be their top priority, but they laughed that off. Instead, their Justice Dep't. pursued porn and the Defense Department engaged in missile stupidity. When George Tenet drove to the White House in July 2001 they ignored his warnings, and when they received word attack was on its way in August, they did nothing. They had every opportunity to defend us and they didn't. That's their legacy. Don't dream it up some other way, it's unfair to the dead.

    March 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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