June 1st, 2009
02:39 PM ET
9 years ago

Cheney: no link between Saddam Hussein and Sept. 11 attacks

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he does 'not believe' and has 'never seen any evidence to confirm (Saddam Hussein) was involved in' the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he does 'not believe' and has 'never seen any evidence to confirm (Saddam Hussein) was involved in' the September 11, 2001 attacks.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he does "not believe" and has "never seen any evidence to confirm (Saddam Hussein) was involved in" the September 11, 2001 attacks.

He strongly defended the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq, however, citing Hussein's previous decisions to support and provide "safe harbor" to terrorists.

Cheney, in an appearance at the National Press Club, said he is intent on speaking out in defense of the Bush administration's national security record because "a clear understanding of policies that worked (in protecting the United States) is essential."

Among other things, he called the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center a "good facility ... if you are going to be engaged in a world conflict such as we are in terms of global war on terrorism. You know, if you don't have a place where you can hold these people the only other option is to kill them. And we don't operate that way."

He also reiterated his call for President Barack Obama to declassify documents detailing the results of so-called "enhanced interrogations" of high-value detainees.

Since Obama has already released memos detailing the interrogation methods, Cheney argued, it is important to share the results of those interrogations with the public as well.

On May 14, the CIA rejected the former vice president's request to declassify the documents. CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano, in a written statement, said the two documents are the subject of pending lawsuits and cannot therefore be declassified.

Cheney argued Monday that the memos previously released were also the subject of ongoing lawsuits. He said Obama can release the additional documents with "the stroke of a pen."

Cheney previously gave a full-throated defense of the Bush administration's "enhanced" interrogations of al Qaeda prisoners during an appearance at the conservative American Enterprise Institute on May 21.

He has argued that the interrogations saved the lives of "thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands." He called the techniques the Bush administration approved "legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do."

Filed under: Bush administration • Dick Cheney
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. confused

    That is not what he was saying during the run up to war. Liar!

    June 1, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. a southern progressive


    June 1, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Bob of Lompoc

    A disgusting individual with nothing to offer. Isn't there a young, sharp, honest Republican out there somewhere ? Please, step up.

    June 1, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Wow, he finally admits there is no link between the now deceased President of Iraq and the 9-11 attacks? For years, you could not convince this loon otherwise. Cheney, you are attempting revisionist history here and if you now believe there were no links, does this mean we can have you testify in a court of law for war crime proceedings since the falsehood you stated for so long was one of the reasons of the Iraq war?

    June 1, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Polar Bears Against Palin

    Cheney, I'd love to waterboard you. You are a lying sac of pus.

    June 1, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Anthony

    A little late on the uptake, aren't we Richard?? This has been said for over four years now...

    June 1, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Osama Bin Laden

    Now Cheney you finally said something that I can buy. Being an old 28 year veteran of the U.S. Army during the period of Desert Storm, Nam. I could find no reasonable grounds for WPM. But I also knew that sooner or later we would have to take them down. Only the way I see it is we should have wholeheartedly went into Afghanistan with the intententions of taking Osam Bin Laden the on to Iran after that Iraq in theat order. Toss palestine in the mix and you could have had soup. But instead now it is too late for a complete victory in a war that is facing. america get ready for it is coming. if you don't have the sotmach for it leave. that means all you across the border people who does not intend or will not fight for america

    June 1, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Judy

    is this guy crazy or what – who cares about Bush and especially Cheney – he continues to be delutional thinking he is the opposition government.!

    June 1, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. alvino

    I hope Dick gets his wish and all documents are released. I believe that no creditable intelligence was gained from the illegal interrogation techniques and Dick will, once again, look like a fool.

    June 1, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. D. Tree

    The more Cheney goes on TV, the more people are going to distrust him. How dare he sit there and smugly say there was no link, when he pushed the very same lie countless times to get us into Iraq? I'd rather see him answer these questions from a witness stand, and I think lots of us feel the same way.

    June 1, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. arithmetic is liberal

    I was called an America-hating terrorist sympathizer by Dick Cheney's supporters for saying on March 30, 2003 what Dick Cheney said on June 1, 2009. Life is funny that way.

    June 1, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. David

    We can't even stop pirates, so how do we stop terrorist, and is there a difference? The approach by the BUSH administration was faltered from the beginning and now people like Cheney try to defend it. Why didn't we hear this from Cheney then, why now, seems a little late?

    June 1, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Ted

    Hey DICK. Go back to your undisclosed hiding place and shut up. Stop defending the defenseless policies of the administration you were a member of. You DICK should be sent to GITMO to rot and to be regularly waterboarded.

    June 1, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. GenTwelve

    It was not worth the death's of American soldiers to engage in Dick's war. A truly repulsive person.

    June 1, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Claudia in Houson

    Heard all these lies by Cheney over the past 8 years with arrogance when he refused to justify anything because he didn't feel he owe the country any explanation. Why isn't anyone looking into his past statements and call him on them instead of allowing him to ramble on in an attempt to change his legacy. Cheney had more than 8 years of opportunity to speak to the American people with respect but no he chose arrogance over that. Enough said Dick Cheney.

    June 1, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. truthsayer

    Can we somehow get this face out of our lives

    June 1, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Pam Foland

    Who cares what Dick Cheney thinks any more? Seriously!! Look at the mess he and his band of merry men left behind. Does this look like evidence that he knows what he is talking about, or can tell the truth.
    CNN, you are looking more and more like Fox every day. I am growing very disappointed in the "Survivor" -reality-TV type of reporting that you do. It is annoying and it NOT news.

    June 1, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Too True For You

    So what was all that crap about we are invading because "he has direct ties to Al Qaeda"? A knowing lie?

    They invaded to prevent Saddam from creating a "safe harbor" for terrorist? Really? Well, gee, sir, then it sure would have helped IF YOU HAD HAD A PLAN!
    Let's see, where in the world can a budding terrorist get a great hands on education on how to blow up Americans? I know! The "Iraq School of Terrorism", founded by the Bush administration when they invaded without a clue or a long term plan. Thanks, pal, thanks a lot for eradicating a "safe haven for terrorists" and creating their most effective training ground. That's just the kind of bull-headed uninformed cowboy crap leadership we don't ever want to have to endure again.

    June 1, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Tom McCarey

    So Saddam wasn't involved? Isn't this the first admission? Doesn't this put the lie to anything this man says? Why doesn't CNN do its job and point out the ongoing and consistent inconsistencies this man utters? Do your job as journalists CNN.

    June 1, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. alvino

    After using illegal methods to establish a link between al-Qaida and Iraq, Dick finally admits there was no link. Over 4000 American troops killed, along with tens of thousands of civilians, for no apparent reason. What a horrendous legacy Bush and Cheney have left us.

    June 1, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Marie

    Let;s give Scott Roeder the address of Dick Cheney!!!!

    June 1, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Jeremy Sun

    Maybe 'cuz YOU did it?

    June 1, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Takeshi

    boy this guy is self exploding!!! He just admited THERe was NO reason to go to WAR.. OMG!!!! FReakin people WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    June 1, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. David

    Cheney is so very wrong and out of touch with the realities of torture. Redefining something that has long been classified as torture does not change what it is and that is torture.

    Also, Guantanamo is not on American soil. That land belongs to Cuba and is only leased by the US for its use as a military base.

    If it is not safe and unacceptable to house those detainees true American soil there is something wrong with that picture.

    Perhaps, Cheney can open up his land to house these guys if he thinks his administration is so right and perfect in everything they have done over the past eight years.

    June 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Big deal. This is exactly what Cheney has been saying all along. What's the story?

    June 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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