June 1st, 2009
02:39 PM ET
5 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. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    Blah blah terrorist threat – Blah blah traitorous unpatriotic blah blah we got it right, the Obama administration blah blah

    Cheney is an old dog that doesn't want to consider any new tricks, and the truth is just OFF THE TABLE.

    June 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Erik in Iowa City

    There's no reason to believe Cheney, even when he's telling the truth. Get your information from a credible source, like other humans.

    June 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Ray

    What's the deal? The link was supposed to be about Carter going off on Obama not this. Come on CNN let's see what the story is, if there really is a story given the media's propensity to fabricate something out of nothing.

    June 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Hope

    Taliban mind set if you don't agree with then keep them hostage or kill them. Interesting. you have said it all who you are Mr Cheney the today's christian

    June 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Indiana Ed

    I could go for eight more years of silence from this guy...

    June 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. alvino

    The only reason to invade Iraq was Saddam was a bad man. There are a hell of a lot of bad men out there, and Cheney is one of them.

    June 1, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Mansa

    I must be losing my mind...either that or Cheney is losing his...my apology, he already lost it....No Link between Saddam and 9/11...that is PREPOSTEROUS...was that not the primary driver for invading Iraq..that they supported terrorists and had weapons of mass destruction and would put those WMDs in the hands of the terrorists and said terrorists would use them against us, and so on and so on, and so on....i'm starting to wonder what these guys were smoking when they were in the white house

    June 1, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Moderate Democrat

    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.

    Man who speak with foked tongue, often swallow own woods! (and shoot peepo)

    June 1, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Sarah

    Gee, Saddam had no connection to 9/11 AND had no WMD... good thing we invaded Iraq. The whole Bush administration should be tried in The Hague at the war criminal tribunal.

    June 1, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Deb

    Just go away. For 8 years we had no clue who the heck you were no we can not get you off of the airwaves. Go AWAY!

    June 1, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Terry, Butte, MT

    The arguement was never made that Saddam was linked to 9/11. The argument was that Saddam was linked to Al Quaeda. Remember Bush saying that high ranking Saddam officials met with high rank Al Quaeda members, and that Al Quaeda had a base in Iraq? When America did not buy that, and it was debunked to the point that war would not be supported, only then did the argument that Saddam had WMDs was made and we went to war.

    Why is there no more investigative reporting anymore? It is all he said, she said at this moment, history plays no role in our journalism anymore.

    June 1, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. GK

    Cheney needs to crawl back into his bunker and disappear. What happened is over and done with. Can't change history no matter how much you talk about it. Move forward, Dick. Quit living in the past.

    June 1, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Film Professor

    So many of us just wish that Cheney would shut up, now and forever. The man clearly does not get that the nation profoundly rejected his policies in the last election.

    The very idea of starting a "pre-emptive" war has to be one of the most dangerous and misguided foreign policy blunders in American history. You do not start unprovoked wars without creating mind-boggling international repercussions. The terrorists who attacked us were in Afghanistan and Pakistan, not Iraq, and that is where we should have been pursuing them all along.

    The damage that Cheney and Bush and all of the neocons have done to our country will take a long time to overcome; the very least those two could do is go play golf and stay off television please !!!!

    June 1, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Pam

    Mr. Cheney..Please! Please! Just shut up. Why now do you have so much to say that is so negative when in past years you kept yourself hidden away doing God know what! You are no longer revelant in making the decisions of my country. Please just go away!!!!!

    June 1, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Marco

    "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.

    BUT....

    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. "

    WHAT?!?!

    How does this make ANY sense?

    WHEN did Saddam provide "safe harbor to terrorists"?, He considered those that wanted HIS downfall to be terrorists, many of which DID have connections to Islamic Extremists,...so WHY on earth would he harbor any of these individuals?

    June 1, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    Amusing isn't it, that ....... now........ trillions of dollars later...... thousands of lives later....... there was "no connection between 9/11 & Saddam!"

    WHY didn't DICK tell the truth 8 years ago?

    June 1, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. Once You Vote Black

    ...call for President Barack Obama to declassify... Whats the difference. If it was illegal and worked it is still a crime. If it was not illegal then he has not problem. Frankly I would like it better if he said we broke the law to solve a problem. Then at least you can say the man is aware that there is a problem. Americans would stand with him then.

    June 1, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. Chris from Illinois

    Cheney must be really desperate! It can only be desperation that has caused him 8 years later to admit that there's never been a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda!

    June 1, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. LB in FL

    What? I think Dick has finally lost his sick mind. Can we please play the clip of him on the Sunday talk shows leading up to the misguided invasion of Iraq? I am sure I remember him linking 9/11 to Iraq.

    Thank you.

    June 1, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Obama 2.0

    Cheney's opinion is way less than that of the 911 comision.

    June 1, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. Jeff E.

    Exactly how does he get off saying his policies worked, when we were attacked under his administration?

    June 1, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Nick 27, So Cal

    He still defends going to war because he cashed in with all of the Halliburton contracts. No vice president should profit from sending our children to war!!

    "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."

    Please!! How many other countries could we have potentially invaded for being a "safe harbor" to terrorist??!! The GOP just labeled the bad guys with the term "Evil Doers" and justified it all in the name of AMERICA, APPLE PIE & GOD. There are many other countries with dictators that have committed many worse acts.. CHINA. Oh but there not too evil because they let us borrow money... Hello!!!

    June 1, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Philip

    Joan of Arc – Joan of Arc, Dick Cheney, Mark Twain
    Awesome album. Look it up.

    Dick Cheney: Bastard of the Century – starring Queen Latifa as Dick Cheney.

    June 1, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Debra Austin, Texas

    Talk about thinking in 'black and white'; the 'only other option is to kill them'. Really Cheney? That's all your years of government work under 'thousands' of previous leaders has gotten you? You are a fool and a pawn of the corporate world that you've gotten rich off of. Most of these adventures lead straight to your holdings in Haliburton and you have no shame and you keep promoting them. The media need to pull this clown from the stage. And they need to pull his daughter down too, who is prepping for a political career based on no experience at all, but to keep the family money train rolling.

    June 1, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. LiberalTexas

    OK, Tell me again WHY we went into Iraq? First, there where no WMDs and now Cheney acknowledges that the Bush administration KNEW there was no link between Sadam and the events of 9/11. So the past administration involved us in a war that has destroyed the economy, destroyed the world's view of us a the most moral of nation's, and valiant American service men and women continue to be killed and maimed every day. Why is not one charging Bush and Cheney with treason?

    June 1, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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