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. Ender

    Chenny just doesn't seem to understand. This isn't an argument of whether info was gained from torture, I'm sure info was gained, some useful, some not. Most interrogators that I've heard from claim toture is a less effective way of gaining information than the way we've been doing it for decades.

    The question is, is it "ok" to resort to base tactics we have condemed in the past simply because we were sucker punched by an enemy?

    And if its "ok", then what is next? How low must we sink? Should we shrug off those things we hold dear? Should we become our enemy to defeat our enemy?

    I think Dick needs to realize that his time is over and many of us wish his time had never come.

    June 1, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Mike Moderate

    Why doesn't Cheney...mr. five time deferment.....go move to that wonderful facility.

    How much longer do we have to listen to this buffonn, liar, cheat, and above all....a miserable excuse for a human being

    June 1, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Mississippi Mike

    Invading Iraq was the right thing to do. They denied the access to UN weapons inspectors they promised, harbored terrorists, and were killing and torturing their Kurdish citizens.

    June 1, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Joe in CA

    What's with this guy? Isn't his 15 minutes of SHAME over with already Doesn't this blow the Bush / Cheney claim that the war in Iraq was a war on TERROR???? What a bag of wind, can't even keep his own lies straight.

    June 1, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. JT

    Rich. Cheney should be charged with war crimes.

    June 1, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. Clay

    We've seen more evidence that Cheney was involved in the 9/11 attacks that Saddam Hussein. Who rigged the buildings to implode and why did Building 7 at the WTC fall when it wasn't even hit? Cheney is as guilty as they come and the more he talks the more the lies become evident...or evidence.

    June 1, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Ken in NY

    There is a huge volume of video showing Dick Cheney saying just the opposite about the link between Saddam and al Qaeda. For him to say he has NEVER thought there was a link is just one example of how it is hard to beleive the words coming out of his mouth.

    Dick Cheney has said that water boarding allege terrorist 'was the right thing to do' He is basically saying that water boarding is a morrally right and just action and American value. I thought is was suppose truth, justice and the American way.

    June 1, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Minnesotan

    Oh, look! Cheney's lips are moving! That means he must be lying again!

    June 1, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Samuel B.

    Let me get this straight. Cheney's been saying for years that Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and is on record numerous times as having said that. Now he says that Iraq wasn't directly responsible for the attacks but did provide "safe harbor" to the terrorists. The facts contradicted his claims then and they continue to contradict his latest claims. There is no other way to say it: Cheney is a bald faced liar. For anyone who can remember back this far, Cheney is the Joe Isuzu of politicians.

    As for the documents Cheney is calling upon President Obama to declassify, Senator Levin reviewed them and says they do not corroborate Cheney's claims in any way. Cheney needs to go slither back under the rock he slithered out from him and spare us any more of his contemptuous lies.

    June 1, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Grrr-awful-o

    Until we can see the still-unavailable documents we don't have all the facts in front of us. Passing judgement on cherry-picked data is a flawed idea. Get it all out and then we can see 1) how effective the techniques were, 2) how many people were interrogated this way, 3) what happened to those interrogated, 4) what kind of information we obtained, 5) how that information was used and whether it saved lives, and 6) who, in our government, knew or and approved/allowed this to happen. Then we can judge who, if anyone should be held responsible. Anything less is just a kangaroo court, more representative of a banana republic than the United States.

    June 1, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Repugs Suck!

    Wow...just wow. I guess you've made your big bucks through Halliburton at the expense of killing innocent people. That says it ALL.

    June 1, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. J

    Yet you went and invaded his country riding the wave of outrage and anger from 9-11.

    You piece of GARBAGE!!

    June 1, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Jayden,FL

    It took him 8 years to figure this out? and when would he go away?

    June 1, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Democrat in MD (CNN please post. Thank you!)

    "We don't operate that way"????? What way DID we operate?! Unlawful, unethical, immoral, inhumane.....the list is endless!
    Cheney is a WAR CRIMINAL! Plain & Simple.
    Give me a break!

    June 1, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. atlantajohn

    Let me see if I got this straight: we went to war with Iraq because of 9/11 yet Cheney does not believe there was any link between Saddam and that fateful day yet going to war was the right thing to do? Now who can argue with that logic!

    June 1, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Gus The Willie

    Why are we also harboring criminals like King George W. Bush, Tricky Dicky Cheney, and the other Keystone Cops who got our country into a bind Obama is trying to resolve?

    Enough already, why can't they just fade away?

    Or better yet sent them off to Spain on an all expense vacation trip, if Spain would be willing to host them.

    June 1, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Brook E. Mantia

    Meanwhile, North Korea DOES has weapons of mass destruction, makes sure everyone knows it, and off the hook....why exactly? No oil? No big fat contracts for your Halliburton buddies? What an arrogant, self-serving jerk.

    I'll bet the Spanish Inquisition thought their methods were pretty "effective" –and therefore justified - too.

    June 1, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Fitz

    As the world turns, Guiding Light, General Hospital, Cheney on State of the Union. You get teh point.

    June 1, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Lou from CT

    Good heavens – a perfect example of a former politician talking out of both sides of his mouth...

    I've said it before...Mr. Cheney:

    Don't go away mad...just go away...

    June 1, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Nero

    Why is Dick Cheney NOT in GITMO? If it's such a good place, he should be there to taste the bitter sweet.

    June 1, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Lynn

    Why doesn't Cheney just tell people when "thousands and hundreds of thousands" of lives were saved? If these momentous events were stopped there is no way he would need these memoes to jog his memory. He also overlooks that it was America who armed Saddham Hussein and supported them in the Iraq/Iran war.

    When will he apologize and accept responsibility for falsely stating the case for invading Iraq and leaving Afghanistan to the Taliban? Where was his voice when his own administration was building a case that Hussein was harbouring Al Queda?

    No responsibility for the thousands of American and Iraqi lives lost, of creating greater numbers of "terrorists, no action in the Middle East peace talks, no discussion of the fraud and corruption in no bid contracts...just once I would like to see a journalist with a spine interview this man.

    Cheney is one of those people who has no life and just can't retire and leave things to next generation.

    June 1, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Barbara Independent in NY

    Why is anyone listening to a man that would not serve his country during the Vietnam war?

    June 1, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. history repeats

    Mississippi Mike

    they killed the kurdish citizens 20 yrs ago you didnt care then. he killed them with weapons of mass destruction we gave them! they let the UN inspectors in. and we didnt go in based on any of that!! we went in because of 9/11 he had no connection with and nuclear weapons he didnt have! this isnt 4th grade it is war and you cant CHANGE the reason for the war afterwards!! HELLO!?!?

    June 1, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Bob

    so we attacked Hussein because we could. Wow! Let's do Canada!

    June 1, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Nero

    Only a pity the Cheney won't be hang in the Bagdad square like Sadam was hanged by the neck until dead. This guy is nothing but a low life criminal.

    June 1, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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