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. Anna, Missouri

    Can't wait for the Daily Show to pull up all of the tapes of him saying just the opposite during the campaign to sell the American people on this stupid war. Has anyone informed him that we are now in the twenty-first century, and everything he has ever said in public is still available with just a click of a mouse?

    June 1, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. arimel

    Dick Cheney, go hunting with yourself !!!

    June 1, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Gary

    If the memos proved Cheney was wrong then the Obama administration would have released them. If Cheney is right and important information was obtained from the waterboarding that saved American lives then that is the debate we should have. Would we use aggressive techniques to save American lives? That is what Isreal does, Russian does and frankly what the Clinton administration did under the Rendition program (except the "torture" was sublet out to other countries).

    It is an important debate and discussion that we need to have. I'm not sure that there is one right answer. Bush kept us safe and I'd tend to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    June 1, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Frank Ardanowski

    I'm shocked, really. The ignorance of the above writers is beyond my estimate of the pubic's stupidity. What's next, public lynchings

    June 1, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. S, Miami, FL

    ray ray June 1st, 2009 3:25 pm ET

    @ Samual B mindlessly says,

    "Cheney's been saying for years that Iraq was responsible for 9/11 and is on record numerous times as having said that."

    —————————–

    Show us ONE time Cheney said, "Saddam was responsible for 9/11."

    Give us the Source and Date of the article.

    FACT IS – you can't. Never did the Bush administration suggest Saddam was responsible for 9/11 – but you're too much of a brain-dead liberal to do your own thinking.
    ------------------------------–
    On Meet the Press with Tim Russert in 2002, he said an official from Saddam's regime met with Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers in Prague. Of course that was never confirmed nor proven, but he did state it as fact on national television. Also he stated this as fact after the CIA and State Department analysts could not confirm nor find evidence for this to be true, but hey, that's how Dick works – no facts needed.

    June 1, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Cynthia

    Put this war criminal on the stand and let's hear his dirty, lying story on how he has kept us safe the last 8 years. This attack happened on his watch and he has the nerve to think that we should be thankful to him and bush. What a joke he is now his story is different about why we went into Iraq. This man is sick and these new shows need to keep him and his stupid daughter off the air.

    June 1, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Gary

    Regarding waterboarding...If the memos proved Cheney was wrong then the Obama administration would have released them. If Cheney is right and important information was obtained from the waterboarding that saved American lives then that is the debate we should have. Would we use aggressive techniques to save American lives? That is what Isreal does, Russian does and frankly what the Clinton administration did under the Rendition program (except the "torture" was sublet out to other countries).

    It is an important debate and discussion that we need to have. I'm not sure that there is one right answer. Bush kept us safe and I'd tend to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    June 1, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. smartest FL voter

    I was a life long republican up until the 2000 election. It didnt take a genius to figure out the bush administration was full of s3!t even back then.

    Since that fateful day that they took power and established themselves as one of the worst and most catastrophic administrations the US has ever had, they have polarized America and pitted us against each other...and that was their goal all along.

    Divide and conquer, although its odd that a leadership should want to do that to its own country. Just how deep does the rabbit hole go when it comes to the evil and corrupt motives of the bush administration and its leader dick cheney.

    Even still, when his reign of death and destruction seemed to finally be over, he comes back from the dead and continues to slink poison into the minds of his simple and weak minded followers the republican party.

    June 1, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. fishy fish

    This guy just keeps laughing at Americans every day. Incroyable!

    June 1, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The current defense Secretary, which I may remind you Mr. Cheney was appointed by your boss even says that the facility needs to be closed. The facility may be good, but it's a taint on America's image. Those were Sec. Gates words.

    June 1, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Gary

    If the memos proved Cheney was wrong then the Obama administration would have released them. If Cheney is right and important information was obtained from the waterboarding that saved American lives then that is the debate we should have. Would we use aggressive techniques to save American lives? That is what Isreal does, Russian does and frankly what the Clinton administration did under the Rendition program (except the "torture" was sublet out to other countries).

    It is an important debate and discussion that we need to have. I'm not sure that there is one right answer. Bush kept us safe and I'd tend to give him the benefit of the doubt. Lets debate the issue rather than attack each other!

    June 1, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Diana NJ

    I can not remember the exact quote for am sure I heard from those lips... Cheney trying to justify the attack of Iraq saying because of 9/11

    June 1, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Lue Blacknell

    I can not believe that CNN or any other news network would give Cheney all this media attention-he is nothing but a low-down, lying, seething snake! Cheney does not deserve the light of day-and I am also sick of his lying, arrogant daughter. They both need to go back to that "rock" that they slithered from under.

    June 1, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. nom deplume, esq.

    Arithmetic,

    I still think you are a leftist bent on trashing american values, but I must sadly part with the former administration completely. I thought the Iraq war a fool's venture, but still believed that they were part of a larger conspiracy against the US, so the gamble was potentially worthwhile. I hammered the left on their demagoguery when it wasn't clear that there was outright falsehood but it is clear to me now that Cheney lied. And for that, I feel betrayed.

    I still think Obama and you are wrong for the country, and I am ready to fight you tooth and nail for every inch of american soil. But I can no longer defend anything about our misadventure in Iraq.

    June 1, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Too easy.....

    June 1, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Grog in Ohio

    So, if Cheney is now saying that Saddam was NOT in cahoots with al Qaeda (exactly the opposite of what he's been saying for 6 years now) then WHY did we have go to war in Iraq???

    Can he not hear himself?

    June 1, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. Jim, Missouri

    I am sure that he has not "seen" any such evidence, since there was none, but that is not what they were feeding us on the runup to the war. He just admitted that everything they were telling us was a lie.

    June 1, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Ken in NC

    @ Obama Victim
    Russian News PRAVDA – is the ONLY media outlet to accurately report the USA fast becoming USSA! What are the US media outlets doing? Looking for another puff-peice on Michelle Obama and her $24,000 date-night with Barry.
    ___________________________________________________
    You are one jealous sick puppie. You got to much free time on your hands. Get a job and get a life.

    June 1, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. haren

    nothing but FLIP FLOP

    June 1, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. S, Miami, FL

    Allison June 1st, 2009 3:21 pm ET

    We're lucky that Cheney and Bush didn't start World War III. Two twits on a stick.
    -------------------------------
    Don't be so relieved yet. At the start of the Iraqi invastion in 2003, North Korea kicked out UN inspectors and withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They were taking advantage of the fact the U.S. was so focused on Iraq and becoming bogged down in a war. This was a response to Bush cutting off fuel shipments as was the agreement between U.S. and N. Korea (we supply fuel, they disarm their nuclear weapons program). Now look at them today – test firing long range nuclear weapons. Thanks Bush and Cheney.

    June 1, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Luke

    God Bless Dick Cheney. You cannot rewrite history which is what is being tried daily. Obama could nuke Iraan and it would be lovefest here from all the Cheney haters at CNN. Hypocrisy has no end. Keeps talking Cheney – your the only one that makes sense..

    June 1, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. ray ray

    @ Steph,

    I read the article... and NOT ONCE was Dick Cheney cited as saying "Saddam is responsible for 9/11".

    Cheney said "Al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam's regime".

    That is NOT the same thing as "Saddam was directly involved with 9/11".

    Why can't you liberals discern the difference between "DIRECTLY INVOLVED" and a sympathetic regime?

    June 1, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. carlo

    Uh, didn't we kind of know this already? Is Cheney cracking up?

    June 1, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Frank Ardanowski

    Stupid is as stupid does folks.

    And I am not talking about the VP

    June 1, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Molly

    Oh...wait a minute! So now we are changing stories? This than confirms the Bush Administration was lying to the public and congress in their justification for war with Iraq. Where are all the conservative nut jobs that were out there calling us moderates "un-american" and cowards for daring to question the authority of our President? This is huge and if any President, regardless of political affliation, leads our country into an unjust war they should be tried in a court of law and imprisioned.

    June 1, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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