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. carlo

    If there's no link, what the he!! did we start a war with Iraq for, Mr. Dick?

    June 1, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. arithmetic is liberal

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

    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.

    You have the attention span of a goldfish.

    Turn on Fox News between December of 2001 and March of 2003 and you'll have all you need. Cheney said it, Rumsfeld said it, and they got all their proxies to say it and you to believe it.

    I would also swear on a stack of Bibles that you said at some point after 9/11 and before the 2006 election that Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11 like all the good little Nazis in this country did.

    June 1, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Robin in Tampa, FL

    So what was the *Real* reason for invading Iraq?

    June 1, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. matt

    You liberals crack me up. The only better way to get your blood to boil is a picture of Cheney and Rush being interviewed together by Newt Gingrich.

    First, Neither Bush nor Cheney ever said that Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. I challenge any of you liberals (Sniffit...c'mon now) to go find a quote where they said Saddam was involved. TROY in NJ and ANGIE in PA – you are wrong. While we may have gone to war over questionable WMDs, we did not go to war over in Iraq over Saddam and 9/11.

    Second, we were not involved in the execution of Saddam Hussein. BEACHGIRL – you are wrong. Saddam was executed by his own countrymen after standing trial in Iraq for atrocities against Iraqi's. Get your facts straight.

    You people make this way too easy.

    June 1, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. The Oracle

    Cheney is a criminal who is trying to hide behind the US Constitution now...wait asec...he already used it to toilet paper a long time ago.

    June 1, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. arithmetic is liberal

    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.

    Show us the article or shut up. This meme has been circulating for days and I have YET to see the article, but plenty of right wing bluster mentioning it. Is this like those fake Republican contributor Chrysler dealerships that got shuttered?

    June 1, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. joe sarr

    shoulden't he been in jail? why he is been allow to give interview to this major network and start yupping about how far him and a vice president bush ruine this great nation, dick ,your hand are stain with more then 5000 ,young american blood, shame on you.

    June 1, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. ray ray

    @ S Miami, FL says,

    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.


    If you want to fault the "source" – it wasn't Dick Cheney. It was the Czech Interior Minister Stanislav Gross. May 22, 2002:

    Shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Czech Interior Minister Stanislav Gross shocked the world by saying: "We can confirm now that during his trip to the Czech Republic" in April 2001 (his second such trip there), Sept. 11 terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta "did have a contact with an officer of the Iraqi intelligence, Mr. Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani."

    June 1, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Alan in Marietta

    What day is it? Must be Cheney Monday on CNN and the rest of the cable. OK, let me get this straight. Cheney claimed in his speech two weeks ago that there was a connection between Iraq and 9-11. Today, he's saying there wasn't.

    June 1, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. confused

    Ray Ray – because that is not what Cheney said during his run up to war. You may have forgotten but I remember him clearing stating this as a fact when even the President was saying otherwise.

    June 1, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. kgeukes

    He's a bold faced liar and he's not worth listening to. Go away Mr. Cheney!!! And tell your daughter to shut up too!!!

    June 1, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. dave

    Come on Dick haven't you been proof wrong.

    June 1, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. John

    Jon in Cal
    "You liberals are IDIOTS!!

    Seriously – you've been SO brainwashed by Michael Moore and the ranting loons on the left … you ACTUALLY believe Bush/Cheney thought Saddam was directly tied to 9/11. "

    Well brainiac, maybe it was Cheney himself saying so. When he said ""pretty well confirmed" that Mohamed Atta, the man held responsible for masterminding the Sept. 11 hijackings, had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in April 2000, an allegation congressional investigators later dismissed. "

    So was Cheney "brainwashed" by Moore too? Or are you just a total and complete Kool ade drinking fool trying to re write the history you didn't bother to get right when it happened. Why is it that the dumber the right winguts supporter is, the less informed they are and the ones repeating easily exposed or already exposed lies, the more likely they think they are smarter than everyone else? You should not be calling anyone else an idiot.

    June 1, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Steve M Killeen, TX

    I would not believe Dick Cheney if he told me the sky was blue.

    June 1, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Ken

    Ray ray, if you don't live there already, you need to consider moving to Mississippi or Oklahoma. You need to bury yourself as deeply as possible in Dumbf–kistan. You rightwing neo-tards wish to drag the rest of us back into the Dark Ages, and you almost succeeded with 8 years of your abject Bush/Cheney/[R] failure. You sore-loser drama queens of the rightwing underbelly of this nation better move on, or get stepped on like the bugs you are.

    June 1, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Cerena in PSL

    After this confession now I really hope Prs. Obama changes his mind and prosecute all of them!

    June 1, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. ray ray

    @ Arithmetic is Liberal says,

    "Turn on Fox News between December of 2001 and March of 2003 and you'll have all you need. Cheney said it, Rumsfeld said it, and they got all their proxies to say it and you to believe it."


    Again – you can't give ONE instance where Cheney or anyone in the Bush administration said SADDAM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 9/11!

    You have only innuendo and faulty memory.

    June 1, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. phoenix86

    Ken in NC,

    Please stop with the standard Obama defense (no reasoning, just emotional schrill).

    Be objective in your views of the world and you'll begin to agree with those you denounce in your ignorance (then again, you may only be 12).

    June 1, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. mfelder

    I don't understand why Cheney won't just leak the information. It's clear to me that the Cheney's are referring to a document that they prepared themselves and placed it in the archive to support their claim. When others review the document, they do not find the information that Cheney and his daughter claim is stored at the archive. I can imagine that they are beside themselves, because the actual document that Cheney took with him when he left was replaced with the original document and not the DOCTORED one that they prepared. In any case, there is no way to show that other interrogation techniques were not as effective.

    June 1, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    Isn't there a young, sharp, honest Republican out there somewhere ?


    Aaron Schock has GREAT abs (g).

    June 1, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. nubia-ny

    omg...America WAKEUP HE SAID " SADAMM had no LINK with 911Terriorst. WOW!!!!! Powerful stuff!
    what about the soldiers who went there thinking these lies, having them come home, without limbs, and those that we will never see again. Mr. Chenney is an evil human being that does not derseve to be heard anymore, and Please take your little sidekick daughter with you. Both Not worth listening to anymore! America WAKEUP!

    June 1, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. confused

    Obama Victim – it amazes me how now we are listening to Russia, yet when it doesn't fit your agenda they are not worthy of your trust. Typical Republican.

    June 1, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. RepugliKLAN conscience

    Cheney hedges on the link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, as if the evidence was not clear! Cheney allows for the possibility that there could have been a link, just that he hasn't seen evidence of it. Just like Saddam could have had WMD's.....
    Why didn't Cheney tell America there was no link prior to asking America to support his war against Iraq? Cheney lied about being greeted as liberators, about WMD's, about using Iraq oil revenue for reconstruction. Prior to the US invasion, Iraq had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda.

    June 1, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. phoenix86

    I like Cheney. Unfortunately, he invokes so much emotion from the left that only Obama benefits. As long as the lemmings rail against Cheney, they won't realize the true danger that now resides in the White House.

    The last time we had a president as incompetent as Obama was....well, there has never been on as incompetent as Barry O.

    June 1, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Retired US ARMY

    Lets dig up Cheney's remarks prior to and after the invasion of Iraq, all of them, where Iraq was not involved with terroists to where Iraq was involved with terrorist and compare what he said then, and his new tune today. Who is resposinble for the lives lost in Iraq, lives that did not need to be lost in a war that was a war of choice not a war of necessesity.

    For critics, if you want to fight wars that are not needed, you enlist and we can give you a front row seat. Wars are not games to be entered into lightly, nor are they wars of convience. Wars have a terrible cost all the way around and are a result of some diplomates failure, or in the case of Iraq, some arrogant draft dodger.

    June 1, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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