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. Brad Tinkham

    Why does the press continue to give credence to this senile old man. He hasn't had a new thought or idea in over ten years.

    June 1, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Proud Member..Party of No

    As much as you dumbocrats like to re-write history the fact is that Cheney never said that Barack Hussein....ooops, I mean Saddam Hussein(I always get those two mixed up) had nothing to do with the terrorist attack on 9/11. What they said was that the U.S. would go after the terrorists and any regime that harbors terrorists.....that's what Saddam was involved in.

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

    And yes, he's making a lawyerly distinction here regarding the actual attack. But this argument and his language was carefully used for years to direct people to that conclusion, or so close to it that it was easy for them to take that small step to it. He is a smart a shrewd man.

    I think he is bringing this up now becasue of the recent reports coming out that the "enhanced" techniques were applied with the specific aim of getting the detainees to declare a link between them and Saddam. If he can convince people that the link was never an issue, then the hope is these new allegations will be seen as baseless.

    June 1, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Dee, NJ

    Cheney you was "King of The GOP", and Jr was the pup-it on the "WH Pup-It Show". 3 yr and you was my VP, NOW tell the what you did or JAIL!

    June 1, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Bill

    These posts are pathetic. Like little leaguers calling the umpire names because a call didn't go their way, then all of their friends at school join in to bad-mouth the ump because all of the 'cool kids' are saying it. When in reality, the ump called it like he saw it without malicious intent.

    Such tolerance from the tolerant ones, loads of threats from the peacelovers. Get real.

    June 1, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. J.Crobuzon

    nom, at least you admit what they were up to. Now take a good look at a lot of the other stuff they told you, including "boo hoo Obama's a socialist who wants to shut down car companies."
    Obama's a Chicago lawyer, for fork sake; how many socialist lawyers have you ever heard of? He's a rich guy who doesn't have a lot of business experience, but you just don't go down the road to law school if you are a way-left pinko. You go into sociology, or public administration, or a hundred other things.
    FOX leads you guys around by the ring in your noses, while in unison and on command you moo out the word 'sheeple.' Perhaps you should, um, ruminate about who's really a herd animal; donkeys, or elephants?

    June 1, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Mike in NC

    Jon in CA – YOU are the IDIOT lemming – defending the two biggest war criminals in history. Too bad you are a spinless coward else you might have been a casualty in Iraq.

    June 1, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. MY OPINION

    How sad this man is. He changes his story constantly. First lie told, Irag bombed because of WMD. These WMD were never found. Then Bush and COMPANY decided to torture the detainees trying to make them say they had something to do with 911. He claims b/c of the torture they were able to get additional information that helped Bush and Company stop other incidents in America. This CAN NOT be proved because ONE CAN NOT PROVE A NEGATIVE. This man is so full of hatred for mankind he comes across as being mentally ill. This man is obsessed, with demons. GOD HELP HIM. Fifteen of the of the people who were involved in 911 were from Saudi Arabia.

    June 1, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. CitizenAJ

    Wow, this guy just cannot stop talking can he. He admits there was no link to Iraq, Saddam Hussein and the September 11, 2001, attacks but defends invading Iraq and ignoring Al Queda in Afghanistan. Did Dicky Boy ever support investigating why 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudia Arabia or had passports from Saudia Arabia? Bin Laden is from Saudia Arabia, theres a link Dick! He is such a patriot and has SO MUCH to say now, does he have anything to say about that?

    June 1, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Obama Victim

    In his CNBC interview, Cheney went a bit further. Asked if Iraq was involved in 9/11, he said, "We don't know."

    "What the commission says is they can't find evidence of that," he said. "We had one report, which is a famous report on the Czech intelligence service, and we've never been able to confirm or to knock it down."

    The uncorroborated Czech report, which has been widely disputed, alleged that 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague before the attacks.

    Asked if he knows information that the 9/11 commission does not know, Cheney replied, "Probably."

    You know, my party uses this tactic all the time. Sounds familiar doesn't it? Sounds just like all my fellow party members who speculate that America is less safe now that Obama has taken over doesn't it?

    You know what they say about assumption.

    June 1, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. junkbuster

    Cheney had many years to make the contents of these classified documents public. Now he knows that he and his former administration could potentially be charged with war crimes. So he has to go out and defend the torture policy with a utilitarian argument.

    Frankly, Bush and Cheney and their administration have asked so many others to sacrifice so much that I think they should just stand up and be men and take the consequences for breaking US and International law. If what they did was really for the "greater good" of the US but it was illegal they should be happy to serve out the rest of their lives in prison. Tens of thousands of others have had worse happen to them because of Bush and Cheney's policies.

    June 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. dominican mama 4 Obama

    @CNN:

    Why can people call President Obama a "mooly" but you won't print that Cheney is a lying sack of $#it?!

    June 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Mr. Magoo

    "The Office of Special Plans was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true—that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons (WMD) that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States. "

    June 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. JV

    Obama victim, you have to be joking.

    The decisions Dick Cheney made, and the lies he told, caused the lives of thousands of young men and women, kids 18, 19, 20 years old with their whole lives ahead of the them. These young people never got a chance to live their dreams, like you and me. Their families will forever live with the pain of having lost them to a senseless war. The kids of those soldiers who lost their lives will never get to share a moment with their mothers and fathers, just like you and your kids. Yet, you're concern is that Obama fired a CEO of a car company. WOW! (that, my friend truly deserves a wow!)

    Go back and read all the lies Cheney and the others were telling us before the Iraq war. It hasn't been that long

    You're pathetic and a joke!

    June 1, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. gl, Pittsburgh

    Wow, he finally admits there is no link between the now deceased President of Iraq and the 9-11 attacks? Yea, he can say that now with ease becasue he think he is not going to be charged.

    June 1, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Dick the Cheney

    The Bush administration pursued a well thought out strategy of associating the two at virtually every opportunity. There was a reason why 70 percent of the American people believed that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, and that is because the administration time after time put the two of them together in the same framework. Long after the CIA and the FBI had knocked down the story of Mohamed Atta meeting with an Iraqi agent in Prague, the vice president was peddling the story over and over again. And that's just one of many different instances of this kind of association. When the vice president says that he never said that they were connected or never involved in 9/11, he is technically correct but in a way that not even a trial lawyer would find serious.

    Ray Ray- I am betting you are one of the 70%

    June 1, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Steph

    want another ray ray...

    "We did have reporting that was public, that came out shortly after the 9/11 attack, provided by the Czech government, suggesting there had been a meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker, and a man named al-Ani (Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani), who was an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague, at the embassy there, in April of '01, prior to the 9/11 attacks. It has never been - we've never been able to collect any more information on that. That was the one that possibly tied the two together to 9/11." – Transcript of Interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, Rocky Mountain News (1/9/2004)

    June 1, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Matt

    Cheney flip flops faster then Michael Jackson.

    June 1, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Sandy in Racine

    What a NUT BALL! That is EXACTLY what he said and made everyone say in HIS adminstration to justify invading Iraq.

    June 1, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    We already know you and bush LIED to us so that your company Haliburton could make billions. And there are actually morons (albeit very few who still call themselves republican. They, like you, have NO conscience.

    June 1, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Jon

    Hey, "Obama Victim": I guess you must have been in a coma or something. The Great Recession that we are in results primarily from deregulation addicted Republicans and right-wingers like yourself. For your information the nationalizing of AIG, banks, and the auto companies was started under Bush. Nationalizing banks is what you must do when deregulation causes, for instance, the S&L crisis that happened under Bush I. It is the breathtaking stupidity of people like yourself that has caused many of our problems. You promote the right-wing politicians that have single-handedly grown the national debt from $1 trillion to $11 trillion. You might want to pay attention and let people with some intelligence and common sense lead the way

    June 1, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Henry

    I wish this man would SHUT HIS MOUTH already.

    I would like to waterboard the creep as well.

    June 1, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. kizito

    Liar!! Criminal!! I agree with Pr.Carter there should be a full investigation of this guy and he should be trialed at The Hague for war crime

    June 1, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. John

    He is a big liar and CNN should not allowed him as well as his stupide comment on CNN. put all 3 editos on trail, they all are liars andsend them to gauntanomo.

    June 1, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Had It

    I love the way he said "I'd do it exactly the same again" -–

    Hmmm he would? I thought the leader, the president, got to make the decision - did you all vote for Cheney in November 1999?

    Hmmmmmmmm

    June 1, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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