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. JIC the first one is not posted

    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, your concern is that Obama fired a CEO of a car company. WOW! (that, my friend truly deserves a wow!)

    You're pathetic and a joke!

    June 1, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Maggie from Virginia

    history repeats...

    I applaud you for trying to invoke the truth. Unfortunately, it's a waste on people like mississippi mike. Most of these people have no clue, and is only interested in politics now because the president is a person of color. It would probably blow their mind if they knew that in the past our government supported and trained some of the exact same people we now call terrorists.

    June 1, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Candy West Virginia

    Proud Member..Party of No – you can try and spin his lie any way your twisted mind wants, you and America and the world all know he and bush LIED. Now stop your lying, have you no dignity? Guess not, your a republican.

    June 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. publius

    Cheney makes the argument that he still supports going to war in Iraq. because they harbored terrorist and were in opposition to America. I cannot buy this argument because then we should be attacking so many other countries (I agree that we should attack the people who attacked us- Afghanistan). At some point you cannot attack everyone (example: the Roman empire) and must learn to get long with others under the rule or humanity. I agree that Cheney believes he is the leader of the opposition government ala Churchill, but unlike Churchill, Cheney does not respect democracy and would not mind seeing all democrats dead. The truth is we have a two party system that is not perfect and he must deal with the fact there are other opinions. I believe criticism is important but he has yet to enter the forum of reason and needs to leave. I am glad the democrats are dominating because then hopefully the conservatives will have a revolution and return to the core values that will help make a better society.

    June 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Laverne

    This is a HUGE contradiction from what was said back in 2002 when the Bush administration was trying to justify going to war with Irag. The worst part about this is the American people who somehow seem to have forgotten about this and actually believe the lying, twisted words that come out of this man's mouth. Dick Cheney should be locked up along with the terrorist since he is so into waterboarding, maybe he can get this turn next!

    June 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. David in Houston

    War criminal...

    June 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Zion

    This is what happens when you treat a goon civilized. Former (thank God) VP Cheney, you and your people said that there was a connection. You should have been arrested the moment you made this statement. I'm sorry, but Pres. Bush had a shot at greatness, he had a 90% approval rating after 9/11, and it carried for quite some time because people wanted him to succeed. Crap like this just confirms why he and the administration lost support.

    June 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Gilasevi

    Astonishing.

    June 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. dominican mama 4 Obama

    That's right dickie:

    Ka-ching, ka-ching goes your bank account with the death of the tens of thousands you used for your own greedy purposes. And now you sit there with that evil grin of yours and you equivocate as you see fit.

    So many names I could call you (but CNN won't print), so little time.

    June 1, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. antillian

    To nom deplume esq..........you are the reason they have what americans call a domestic terrorist, and instead of apologizing your own naivity for attacking people for there opinions you sheeple feel betrayed....boo hoo. and repubs still wondering why the dems are soooo hatefull against the right. use your I.Q. Till now i haven't heard one apology from repubs for anything they have done in American history....but if a dem ever did something wrong, they need to apologize for everything and resign and crawl in a deep dark hole.

    June 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Justice

    Anyone wonder why Cheney is frequently appearing in the spotlight? He can't get over the fact that his term is over! This guy gets a rush off of power. What a lot of Americans miss is that Cheney was the chief idea generator and decision maker in the white house. He endorsed presidential powers and took those decisions. Bush was merely a weak man without the intelligence.

    Cheney needs to defend his policies cause he knows they were a failure. So he hides for 8 years and now comes out. I agree. Go back to hiding like bush did. You are a shame and a political failure. I also do agree that his administration need to be put on trial. People in powerful positions must be held accountable for their decisions.

    People its not about republican or democrat. Its about have morally just people in seats of power. People that approve torture or think that starting up wars is a solution are not morally just.

    June 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. ralph

    Cheney is a complete horror show. He and his cronies are responsible for the senseless killing of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of INNOCENT Iraqis. Think of the thousands of kids without schools, medical facilities, and even MOTHERS and FATHERS. Think of the babies without hospitals and medicines. Lastly, think of the thousands of displaced citizens.

    Cheney and Bush should never have a restless night for the rest of their lives because of their reckless behaviors. We now know that this was a war of choice, and not necessity. I am sorry to say but I wish the two of them rot in hell!

    June 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Enlightened Voter

    Proud Member..Party of No – you, sadly are insane and OBVIOUSLY a republican. So by your logic since the USA harbors terrorists too then other countries should bomb us? God your sick. I feel sorry for you.

    June 1, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh ho! So after 4,000+ American soldiers are killed and 10,000s of American soldiers are maimed, and 100,000s of Iraqis are murdered Cheney is NOW backtracking to save his own butt.

    The IMPLICATION has always been from Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeldt et al that Saddam was linked to Al Queda and therefore responsible for 9/11. ALWAYS.

    Otherwise, why have I had one nephew who recently returned from Iraq and one now fighting in Iraq ? For WMDs? Don't think that logic will fly anymore, Dick. It was 9/11 coupled with WMDs that got this country so worked up by Cheney prior to the invasion of Iraq. Or, as is apparent as each year progresses, we invaded Iraq for no particular reason.

    If I were Bush, I would be very cautious now that Cheney has been unleashed.

    June 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    @Matt "Cheney flip flops faster then Michael Jackson"

    But I think Umbama's flip flop on releasing photos beat them both.

    June 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. LoLo

    See how the Republicans do. First it is one thing and then it is another. We need to jail everyone that was part of this conspiracy. I can not believe that the base of the republican party still believes what these fools are saying.

    June 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Christopher

    "world conflict", "global war on terrorism". Yes there are big problems in the world, but Cheney's (bush) administration created problems for the long term. Future presidents will have to deal with future terrorist created by the Cheney-Bush tactics. Also they pegged the name "Global War On Terrorism". Which means they helped create it. No matter how bad it was before, they labeled it and created deep seated prejudices against the US. The real terms Cheney should use are "Bush-Cheney Conflicts" and "Bush's War On Terrorism". They were not wise, they were arrogant.

    June 1, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. windfall

    I'm still wondering why we invaded Iraq. Was it....

    1. they had WMD's (oops. guess not!)

    2. they were connected with 9/11 (oops, not that one!)

    3. their dictator didn't like Bush's daddy

    I'll go with number 3.

    June 1, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Hope

    This idiot should be behind bar. If you don't have any where to keep him then kill him as he said. Thousands have died because of his lies just like Taliban leaders

    June 1, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Brian0901

    Proud Member..Party of No June 1st, 2009 3:56 pm ET

    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.
    ___________________________________________________

    In 2001 on Meet The Press Dick Cheney stated there was a link to Saddam and the 9/11 attack. I know because I was watching when he said it.
    You can continue with the name calling like a 5 year old child but it does not change the fact that Cheney is and was a liar and he relies on sheep like you to believe him.

    June 1, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Ted

    Of course there was no link – THEY NEVER SAID THERE WAS! Once again, Cheney laying it out there in plain speak. Too bad he didn't do more of it when he was in office.

    June 1, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Right wing talking point

    Prosecution of this war criminal is the only answer. Send him to The Hague! This man is a liar and a traitor, take him away!

    June 1, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    To the one or two rethuglicans defending cheyney's LIE, my question to you is why did we invade Iraq then???????

    June 1, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Clay

    So let Cheney explain how Building 7 at the WTC fell even though it wasn't hit. Cheny has lied throughout and now, like all pathelogical liars, he's begun to contradict himself. Well, let him do it on the witness stand for al the world to see. He is, without a doubt, the worst criminal this country has ever seen.

    June 1, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Schell in PA

    So when did Cheney change his mind on the Saddam-9/11 connection? Or is he just finally admitting he never believed it in the first place?

    June 1, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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