(CNN) – A CIA spokesman is sharply downplaying Director Leon Panetta 's recent comments that appear to question whether former Vice President Dick Cheney is hoping for another terrorist attack against the United States.
"The Director does not believe the former Vice President wants an attack," CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said in a statement to CNN. "He did not say that. He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama's security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone's motives."
The statement comes days after the New Yorker published an interview with Panetta during which he said Cheney's recent criticism of Obama – including the decision to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – show the ex-vice president "smells some blood in the water on the national security issue."
"It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics," said Panetta. "When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."
Cheney's office released a terse statement from the vice president Monday responding to the comments, saying "I hope my old friend Leon was misquoted."
"The important thing is whether or not the Obama Administration will continue the policies that have kept us safe for the last 8 years," Cheney said.
Vice President Joe Biden also appeared to distance himself from Panetta's comments Sunday, telling NBC "I don't question [Cheney's] motive."
– CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report
Who cares how the statement was interpreted. It's true. Cheney is hoping for an attack just so he can say "I told you so." Period!
To accuse Cheney of 'wishing' for another terrorist attack against the United States seemed a little much.
However, this does not exclude the more fanatical and less educated of the Conservative and Christian Right Fringe who would happily welcome such a tragedy; for the sad fact that their global perspective is rooted in a simpleton high school football game mentality.
Mr. Paneta, that's what happen when MAINSTREAM MEDIA covering up for Obama will MISQUOTE you INTENTIONALLY. It's a shame sir, they even try to USE YOU for LYING to the American people.
I question EVERYTHING US MEDIA reports, for validation I ALWAYS read news from other countries what they say about USA.
US MEDIA ARE LIARS!!! ESPECIALLY MSNBC, CBS AND CNN!
Bottom line , if we are attacked again , Obama and friends take the
heat. Lets all be Bipartisan and pray to God it doesn't happen.
we all know his an evil person.... i think this guy shuld go to jail for all his crimes.... GOP IS DONE!!!!
good going Joe, but Panetta can't put the jeannie back into the bottle.
Well, which is it?
This is ridiculous. Panetta says he thinks Cheney is hoping for another attack, now he retracts that statement. Hopefully those in his charge at the CIA (field personnel) are a little less ambiguous in the conduct of their duties.
The CIA chief has no business commenting on political stuff any way.
He should just do his job and leave the grandstanding to Robert Gibbels.
Can we PLEASE just keep it REAL?
Yes, that is what Cheney would LOVE to happen just to prove his point.
That's exactly what MOST Americans got from his recent parade of paranoid insults.
JUST PROSECUTE THE MAN AND GET IT OVER WITH...PLEASE!
Never mind, Panetta is just blowing in the wind. Obama wants to bury the Chenney story, and what Obama wants, Panetta gives. Change you can believe in.
It's ironic that they are afraid of Chenney. I wonder what is in the memos Obama refuses to release. I know what is in them, is there anyone else out there with any common sense?
Who is going to keep us safe from Dick Cheney?
Leon was right at first Dick realy wants to some thing happen so he and the rest of the poppet can say I said so
Way to go, Mr. Panetta!! He said out loud what many have thought since January – that Cheney, Kimbaugh, etal. would be delighted for a terror attack. It's like that Al Pacino movie – let's manufacture a war. Good for Panetta!
I agree with Panetta – and so do most other people I know, both Republicans and Democrats. Panetta should not back-pedal on this one. The Democrats usually allow the Republicans bully them into back-tracking on the truth when they tell it. Cheney absolutely wants the US to be attacked. He wants Obama to fail, and he cannot wait for both to happen!
So, if we are to believe this then we must believe that the CNN reporter got the original story wrong and got everyone all unnecessarily heated up over nothing.
Nice going CNN...can we expect to see any retractions by the far left liberal "hate Repub" bloggers? Not likely.
I wouldn't think Cheney would be "rooting" for a terrorist attack either. I would guess he is helping to plan and fund a terrorist attack, to benefit his interests, at the expense of the American People. This is a "man" with no loyalty whatsoever to the United States of America. In fact, I would venture to say he is one of the most dangerous enemies our nation, and our Constitution, have ever faced. Dick Cheney should be designated an enemy combatant.
Fortunately, we the public understand your comment...its just the media thats scews it...unfortunately. Cheney needs to back off for a LONG while and find something he can use to help the people...
Dick Cheney is a Terrorist and a Supporter of Osama Bin Laden. Dick Cheney probably has a hand in 9/11 attack. Cheney should be Arrested.
This makes more sense. The CIA is correct, no body wants another attack on the US, especially not Cheney and definitely not President Obama. DIck Cheney is saying some controversial things and even though I do not always agree with him, I do think we need to have a discussion about how safe we are and how the policies of the Obama administration affect our safety. I would rather debate the issues (memos, photos, gitmo) rather than have us attack each other. Bringing these discussion up to the public is the right thing to do and we should be happy Cheney is doing it. Why isn't anyone else talking about this?
Is he or isn't he Cheney rooting for an attack ? This comment from the Head of the CIA is so childish and unbecoming from a man in the
position of trust....If this is what the Obama government is all about than the country is in deep problem...in all facets....Yes...
Panetta says he didn't say what he said. I don't know why liberals find this harder to believe than Obama's claim that you didn't see what you saw when he bowed to the Saudi king.
Oh for heaven's sake Americans will swallow so much baloney.
1. Bush and Cheney didn't 'keep you safe" . September 11 was nine months into their term and they ignored warnings. Whether the planning happened during Clinton's term or not, the event happened well into the Bush Term.
2. You weren't safe before 9/11 and you aren't safe now. Safety is relative – you are still more likely to die on the commute home and you get in your car everyday. The UK has been attacked, Spain has been attacked and as much as you may think Bush/Cheney stopped everything, I think you can safely assume if the terrorists want to they will hit the US. All you can hope is that the attacks will remain relatively small.
Arrest Dick Cheney.
And Thereafter, There will be no Terrorist Attacks on us.
This is for Sure. Anybody Wanna Bet !!
Wow your all trying to distance yourself form anyone saying this about Cheney?
Your a bunch of whimps.
Cheyney definately is hoping for a terrorist attack. That's all he can think about.
Have you all not figured out that this guy is the devil
I think it's good that Cheney's opinion be made known. In fact hopefully W. also makes a comment that he's praying for terrorists to attack our country.
The terrorists hate Bush and Cheney so much that they'd probably cancel any plans right now just to defy those two morons, hence making the world a safer place. Keep spouting your jealous rants Bush and Cheney, for once the terrorists winning will be a good thing!
As ludicrous as the statement sounds, I can believe it. Everybody please remember that this is the traitorous jerk that wants Obama to fail.