December 30th, 2009
12:45 PM ET
6 months ago

Cheney: Obama pretending we are not at war

Cheney is out with new criticisms of Obama.
Cheney is out with new criticisms of Obama.

(CNN) – In blistering new comments Wednesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney says President Obama's reaction to the botched terrorist attack on Christmas Day is proof the president "is trying to pretend we are not at war."

In his first statement since the Christmas Day terror attempt, Cheney hits Obama for what he describes as the president's "low key" response to the events last week, and criticizes the administration's broader approach to national security.

"He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war," Cheney says. "He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war."

Cheney adds that Obama outwardly "pretends we aren't [at war]," and the former vice president repeats his months-long criticism that the new president has made America "less safe."

"Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war?" Cheney asks. "It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation—the restructuring of American society."

Democrats note President Bush was not subjected to criticisms from either Democrats or the media when he waited six days to respond to Richard Reid's attempted shoe-bombing of an airline on December 22, 2001. Like Obama, Bush was on vacation when that botched terrorist attack occurred 8 years ago.

Full story
Full statement after the jump

Statement from former Vice President Cheney 12/29/09:

As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war.

He seems to think if he has a low key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war.

He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war.

He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.

He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war.

He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, “war on terror,” we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe.

Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war?

It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation—the restructuring of American society.

President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war.


Filed under: Dick Cheney
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Photon Torpedo Dallas, TX

    Kinda like you were "pretending" there were Weapons Of Mass Destruction?

    Glass houses Mr. Vice President. Glass houses.

    The "O" in 2012

    December 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. greenfish

    Why should anyone believe a word out of this bithering idiot, who exploited the murder of 3,000 Americans on 9/11 to "justify" an immoral war against Iraq which had 0 to do with that awful day.

    December 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Angel

    Here we go again.... Cheney crying like a little girl. If he had done his job right in the first place then we wouldn't be going through this. President Obama is doing what is right and that is take his time to access the situation. Not like Mr. Bush who declared the war being won when it actually wasn't.

    December 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Why does it seem like we are watching reruns of 'Star Wars?' See ya Dick, its bunker time.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. John

    Cheney is the most pathetic of human beings: he is a fearmonger who preaches righteousness, when all along he preys upon the feeble minds that believe in him. Hmm.... history shows many tyrants are cut from the same cloth.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Brian from Texas

    Explain to me how we fight a "war" against one sad lonely pathetic 19 year old Nigerian boy. Do we now invade Nigeria? Why does Cheney so desperately want to have America in a war that we wont win and that will have no end? He fails to realize that what created this Nigerian terrorist in 2005 was Cheney's foreign policy approach to his "war on terror". Cheney's policies would only create more terrorists than it would kill or capture.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Dan Stewarld

    The gall of this man is incredible. Here we have an individual that did more harm to US security in 8 years than almost anyone in living memory. He lied to start a war in Iraq, pushed hard to torture people, outed a CIA operative for political reasons and had a large hand in diverting resources away from Afganistan to Iraq which allowed Bin-Laden to escape.
    It was on his and Bushes watch that 9-11 happened and he did about as much as anyone to discredit and demoralise the CIA during the lead up to Iraq, so where he has the nerve to come out and criticise Obama is beyond me.
    Staggering that this man is not facing War crimes charges rather than berating a sitting president.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Gary

    Why can't this guy just go back to his dark cave, hang upside down, and only come out at night? At least G.W. had enough grace to stay quite.
    I think the Former VP and his attitude toward human rights would actually do very well in Iran, He should move there and run their country, he'll fit in rather well.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. sally

    Why doesn't this sleazeball, who was one of the main reasons all of
    the wars started, crawl back under his rock and shut his evil mouth.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. Sunil

    Cheney needs to crawl back into the hole that he came out of.

    Enough said.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Tram

    Hey, Dick, what world do YOU live in? President Obama is WELL AWARE that we're at war. You're the one who put us IN the war illegally, remember?

    Oh, and by the way, I like the fact that Obama's tough, gets the facts before making decisions (unlike you), and realizes that America HAS to be the good guys. We HAVE to be the moral guides. Remember? There once was a dream that was America. We had ideals, freedoms. We had standards and a belief that we were the good guys. You and Bush destroyed every single bit of that. That's why the GOP are not in power - the American people WANT to be the good guys again. We want to stand for truth, justice, the American dream. We want to know that we can fight a war without stooping to the level of the bad guys. We want to know that we have a president who will go to war when necessary but who doesn't seek out a war illegally. We now have an effective president which we didn't have for 8 years under your regime, so sit down, shut up, and let the president do what we elected him to do.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Ron

    Where does this guy get these views? More inflamtory crap.

    The screening process is the same one (albeit, more relaxed) that went into effect during the Bush administration. At that time, it was just for show and not really effective. Security costs money, and god forbid, the Bush administration increase costs to provide a real level of safety vs. throwing money at companies to make a "show" of things.

    Comments like his do not help the situation at all. If people cannot be part of the solution, they should remain silent and let the problem solvers take charge.

    December 30, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Texas

    As far as I'm concerned, Obama received his Christmas present by the "terrorist" not being smart enough to set off this bomb that would've murdered over 300 innocent victims over U. S. soil!!! Come on Obama, step up to the plate.

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. gary

    Incredible! The Bush administration ignored the alerts from the Clinton security team of an impending strike coming from bin Laden and Cheney has the nerve to criticize Obama! Not only is this his usual hypocrisy it is the epitome of giving aid and comfort to our enemies. He didn't have time to fight in Vietnam but he has no problem avoiding responsibility for 9/11. This is a time for patriots to support their government.

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Barbara - Atlanta

    If anything...the US is at war between the republicans and democrats. Cheney, if we're at war talk about us being at war and not what you wanted the president to say.

    This is ridiculous!

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Tamra

    interesting that Cheney would get tough, given we're in this mess from his old days as Sec. of Defense after he himself dodged the draft for Vietnam FIVE TIMES.

    and when is Cheney-Dick going to get tough on why he outed CIA? can Cheney show some respect for that process which is clearly outlined in laws, constitution, etc.? or is Cheney only concerned about making "that boy" complaints after Cheney himself put this nation at complete risk? what a crock?

    and who in the world manufactures Cheney's fake-heart (his own heart abandoned him, what a surprise)??? maybe we should have made our economy out of that same material since it wouldn't have failed on Cheney's watch!!!

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Joe

    Did Congress declare war? Was I asleep when this happened?

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. dennisk

    Yes, I remember the great job Cheney and his "boss" Bush were doing on Sept. 10, 2001...
    It's nice to have a President with a brain. If it was up to Cheney, I'm sure we would have already dropped bombs all over Yemen.

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    oh and screw Karl Roves privacy he screwed ours for 8 years with the good old boy club .. they say if you wait good things come to those who deserve it and bad follows close behing LOL cheney rove couple of twits :)

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. bob

    You know all about pretending, right mr. Cheney? Like how you pretended bush was in the driver's seat for 8 years, when it was really you? Or how you pretended that we were abiding by the geneva convention, when all the while we were torturing prisoners?

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Nwahs

    Citizen Cheney, how quickly you forget that your watch began on January 20, 2001 and not September 12, 2001. Again you are trying to divert attention away from your botched handling of the days following 9/11...Take hike on the Appalachian Trail

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. dina osullivan

    This man needs to go away gracefully as an ex vice president and find a book tour. He and Palin can join up and go to the Coscos aroundthe nation with their "sour grapes" rehtoric. go away and let this administration run this country for now.Take a stab at it next time and see what happens. You are destroying this country with your constant nagging at this president. Don't you have a book to write?

    December 30, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    So now is the time to invade Yemen, Somalia, and every Arab country because Dick is afraid.

    December 30, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. mike ashcroft

    so what happened to the shoe bomber, was he not tried in federal courts and the verdict celebrated by the bush administration; this is hypocrisy at its best which the media has all but forgotten about.

    December 30, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    The stuff that comes out of Dick's mouth is, frankly, astonishing. The stones on this guy... Dick, you and your little puppet basically transformed America into a twisted parody of itself and nearly destroyed the world economy in an epic effort to enrich you and a few of your friends. It would be really funny if the actions of his administration didn't directly result in the end of the United States as it was originally conceived. Enjoy your declining empire while it lasts, fellow consumerbots. When you elect a corporate tool, you get what you deserve. Have a nice day!

    December 30, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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