December 30th, 2009
12:45 PM ET
9 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. A

    Cheney, you're an idiot, you're obsolete, you're worthless! Go away!

    December 30, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. sandy

    I can suppose what the President thinks all I want. But like Cheney, I am not the President so I don't know what he is thinking. I am sure most of the Republicans were saddened that this attempt wasn't completed. If it was they could point their fingers at Obama and say, see we told you so!
    From what I see on the news and read in the paper, the President is very aware he is at war. I, as a citizen, am convinced that the President has our safety in mind, above all else. On the other hand, I am not sure what Cheney's motive is.

    December 30, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Patrick

    We are witnessing amateur hour in the White House. Mr. President, when 300 innocent lives are almost murdered by terrorists (yes, they are terrorists), please, act like a president and put on a tie. You may not want to take this serious, but Americans are taking it serious.

    I can't wait until 2012

    December 30, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. chill

    At least he didn't suggest we all go shopping. And at least he is going after al Quaeda instead of dreamed up nuclear weapons in Iraq. And if Obama doesn't think we are at war, then what are those 50,000+ extra troops above Cheney era levels doing in or about to go into Afghanistan? And why has the level of drone attacks on terrorists significantly increased in Pakistan and Yemen since Obama took office? I'd say those are acts of war, wouldn't you? But poor old Dick is still cherry picking facts. Some things never change.

    December 30, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. Todd in OKC

    I wish cnn.com would quit pretending that Dick Cheney's opinions were relevant.

    December 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. dave

    Such insight.Why haven't you also printed the opinion of Bozo the Clown?

    December 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Monica

    I have heard Obama speak of two wars over and over again. He is sending more troops to Afghanistan because of WAR! Cheney apparently doesn't know what he is talking about. President Obama is fully aware that we are at war with terrorists. Terrorists are not going to stop attempting to kill Americans. It doesn't matter who is president. This is something we understand and cannot forget and the President will do his best to protect us because he does know we are at WAR with terrorists. More empty attempts by Cheney to discredit our President.

    December 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Florida Joe

    Hey Darth, you and your idiot boy Bush were in charge on 9/11..........YOU are responsible for the loss of American lives on 9/11.....HOW DARE you have any comment about our President that you left with TWO wars to wage because of your ineptitude............SHUT UP AND GO AWAY.................Better yet you should be in JAIL

    December 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. cheri

    No Dick, President Obama doesn't seem to "think" we are at War. It's why he just approved sending how many troops over-seas to fight??
    Does anybody really care what Dick Cheney says other than Rush Limbaugh? Please God let him just go away .....

    December 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Shelli

    Enough of Dick already. We do not care what he thinks or says. President Obama "pretends" we are not at war? Nonsensical, at best.

    December 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Mike M

    Dick? Are you kidding me? I don't get it. The GOP that I "Was" very proud to be a part of since R. Reagan has become radical in itself. All the Christian values, and Protection of the Constitution are gone.
    We as a Nation can not go to War with everyone!! We Won't Win!!
    President Obama is doing well with the circumstances he has been left with after your Disasterous Administration.
    I see you as a Radical White Winger who wants to bully every nation into submission. Not right!!!
    I am not saying that Terrorists should be given the same rights!! But Torture is not an option.......... What would Jesus say?

    December 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Sharon Conner

    All of this from Dick-the 5 deferrment, draft dodging Cheney?? Whoa – considering his lack of response during Katrina, when his hunting trip was more important, I could care less what he says or does. He is old news and needs to crawl back into his undisclosed location!! During the Bush years, he was too important to speak with anyone and dared anyone to criticize his behavior. Really, hypocrite king!!!

    December 30, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. John

    Cheney needs to learn to shut his mouth and mind his own business. I think he still wishes he was the V.P. Truth of the matter is, everyone thinks hes a murderer, and a WAR cannot be strengthened when a 23 year old lunatic tries to deploy fireworks. He needs to get with it

    December 30, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Brett

    Go away, you lying sack of crap. You have done more than enough damage to the nation.

    December 30, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Jon

    Why won't Cheney admit he and his boss screwed up the Middle East more than ever? Sending a large army to hunt down a few hundred members of Al Qaeda is not only overkill, but does more to anger and radicalize people than a thorough investigative and counter-terrorism unit can do to bring these criminals to justice.

    December 30, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. zazzle.com/TheProgram

    Dick Cheney is a bitter old man with so much fear and hatred in his bones all he can do is spew poison and anger everywhere he goes.

    December 30, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. Pat Henry

    Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab slipped through a security system set up under the Bush-Cheney administration. This failure belongs to Bush-Cheney. Obama's failure is to not fully appreciate how incompetent Bush-Cheney was!

    If Cheney wanted war, why didn't he and Bush push Congress to declare it when they were at the helm?

    Your party not only lost the election, your world view was soundly rejected by Americans! Yet, you insist that Americans continue suffering your arrogance?

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Marie

    What was the response from the WH when the shoe-bomber attempted to blow up a plane? What was the response from the WH when Cheney shot a man? What was the response from the WH for Katrina? Shut up Cheney.

    Would some true American please waterboard CHENEY???

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. HBO

    When will the people of this country start celebrating the fact that this was a botched attempt? Afterall, no one died... and no one was hurt!

    Instead, we seem to prefer to give credence to idiots like Cheney – those who would rather talk about what "could" have happened to elevate fear and prop themselves up.

    Why don't we thank God that no terror reigned and that we have a wakeup call to improve upon what works and fix what is broken?

    Why?

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. JLR

    File this under "predictable." Play your political games, Dick. We all know you and your party were at the helm during the biggest, deadliest terrorist attack in American history. All the procedures and policies you and your administration put into place failed then, and they failed now. Go back to the cave you keep crawling out of every time you feel compelled to make a statement.

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. Noble Collins

    Those who CAN, Do. Those who never could,, just whine about those who CAN.
    The idiot who tried this latest ploy was a deranged loner, not connected with Al Quida. Cheney never saw an opportunity to rush troops into battle that he could pass up. We will be paying for his errors for generations.

    If he thinks he can tear down the Obama Administration, he had best pack a full lunch.

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. Kevin

    Won't the this man just go away?

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  23. Bill

    Dick Cheney did not get enough "war money" funneled through Haliburton with Iraq and Afghanistan. He "needs" another war going on to make he and his "Haliburton boys" ever richer than they already are.

    I guess when we win in Afghanistan, "the people will pour into the streets and welcome us as heroes" just like he said they would in Iraq. Maybe he can find some "weapons of mass destruction" in Yemen to start a war there like the imaginary weapons that he and Bush dreamed up in Iraq.

    War is a great profit maker for the military industrial complex that he and his buddies belong to.

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Speaking for Liberals

    Doesn't official war require an act of congress?
    Is Dick Cheney listening to what is being said and done? Or is he just creating an opposing point of view just to be contrary? Why does CNN give this war criminal a platform to which he can spew his venom? Didn't this guy have roving band of assasins answerable only to the Dark Lord Dick? Wasn't he and his office specifically, in particularly responsible for leaking the name of an active CIA operative that was acting under Non Official Cover (N-O-C, that's a real American spy like 007) to the Late Bob Novak? Isn't he part of the group responsible for running this country into the ground?

    I am just asking questions I already know the answer to.

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. democratsruinwhattheytouch

    Cheney is so right. Obama pretends a lot of things. He is in fact the great pretender. He thinks he was elected because of his leftist policies and approach to the world, not realizing that the NEA educated, non working, dope smoking people that get their information from a liberally biased news media will elect whoever the SEIU/ACORN and George Soros tell to. The most inept and stupid president we have ever had and that is saying something seeing as how he comes from the same party as Jimmy Carter.

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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