December 30th, 2009
12:45 PM ET
11 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. vwrtb

    Silly republicans... Shaking in their boots... I'm saddened the American people have become so weak and terrified...

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Mark C

    Hey Dick, you idiot - it was YOUR administration that released the guys from Guantanamo who trained and financed the attempted bomber.

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. willard bullock

    iam belive that chenny are keep great than obama

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Unknown

    Cheney is ridiculous! Doesn't he know he is making a fool out of himself. He should really retire and never be heard from again. He's talking nonsense.

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. nj-pilot

    Dear Dick Cheney-PLEASE climb back in your "undisclosed location" and SHUT UP! You and your neo-con buddies *created* much of the mess that President Obama is trying to fix while you are now "pretending" it's someone else's fault. Are you even paying attention to the situation in the United States (maybe you're distracted by watching your Haliburton portfolio). The president *just* sent extra troops to Afghanistan. I guess he did that because "we're not at war"?
    What happened to honest, conservative republicans like Dwight Eisenhower? The only thing "conservative" about "Tricky Dick II" is that he's trying to conserve all the money for himself and his rich buddies. Meanwhile he's pretty "liberal" about taking away the rights of ordinary citizens. What an absolute, un-American bufoon!!

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Big Ed

    Here's "Darth Vader" flappin' his useless yap again. Beating the war drums. It's pretty easy to beat the drum when you dodged service in Vietman five times.

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    As a right wingnut, it appears that Cheney has a screw loose. For a person who did everything he could to avoid serving in the military, he sure loves war.

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Desert Denizen

    Stay strong Dick Cheney! We need you to remind people of the Bush era. Palin/Cheney 2012!

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. th

    Dick WHO? Go crawl back into the hole you came out of.

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Dex, Houston TX

    Cheney and the GOP continue to ride the backs of the Four Housemen of Calumny: Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.

    The Democratic Party may have their flaws, but I don’t see the American people lining up to join the party of “NO!”

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Roger P

    Does Dick think sensationalizing this event will help matters any? Is that not what "Terrorists" want, to generate terror at any cost. Is that not why we do not negotiate with hostage takers. We do not give them what they want so others will not do the same. Why did he not make the same statements when his own administration gave the shoe bomber the "rights of Americans" by trying him in federal court for an identical act of terrorism. BTW he is now serving life in prison at a super max facility just like this latest terrorist will. Why does Dick have so little faith is our system of laws? Is this something new or has he always felt this way?

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Bill Z.

    Sour Grapes has never been more appropriate when it comes to this Old Draft Dodging Chicken Hawk !!!!

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Ben in Texas

    Cheney is pretending he's not a war criminal. Why isn't this guy in jail, where he belongs? Over and above the failure of health care reform, the failure to bring Cheney/Bush/Gonzales/Rumsfeld et al to justice is the chief disappointment of the Obama administration's first year.

    December 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Mark in DC

    Totally false and outrageous comments. This has-been needs to sit down and shut up.

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Frank

    This man is an idiot, treasonous liar and corporate profiteer (can you say Halliburton?). He brought us an invasion of the wrong country for the wrong reasons, at huge waste and costs of our national lives and treasure. He should be tried for war crimes. Of course, Obama is as vigilant (duh, the president does not run the airport scanners, folks) as Bush ever was-in fact the defect in the current system are from the Bush "at war" era.

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. obama the liar

    Why is Cheney attacking the arrogant, self centered, egotistical savior and future leader of the new world ?

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Gina

    Why doesn't Cheney just crawl under a rock with the rest of the snakes and leave us alone?

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Bill

    Yes, Obama definetly needs advice on how to manage a war from the architect of the biggest military debacle in US history.

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Chuck Gaffney

    Why can't the 2009 celebrity Grim Reaper just get this old fart already? He's just a waste of space and air.

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Susie

    Good for Cheney! We are at war, and if the president doesn't wake up and realize it soon he may get a reminder that will cost the American people dearly. He's been too busy hugging, bowing and playing pat-a-cake with our enemies to put on a big show for the rest of the world. Now our enemies know when there is a crisis it will take him 3 days to come out of vacation and deal with it. He has made America weaker. Yes, the world loves him, but they also know they can walk on him.

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. bc

    When is Cheney going to realize that his tactics didn't work with the rest of the world? Mr. Big Bully needs to just retire to his room and watch old cowboy movies. GO AWAY!

    BTW – just whose war is it we are in and why?

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Sick of this guy

    OK...we get it Dick. You don't agree with anything that doesn't fall in line with your own former policies (which lowered the US standing in the world and got you and your incompetent boss in a heap of trouble I might add.) You are right and the current administration is wrong. Is that what you want to hear?
    You knew there were credible terrorist threats to the US before 9/11 and did nothing.
    You invaded a country that didn't have the weapons you said they had.
    You let Osama Bin Laden slip right through your fingers shifting focus from Afghanistan to Iraq.
    Shall I go on? Rest assured, I can,
    And by the way, the president is sending quite a few additional troops to fight in a WAR, in case you hadn't noticed.

    December 30, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Zach

    Mr. Cheney, didn't the largest terrorist attack to happen on American soil in history happen during your watch? Time to get to your sandbox and let the adults get back to work.

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. America Shrugged

    Who is this guy fooling? Sen DeMint should quit stalling the confirmation of TSA chief, and maybe just maybe this adm could be working on the disfunction that exists in policies that were put into place by Bush/Cheney. Sen Demint must think that a perceived threat of TSA employees organizing is a greater threat than combating terrorism. These folks don't make any sense.

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Jimbo

    This guy sure is an expert on war since he got us into two of them. One of the reasons for the unrest in Iran is that is it more difficult for the regime there to paint the US as "the great satan" since Obama became president. I wonder how many of these protesters would be in the streets of Tehran if they still had Bush/Cheney to burn in effigy...?

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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