December 30th, 2009
12:45 PM ET
3 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. Mike

    Dick-
    Nobody cares what you think.

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. jj

    And that is so new.....
    If he didn't criticise him when he wasn't supposed to be, then this time could have been seen genuine.....
    And CNN get a life!

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. Monahan

    I love the photo with the 'Exit' sign in the background...might be symbolizing something. "Cheney please exit stage right..."

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. ART

    What is wrong with this man? why doesn't he just shut his pie hole, let me guess what he thinks we should do " Bomb Iraq, oh wait a minute we already did that. why doesn't he just invest his haliburton money and go away and not do any more damage to Americas reputation

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. ib

    Right on; if liberals think we are safer under Obama they are either blind or stupid. Obama hears about an attempted attack on an airplane says a few words and then gets back in a golf cart. If Bush had done that all you know what would have broke loose. Oh I fogot Bush is still to blame for this. Yeah right.

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. TamarS

    Keep talking Cheney. The more you talk the more we learn about your self-aggrandizing and provocative pronouncements that got the U.S. (eand each of us financially...) into the terrible situation it is in. Keep talking so we remember not to vote republican until at least the next generation. You and Palin are a great pair!

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Marcia L. Thomas

    Would someone tell Dick Cheney that he is not the VP and to go away and disappear like Bush has? I am tired of hearing his useless, negative and critical comments. If you don't have anything positive or constructive to add, shut the heck up.

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. HD

    First of all Cheney was behind creating a war based on lies to the American people and he should be sent to jail. He committed an act of treason that cost many lives and tanked the economy. Does Cheney beleive he should have a lawyer to defend himself? Of course he does. What a hypocrite.
    People like Cheney just want to play politics with our problems and never work to find a solution. He needs to reflect on the mess he and his pals created for their war machine. I don't like going to work every day to pay taxes for the Cheney Bush mess.

    December 30, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Pete

    BTW...when Richard Reid tried to blow up a plane the exact same way during the Bush Administration, he was tried and convicted in a civilian court. What EXACTLY is the difference between his case and the current one that justifies the current GOP freakout?

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Evon

    If sending more troops to Afghanastan is pretending that we are not at war...than what do the President have to do to appear as if we are at war? Republicans need to stop this partisian bickering and get behind the President. It seems that they are looking to critize everything the President does, including embracing some of their ideas.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Jacquie

    Cripes, what part of you LOOOOOOSER, your party LO-LO-LO-LOST the election you progeny of a canus familiaris, didn't you get the memo? No one cares what you think except you, the one who had a hand in creating the large mess than now Obama has to clean up. You bet, the Republicans are the elephants and the Democrats have had to be the one behind them with the pooper scoopers. Who didn't get Osama Bin Lauden, ah...wait...wasn't that your watch, war monger? You fought Saddam, oh yeah, that was a smoke screen so that you could make all your contractor friends rich, at the expense of America's economy and her sons. Oh, yeah, so rather than blase into the Islamic world like two bit cowboys...like ah...YOU, we got some intellect and some consideration, and no knee jerk responses, but noooo you gotta show them all don't you, you be the big bad ugly American? Gee all that cowboy mentality got us wait!!!! 9-11!!! Thanks for the memories scum bag Cheney! Can't you go retire someplace, and gracefully leave us in peace ? We still got lumps of your left over elephant droppings we gotta clean up.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. New Yorker

    Does anybody have a wooden stake? Where's Van Helsing when you need him? Cheney needs to just SHUT UP already!! Slink back to your cave old man.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Tom Denver

    Would this man please please crawl back into the filthy hole he came from. Oh wait, he has two palaces, one on the Maryland shore and the other in Jackson, WY. Either way just go.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    The Bush administration waited 8 days to respond to the shoe bomber, and that was the second terrorist attack under Bush/Cheney watch. September and December, 2001, were not these bozos finest hours.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Mike

    Cheny and his ilk - the GOP - seem to forget that the worse terrorist attack on the United States happend on their watch. I think they'd do better to shut up and reflect on their own failures and why they have made the US less safe than we were when this decade began.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Adam

    Cheney just can't help himself by making comments that turn this incident into a patisan shouting match. No matter what Obama does throughout his presidency, no matter what he says, no matter how he acts, Cheney and his right wing cronies will criticize him and attempt to convince the American public that he is a terrible president and that he will be the sole cause of the fall of this country.

    Meanwhile, the reality is that Cheney and company have become the guessers; they are no longer privy to the inside information that Obama and his administration are. So Cheney has been reduced to a talking head. All he has left are his scare tactics. Quoting him in CNN is hardly even worth the effort. He has become moot... at least in my view.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Mark C

    "It now seems that at least two detainees from the prison who were released to Yemen are part of the al-Qa'ida affiliate group – called al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula – that has claimed responsibility for the attack. They are Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, a field commander, and Said al-Shihri, said to be the group's deputy leader, who was transferred by the Bush administration to the Saudi authorities and released in 2007"

    Gee, Dick, who was president in 2007? It wasn't Obama, as I recall. Why don't you crawl back into whatever hole you came out of.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. JJ

    Why even give this man the time of day by publishing his ridiculous comments? His time has come and gone. Who really cares what he thinks?

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. LLBD

    We are fighting/sending our young people to fight a Bush/Cheney war. Cheney is responsible for this war as much as Bush. Its their OIL war. So as far as Cheney is concerned – we aren't concerned about what CHENEY says about OBAMA. Get tough! That's just a republican chest banging, as usual – huff and gruff maneuvers – he's not in office so no one is listening. I didn't bother to read his bull – its all about dollars in oil!

    Cheney = oil = money!!!

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. JimTerrie

    Chenney needs to just keep his mouth shut. He and along with his cronies created this mess.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Jane

    It's a sad day when the former VP, has to remind and teach the current Prez that the country IS at War. This certainly speaks to the Prez' ignorance or arrogance, in thinking he WILL irradicate war simply by changing or selecting what should be the issue of the day.

    December 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. JimTerrie

    Chenney needs to just keep his mouth shut. He along with his cronies created this mess.

    December 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. J Danna

    Bull! He knows that we are at war. Just because Obama does not want to jump without looking into another costly situation does not mean he does not care. We have spent BILLIONS on a war that has not gone well at all. Maybe if we had spent that money on our education system we would have smarter people running the nation to get us out of this problem. And no matter what you do, if someone wants to hurt the U.S. They will find a way. It is not a treat it is the truth. The human spirit, no matter how misguided, in unstoppable.

    December 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. armass

    Cheney loves war. His view is that the world is full of evil and that we must always fight evil, so we must always be at war. Otherwise, we are shirking our responsibilities as the righteous people in this world. Sounds like Huxley's "1984", doesn't it?

    It must frustrate Cheney that fighting terrorism intelligently is not as macho as carpet bombing places that contain suspected enemies of the U.S.

    December 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Karl in SLC

    Dick Cheney is a vile sub-human.

    Hey Dick, where was the shoe bomber tried? Where is the shoe bomber imprisoned? That was on your watch.

    The system that failed is the system that the Bush administration put into place. Thanks for nothing Dick.

    December 30, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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