December 30th, 2009
12:45 PM ET
7 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. shanks

    Dick should know about war ... he is a war criminal after all.

    December 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Dave in Ohio

    he's basically telling Obama to 'grow a set and lead'. Good for him.

    December 30, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Brian Kopp

    Funny, when George Bush was criticized during the 'War on Terror," Cheney called those people traitors. What does that make him?
    At the very least, an unreliable hypocrite. Why does anyone pay him any respect at all??

    December 30, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Luke

    Let's remember that 30,000 Americans die every year in traffic accidents. Thats 3000 a month, the number killed on Sept 11 and it hardly ever even makes the news. The terrorist attack aren't war, more like a police concern.

    December 30, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    Cheney is spot-on. Obama is in denial, and his inaction will severely compromise the safety of Americans while he is in office. We are not living in a namby-pamby world, Obama. Get a clue.

    December 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Out the door in 4

    This is true! Obama needs to quit being a pansy and toughen up. Obamas elimination of the phrase "War on Terror" and his refusal to understand the motives of these terrorists is to murder us is just plain ignorant...........Sorry Obama his playing nice with these thugs just isn't working and his worthless choice in Janet Napolitano shows how naive he really is. Let's get back to serious business and interrogate these thugs, not lawyer them up at tax payers expense.

    December 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. Sam Ervin

    Why doesn't Dick just go away?

    December 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Limbog

    I thought this guy was last seen in a bunker in Berlin.

    December 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. George

    Wait... why does anybody care what Dick Cheney has to say about anything?

    December 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. Ms Marcy

    As always, Dick Cheney is a war monger and a complete idiot.
    He should just retire and let the peacemakers have a chance.

    December 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. Rightsaid

    Torture under Cheney hasn't done anything to stop terrorism.
    The guy has no credibility. We should prosecute this man and all others who have brought shame upon our country. USA!

    December 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Jim

    Why does anyone cover this man? The biggest mistake that Obama has made is his failure to require Cheney and his immediate subordinates for their authorization, indeed, encouragement of torture in defiance of the Constitution, as well as international treaties which the US signed long ago. The Abu Ghraib MPs have at least one correct argument; they were sent to prison for doing what their superiors wanted. They did violate the law, but there were a lot of others, including Cheney, who should have been charged with them.

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. George

    Chenny is a jerk. We are at war because he and Bush decided that was was a fun thing. Why did the cowards not declare war? No they wanted their own private one they could play with. Iraq never did anything to us. But they went to war against Iraq anyway. Chenny and Bush destroyed America, and Chenny should be in prison now.

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. A republican

    How is Iraq looking nearly 7 years later? Are we winning the war? I guess Cheney thinks Obama needs to rid the world of Tyranny by declaring war in Yemen, Somolia, North Korea, and Iran while restarting the cold war with Russia and a new space race with China... all while fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also in the meantime, defending our borders from Mexican drug cartels. We're bogged down in failing wars but according to Cheney, we can turn that around by multiplying the number of wars we are currently fighting by 3.

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Scott, Tucson

    If the, dare I say Terrorist? Have been successful and brought the airliner down, obama and his gal Napolitano would have called the bombing a man made disaster. It's that kind of P.C. mind set that will get Americans killed. There's only one way to really stem the efforts of Islamic terrorism but this government, the media and the people don't have the guts to do it.

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. kevin

    go away DICK!!

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. Jarod from San Diego

    This is big talk coming from a small man. I mean, this man avoided the military, have NO relatives serving. Lied about every aspect of getting America involved into this Middle Eastern mess and he wants us to listen to him? Even more sad will be those who believe or echo this lowly mans sentiments. Our President is doing just fine. Go Away Dick!

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. Bob in Pa

    BO thinks it's more important to reformat our society into an Ant Colony instead of ridding the world of a radical Islamic threat. To him and his aristocratic brethren, us worker ants are just a burden and the less there are of us will just make their lives a little easier.

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. Jessica

    This from the evil man who ignored a presidential briefing entitled: "Osama Bin-Laden determined to attack America."

    Stop playing the fear card Dick, it doesn't become you!

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. BW CINCINNATI

    What a putz.

    I cannot think of any historical figure, maybe Benedict Arnold, who has caused us to be less safe, or caused more harm then Cheney.

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Alan Goldstein

    At the very least, Obama should have shot someone in the face.

    December 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Dave

    Yeah. Just more ramblings from a lying chickenhawk possessing the IQ of sand. This man is simply an idiot with a big mouth and he should be treated as such.

    December 30, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Roderick

    Dick Chaney is such a control freak that he has to try and run someone elses administration. The man that pushed us into the wrong war with blatant lies and arrogance is just trying to make a case to justify his war crime actions. Truth be told, the man should be sitting in a jail cell.

    I believe had we not wasted valuable resources in Iraq, we might have the war on terror wrapped up by now. I have only one thing to say to "Dick" Chaney; go away and enjoy your retirement.

    December 30, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Sam Ellison

    I'm sorry, did this guy in Detroit kill 3,000 people? Did Obama's poor vigilance allow the greatest terror attack on our homeland?

    I'm pretty certain that Obama has done more to protect the country (and our moral standing) than you ever did, Mr.Cheney. 9/11 was not your moment of strength, it was your moment of in-credibility on terrorism.

    December 30, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. Bubba Hotep

    That's rich. The vampire who brought us 9/11 is criticizing the current administration's terrorism policy. Orwelly welly well.

    December 30, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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