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. Kevin, Las Cruces, NM

    So, what is Dickless Cheney up to? Is he laying the groundwork for a run in '12? And it really angers me that he, of all people, speaks like a hawk when he got FOUR deferrals from VietNam because (his words) "I had more improtant things to do". Well, so did the 50,000 dead American soldies, I imagine!

    December 30, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Tony

    If there was any justice in the world, Cheney would spend the rest of his life in a prison cell

    December 30, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. dekooning

    Idiot and I mean Cheney.

    December 30, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. richard

    It was Cheney, Bush and others that faked the reasons for going to war with Iraq and who also failed to kill Osama when they had him trapped in the mountains of Afghanistan.

    The prolonged war only increased the incidence of terrorism. To attack Obama for being weak, etc. is really nonsense. What did Cheney achieve during his eight years in the Administration? If he was that good, why were the wars not wrapped up?

    December 30, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Laurie in Spokane

    Is Cheney still around? I would of thought his sorry behind would be in jail by now, where he rightfully belongs. He doesn't have any right or prerogative to say anything whatsoever about Obama and the wars in Aghanistan and Iran. He brought them about!!!

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Amazing! Why won't he just go away?? Cheney thinks the American people want to hear from him on his views regarding national security. Someone needs to check his mental stability very soon, he is forgetting his administration had intelligence BEFORE 9/11 and chose to ignore the report so they all could "go on vacation!" So how does the GOP justify attacking Obama's stand on the wars? The last I heard Obama gave the extra troops needed for Afganistan, not to mention the $$$ to fund it. Check Cheney into the mental ward, he's skewing the facts of history, but then again that's what all Rebub's do to get elected to office!! Cheney can get a double room, let's put Palin in there with him! What a Wonderful World it would be then!!!!

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. jason

    Not a huge fan of Cheneys, but, somebody had to say it! Obie, isnt perfect folks!

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. strong

    Cheney must be off his rocker, saying Obama pretending that we're not at war?

    Obama is sending 30,000 + more troops overseas. And is that not war?

    Thanks Cheney, what a comic relief.

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Jill

    Where was he and his crew at 911?

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. moderate

    I can not believe this THUG still standing and running his mouth. Just wheel this criminal to a cell close by Madoff

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Steve Kline

    this from a war criminal and the king of theft and negativity. If there are limits to free speech please, God, apply them to the Cheney Cartel

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Colorado Chris

    I think Cheney is living in some parallel universe where politics is everything. He needs to just shut up.

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Efrem Lieber

    Cheney thinks you have to scream to be understood; he shoots first and thinks afterwards. Why does anyone listen to this hypocrite and bombastic jerk? He was a failure, his policies were despised worldwide, and he lied to everyone to "prove" his points. Ignore the bum!

    December 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Frisky

    Cheney doesn't have his facts straight. This fellow will not be given "US style rights". He went through security in a foreign sovereign nation, where we have no authority over the security they choose to use. Let me guess, now Cheney would have us bomb the Dutch, Nigeria and Yemen if he was still in office.

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Rob Johnson

    As opposed to all those times when Cheney was warm and supportive towards Obama? Remember that time when Cheney said something nice about our President? Of course not, it never happened.

    Note to Cheney and other neo-cons: Just because some lunatic tried to blow up a plane last week doesn't mean we are at war.

    The whole "War On Terror" mindset was flawed from the start, and I'm glad Obama sees through the whole charade.

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. Jill

    Where was he and his crew at 911? Things were not good then and didn't get better during his tenure

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. Jeff

    Mr. Cheney, please just go away. I hear Mars is nice this time of year.

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Rich (Charleston, SC)

    I know the liberal democrats on here are going to blast Cheney and say they wish he would shut-up (their usual response to anyone critical of his highness - Obama), but for one, I am glad he is speaking up. As a "private" citizen, he has all the right to do so and through all his faults (of which I know there are many), he has ALWAYS tried to protect this country from our enemies and not allow another 9-11. You know, the man might be right on this point too.

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Andy M.

    Will Dick (and I mean that in only the nicest way!) Cheney EVER just go away?????

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. If you give into fear, then the terrorists win

    He's back from his hiding place in an undisclosed bunker. Does this idiot Cheney think we should treat the underwear bomber any different than the Bush administration treated the shoe bomber for his attempt in Dec. 2001? By the way Dick, Reid is serving a life sentence after being tried in federal court.

    Go back into your safe haven your worthless war criminal!

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Cecilia

    Cheney should have the class and respect owed to our Commander in Chief and not openly criticize him.

    It's a given that it is much easier for Al Qaida to recruit young men and convince them of the "evil US empire" if we conduct water boarding and other activities that we accuse others of. We cannot be hypocrites. No matter what, there will always be hatred toward the US. The US needs to strive to set an example and not cave into these terrorists by conducting terrorist acts ourselves.

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Frisky

    And Cheney is pretending he still pulls the strings of the President.

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    The war against terrorism would have been completed if the Bush-Cheney cabal did not start a war against Iraq. Our efforts were misdirected for 8 long years because the neo-conservatives underestimated AlQaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Cheney should look in the mirror to determine who undermined America's security.

    December 30, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. jr

    I think that Dick is pretending we care what he thinks.

    December 30, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Steve S

    I'm glad someone in the republican party that is not afraid of being politically incorrect and say what many Americans are thinking. The only answer the left has is to criticize those that oppose their opinions and Bush. there is no true debate only a fist fight between ideals. You hear no criticism of their own party, the terrorist or over spending by both parties. Any yes I did criticize Bush some of his policies and voted for him both times. To reach any truth BOTH sides need to hear out the other side. But the current administration in MY opinion is acting reckless and in the best interest of their ideal and not the country or Constitution.

    December 30, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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