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. blackwell

    When he was Vice-President and in office he was like a silent mute. I never heard him make so many comments on his own wars then. Now that he is not in office, you can't get him to take a seat. It's like watching a coach with an 8 year losing season get replaced and still show up at the games on the sideline ready to coach, but NOBODY wants to hear him call any plays.

    December 30, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Jonathan

    That's rich. it was under CHENEY'S administration that the mastermind of this plot (flight 253) was released from Gitmo in 2007. Now he wants to blame Obama for botch security. He has no creditability, just a bunch of scare tatics

    December 30, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Joe

    It was only a matter of time for grumpy Dick to make some noise. A balanced approach to get the facts and then make a thought out decision VERSUS fear mongering and reacting to the latest scare actually saves lives...

    ...of the US soldiers who have to actaully do the real fighting of the wars we are in currently in.

    But its easier to criticise while safe in your undisclsed location than serve when it was your time, right dick?

    December 30, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Happy New Year, liberals – CNN has presented you with a Cheney article to get all your panties in a wedge. Enjoy!

    December 30, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. limojim

    wow, when will this guy go away.....if he had his way none of us would have the rights granted to us under the constitution....lets face it he hates the constitution and what it stands for......the reason the US is less safe is because of what he and bush did to all of us after 911......Bottom line, he committed crimes and should be prosecuted and jailed......!

    December 30, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. American

    Teleprompters and pet constituencies may be able to drive the words and actions of our President, but they can't erase the fact that we are at war with zealots who will stop at nothing to kill innocent American children, women and men.

    December 30, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Tony T

    It is embarrassing how this administration is so weak. Obama actually thought the Apology Tour would make radicals like the US better. How wrong he is. He made us look weak, now they will be coming at us. Say what you will about Bush, but after 911 he made our security the top priority and did it thru strength not weakness. And for this I thank him.

    December 30, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. larry

    I do not believe that President Obama has to tell the American people that we are in a war. We know that, Mr. Cheney. That is the attitude you had when you were in office. You got us into the wars and now we are trying to get out of them gracefully. The Iraq war was unnecessary and you knew it. Now we have a huge debt because of the war and now you have been blaming President Obama for the huge debt when most of the debt has been because of these wars you created!!!

    December 30, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Well its about time the war criminal made his ignorant remark. Someone please tell this war criminal that he is no longer relevant and to just go to the Hague and turn himself in.

    December 30, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. anotherGDlefty

    What took him so long ?
    Shouldn't he have been complaining the next day like all the other good GOP soldiers ?

    As a voting taxpayer, you are no longer my employee Dick. Shove off.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Brock

    Obama could do absolutely nothing, and he still wouldn't make the US "less safe" than Bush did. Bush willfully made the US less safe.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. kms

    Sit down and shut up Cheney. There were enough bunkers around to hide in when you were VP, surely you still have access to some of them. I guess this quivering fearful response of yours makes sense as you fled military duty with the same vehemence in your younger years.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. hawks322

    Why is this guy still talking? If you let him, he would take away everybody's rights and then torture them. Even Bush has enough sense to know that the American people feel burned by his administration, and he has been silent. Maybe Cheney should do the same.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. If you give into fear, then the terrorists win

    As a conspiracy theorist, I do wonder if Dick was the man behind the underwear bomber, giving him advice and financial assistance.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. tjaman

    Dick was the one who _forgot_ we were at war ... in Afghanistan, which is where our focus and resources should have stayed.

    If McSame were in charge right now we'd be at war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran and Yemen, so ... hooray for a president who can prioritize.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. tocute29

    Will he just shut the heck up. Him and his devils had a chance in office to do right...they didn't. To be honest their the ones that started this war and Al-Quede. Obama you keep doing what your doing. We the world need to all pray instead of fighting, becuase when Jesus come back its really going to be something else. You think we've seen some destruction...PLEASE!!

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. Jeremy

    What can you say... he's actually correct.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. steve

    Where was Cheney when his boss was botching up things time after time? And I seem to recall some major snafus by the CIA during the Iraq conflict. What, no mention of our "vendetta" charge into Iraq for the mysterious no-show weapons of mass destruction? Cheney has more than ever to say, since leaving office. Hopefully he is making regular trips to the rifle range to ensure he does not kill off anymore of his friends. This guy should have a muzzle put on him. Obama may be stumbling here or there, but what a breath of fresh air over Cheney and his boss.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. John in Tampa

    Mr. Cheney is no longer in the loop and does not know all that is being done covertly by the Obama administration. He also seems not to realize that our treatment of detainees is not about their 'rights' but is about what we are willing to be as a people.

    Nonetheless he is as entitled to speak out as anyone, and nonetheless I hope President Obama considers Mr. Cheney's words carefully. Recent statements from the WHite House do sound a bit as if national security had slipped to the back burner, and Mr. Cheney is right to remind us all that national security is job one.

    December 30, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Mike

    Hey stupid, we were attacked on you and the other stupids watch.

    December 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Phillipa Rees

    Mr. Cheney,

    You have the right as an individual within a democratic society to express your views. However, I also have that right to challenge preposterous rhetoric.

    I know exacty what war does and why we have to try our utmost – with the honorable intentions of men (and women) like Barack Obama – to MOVE FORWARD into a better day and better world.

    War makes persons like you rich. I have not served in the armed forces of Britain (my country), but I have served in conflict and post-conflict situations as a civilian development expert. In Iraq, I saw firsthand the obscenity – yes, the obscenity of – money-making by organisations that are purely there to make money out of misery and war situations. Some of these organisations are those with which you have been closely associated with for many years.

    Please do not preach to us – the INFORMED majority. You have no right – nor the credibility.

    December 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. stillmanbd@aol.com

    If I was Dick Cheney I'd review his own record. He must not be getting the usual no contract constructions for Haliburton that he once was. This is perhaps the real reason behind his cynicism.

    President Obama does need to be concerned w/the American Front as well don't you think?

    I don't agree w/everything that President Obama is trying to accomplish and I do think he's perhaps more concerned about his legacy than he should be. i.e. Health Care Reform which I think is a total disaster. But as the saying goes "you can't please all of the people all of the time" and I wouldn't be concerned w/pleasing Dick Cheney. That's for sure!

    December 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. FM

    I praise the Bush family. They are classic. But the war-lover (monger) Cheney whatever comes from his mouth is war, terrorists, , terrorism, Al Qaeda etc..
    Can the President give this man a job he is devoted to (in-charge of fighting all wars), and we all be saved hearing his criticisms about war all the time.

    December 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. God help us

    Cheney GO AWAY NO ONE CARES

    December 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. me me me me

    Go back under your rock Darth Vader. we do not need to hear what you have to say..

    December 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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