December 30th, 2009
12:45 PM ET
10 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. Gregory From New Orleans

    Cheney has quite the nerve to even show his face in public. He was the architect of the failed policies that have us in this position. The Economy, The two wars, healthcare not even being looked at for eight years. A former vice president who taking jabs at a president who has been in office for 11months shows what Cheney is made of. Its like somebody coming to your house spilling drinks and food on your carpet and then have the audacity to not just help you clean but to not help and then criticize the way you are cleaning up his mess. This man shouldn't be given any forums to speak. He is unpatriotic and a Haliburton big money pimp.

    December 30, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. R in Maine

    Yes, we are at war. Cheney is an unpatriotic traitor who is looking for ways to make more money from the war and to avoid the consequences of his violations of international law and of human rights. He is hateful, anti-Christian scum. We will do better when we hand him over for waterboarding.

    December 30, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Mercy Me

    Please go home and keep your thoughts to yourself; you seem to forget that you were there when the largest attack on America happened. Go away, tired of listening to you whine.

    December 30, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Mike

    Instead of criticizing the President which is the only thing Cheney does perhaps he should offer whatever value he has left privately to our intelligence community. All he does is come off as a right wing hack who spouts the unending criticism with no ideas for helping better the situation.

    He and his Bush lackeys are the chief reason we find ourselves mired in 2 conflicts.

    December 30, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. LM Sorenson

    I'm sorry, but who gives a flying rat's rear end what Dick Cheney thinks? Shut up and move on, Dick.

    December 30, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Fitz In Texas

    AMEN AMEN AMEN Dick Cheney.......Seems President Obama has forgotten it's the American people he should be protecting and serving.

    December 30, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. amazed

    Yes he secured his FIVE deferments to aoid service in Vietnam and now the chickenhawk continues to bark. So tough thousands of miles from the front.

    And thanks for the 2 trillion dollar, useless Bush/Cheney WMD war in Iraq.

    December 30, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Ryan

    I like how Dick Cheney pretty much just says in here that the way Obama is trying to put these people through our legal system wont work. Pathetic Cheney that you have no faith in our system...

    If the Terrorists are guilty for their actions, then what should be the problem putting them through our justice system? Oh I understand, he is just a typical throw away the key and ask questions later type of republican. All these people are Muslim so they must be terrorists right?

    Cheney go away.

    December 30, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Ray Jackson, Ms

    Yo dick. Running around and screaming like a girl is unbecoming of a president. We expect them to be strong and in charge. Not just bomb random countries because they are scared of the boogie man.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. ran

    Why CNN do you give this guy any time at all? Why don't you give our troops the time instead?

    It is people like Chaney that put us in the mess in the first place. If he and bush had not gone into Iraq most of the terrorist would have been eleminated by now.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Deedles

    We did the same with the Shoe Bomber you idiot. Under YOUR watchful eye. And you crowed about it. Cheney, you AND Tom Ridge, are as despicable as always.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. chris L

    LOL really Dick??? Why don’t you admit that you were the one back in the 90’s saying that we should never invade Iraq because it would be a quagmire that would cost America lives and money…but never mind that…so what Obama does not use the words “war on terror” maybe he is smart enough to know you can never win a war by fighting a philosophy or ideal…we are fighting against the Taliban and Al Qaeda not terror everywhere…did our leaders ever say we are fighting a “war on communism” during Vietnam or Korea because if so we wouldn’t we be fighting china right now?? And if we are fighting a War on Terror then why are we not helping some of the countries in Africa that are being terrorized each day…oh yea they don’t have anything we want and slavery is dead oops I forgot sorry… so really Dick tell me how long has terrorism been around and how much longer do you think we will have to waste my battle buddies lives to stop the ideal and philosophy of terrorism??

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. In America, we should follow the Constitution

    Despite the efforts of the Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft administration to trash the constitution and the bill of rights in their 8 year reign of terror, we really need to return to what makes America great.

    Time to say "No!" to their platform of hate, fear, and divisiveness.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Andy from CA

    Vote Dick Cheney for president in 2012. I volunteer my services as his campaign manager.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Casy

    Hate to say it but Cheney makes good points!

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. BB

    Mr Cheney, Obama is well aware that we are at war. While I'm not a big fan of him, you left him two wars that you FAILED in every way to finish. You have no remaining credibility.
    We should never forget Tora Bora.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. oxbobend

    I think we are all pretending we are not at war. If we were at war, the congress would declare it, as The Constitution of the United States requires. I wonder if Cheney has ever read the constitution?

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. JDB in EC

    What happened on your watch, Cheney? 3000 people died because of inadequate security at U.S. airports. Those airports were under your control. This incident began at a Dutch airport. It is not under Obama's control. In addition, Obama is manning up and not running off to some "undisclosed location" to hide like you did. Napolitano is standing up and taking responsibility. She's a better man than you ever were.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Gary

    That's right, we're NOT at war until it's declared by Congress. I seriously wish this guy would go away (and I don't care how).

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. John, Chicago

    Dick Cheney seems to think people who don't watch Faux news really care what he say's. Tricky Dick seems to think that 99% of Americans are stupid. Dick seems to think that we have forgotten where the failed policies started. Dick seems to think that the plane exploded and we just suffered another attack. Dick seems to think that the policies of the Bush administration would have prevented the guy from boarding the plane in Amsterdam. Dick Cheney seems to think
    that we don't know that he is a war mongering money grubbing sick old man (Mr. Potter) Dick seems to think people other than the morons who watch Fox news care what he thinks.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Tom Ehlers

    Why is it not treasonist for Cheney to criticize a President at war? Apparently, his previous comment only pertained to Republican Presidents! I think all Americans should be alarmed when anyone says, Let's ignore the Constitution and handle this as a military matter! Next he will find a reason for the military to attack "Blue" States! Why doesn't he fade away gracefully like Bush and stop making a fool of himself! The American people rejected the Republican way of doing things!

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Joe

    Yeah why don't we just torture them like the adminastration that he was in did.......republicans will find anything to fight about why don't they just work together so us the American People can prosper, instead of fighting like little school children on a playground......im embarrased!!!

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Ken Sardy

    Cheney is a bag of wind. Obama has increased drone attacks in Pakistan, has increased our forces in Afganistan (and got others do do so also), and has already attacked targets in Yemen. Obama does not have to publically say we are at war, just look at the actions of our military.

    December 30, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. tjaman

    Dick has also somehow forgotten the BOOTPRINT on his BACKSIDE from a nation sick of his administration's fear-mongering and lies.

    Domestic terror death toll under Bush-Cheney: 3,000+ within nine months in office.
    Domestic terror death toll under Obama: 12.

    Well, you've got to hand it to him. Dick has certainly presided over more death, destruction, devastation and horror.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. Leo

    Cheney should ask himself, how did we get into this war. He is out of office and should go find a job being a Walmart greeter.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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