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. K from Philly

    Last time I heard Obama sent the extra troops to Afganistan and approved the $$$ to fund it. Cheney it's time YOU had a reality check, the Bush Admin was the "vacationers" when the memo came down that Al Quada was planning the 9/11 attacks in August 2001. Why didn't your boys stop it? Under YOUR watch, YOU ignored it! Why? Now that is a question that needs to be answered by YOU!

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Bernard Brisbois

    Dick Cheney is absolutely right. Will it take another 9/11 before this president wakes up? He is without a doubt the worst president this country has ever seen.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Joan Hart

    That man is at it again. I hope everyone realizes that man ran our country for 8 years and he is the one who initiated the war in Iraq.His plan did not work and everyone faults Bush for the outcome, not that Bush was any better. I remember a comment a reporter made to Mr. Cheney if he was ready to throw his hat into the election for the next President of the USA, then I thought , "who does he think was running the country for the last 8 years?" Between Mr. Cheney and the senior Mr. Bush we have a real outright war.

    Mr. Obama is in the biggest mess of his life and he certainly doesn't need "warmonger" Mr. Cheney to criticize him.

    Joan Hart

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Nicole

    Well, Dick Cheney really "seems" to know what the President is thinking.

    I am so tired of him I wish he would be more like President Bush and be little bit more respectful, he does nothing more that make this country move devisive than it already is.

    I was not a fan of President Bush but I really respect how he has taken the high road since leaving office and it is helping me to see him a new light. Maybe Dick Cheney could take some lessons from him.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Cick Dhenney

    Does anyone find it surprising that a warmonger like Chenney can't wrap his mind around nuanced policy making. If Chenney had it his way, we would have an ongoing WAR against terrorism. The problem is that declaring or continuing to remind everyone that we are at WAR against a problem as opposed to a regime leads to indefinite war (look at the "war" on drugs). Mr. Chenney, please go shoot another friend in the face and shut up for the remiander of 2009.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. usualone

    With all his saber rattling, Cheney did not get any further along than this administration in this department. This administration will tighten up their ship for sure. This plane came from Amsterdam, not American soil and we do not have jurisdiction over their airport. So someone should tell Cheney to put a "sock in it". He is completely useless with his approach to life. If the bad guys want to get us, they may do it some time. Even in countries led by dictators and all the other controlled countries, these types of things can happen. Cheney must just like to hear his own voice.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Tom Sawyer

    Cheney,

    Because despite 8 years of ruling the world with iron fist, the world is not any safer ... but much more deadlier.

    When you point your guns, others will do the same.

    When you look down on others, others will look down on you.

    Cheney is very afraid because Obama has the power to release evidence of all Bush/Cheney's lies.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Dick Hater

    News flash and civics lesson, Dick: WE ARE NOT AT WAR! Only Congress can make a formal declaration of war. The abortions in Iraq and Afghanistan were started via Authorizations of the Use of Military Force (AUMFs) granted to your puppet president under false pretenses.

    Never before has a name been more appropriately given. You truly are a Dick. Now shut your hole and go away! You've done quite enough, thank you!

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Saintdiva1

    Why doesn't he go somewhere shut up and sit down and work on his own issues. Why doesn't he go away? No one needs him.

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

    Cheney is scum. He's already proven that HIS foreign policy didn't work. Obama has stated we're at war already. Cheney still states that he won't admit it. What a piece of work. How about "Cheney/Palin in 2012" They make the perfect couple.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Derek

    Please just go away. 9/11 happened on your watch and you had many years to win the "war". Instead, you took us on unnecessary war in Iraq and weakened this country beyond recognition while stuffing the coffers of your friends. Do you have no shame?
    We need big effort to fight terrorism. We need all advice we can get... just not from the former administration.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Mike

    Please just go slink away under that old familiar rock you live under. This country cast you and your cronies out long ago.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Klaus

    Once again, CNN acts as an unquestioning stenographer for the hypocrisy of Dick Cheney. Why doesn't CNN ask him why the GOP had no problem giving a civilian trial to the shoe bomber? What did he do to earn your slavish trust this time? Did he finally show Wolf Blitzer where the WMDs are?

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Marco

    All right Mr Dick Cheney can't keep your mouth shut. Lucky for us you are not in charge anymore doing your bidding through DUBYA.The president can put any spin he wants to on anything he says. Don't like it, go crawl back in a hole.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. dan-o

    Good for you Mr. Vice President. The nation owes you a debt of gratitude for your service.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. mike, Pennsylvania

    Why does this man keep talking. We are still paying for the decision to go into Iraq which has proven to be a tremendous recruiting tool for terrorists around the world. If he blames Obama for the recent terror attempt then his administration can be blamed for 9/11.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. smokey

    I didn;t know it was proper protocol for an American to speak out so publically against ones own goverment and leadership..Isn't there a word in the dictionary for this ??????

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. rita

    Cheney seems to think that he is still the president. The reason Bush has kept quite since leaving office is because he was never really the president. I understand that he is a citizen and has a say in what happens in this country, but whatever happened to the tradition of the previous administration keeping a low profile for several years. The continued suspension of habeas corpus is a recruiting tool for Al-Qaida. We must not lower our standards of humanity and sink to the depths of Al-Qaida by locking them up and throwing away the key without due process. We are better than that. Conservatives do not have the capacity to see shades of gray. Everything is either black or white, completely right or completely wrong. There is no wiggle room within their ideologically restricted scriptures. Cheney will forever be on a public relations mending tour of his presidential actions during the decade from hell.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Jon

    What a joke.

    December 30, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Mike

    And....why do we care what Dick Cheney says?

    December 30, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. JT

    Cheney wants to get paid. WAR, WAR, WAR!!!!

    December 30, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. Mark

    Perhaps Dick did no, or choose not to, hear what Obama said during his speech at West Point and upon receipt of the Peace Prize.

    December 30, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Norm

    Obama has never forgetten that we are still at war with Afghanistan. Yap, the same war that we could have won if you had given our troups the resources they needed early on. Instead, you let it drag on and then created a war in Iraq that required us to pull our troups out of Afghanistan.

    Obama is well aware that we are still fighting this war and it's account of you. Brilliant move Dick.

    December 30, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. The Ark

    I have been a Republican for thirty years however, I will be changing my party affiliation today to Independent. With statement of former VP Cheney and other Republicans, it is clear to me that Republicans would rather see our Country go down the drain than to support anything President Obama does or say. The Republican priorities are screwed up. My priorities are; God, Country, Family, State, City and then Party

    December 30, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. adods

    Obama gathers information, thinks first, acts, doesn't show all his cards and realizes self-promoting posturing is useless and incendiary.

    Chaney, et al., bluster, speak first – think later if ever, incite hatred and hide in bunkers. This man is not a patriot, he is a caricature and a buffoon.

    December 30, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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