December 30th, 2009
12:45 PM ET
8 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. John

    You're in a fantasy world, Obama.... you will find this out in November

    you may go back to your tropical umbrella drink now.....

    December 30, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. Carmelle

    The guy authorized 41K more troops to Afghan JUST THIS YEAR!

    Dick!!

    December 30, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. John

    Dick Cheney is right on point. In fact one of the early comments out of the White House was that the "no fly" screening process was a carryover from the Bush administration. While likely true, Obama has been in office nearly 12 months and he therefore owns any screening process that has not been changed.

    December 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Susan

    This man's a joke .. plain and simple. He appears to bash President Obama at every turn; however, he fails to find any fault whatsoever with the failures of the Bush/Cheney administration. After all, 9/11 happened on their watch. Or did everyone forget?

    Why hasn't anyone bothered to inform the American people that Bush didn't respond to the "shoe bomber" episode for 6 days.

    GO AWAY DICK CHENEY!

    December 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Yooper

    What planet is he on I have never heard the president say any of this crap...Eat some grease and have a heart attack and let the world move on away from this idiot.

    December 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Rob from MO

    This war criminal needs to crawl back under his rock. Maybe now the Repugnants in the Senate will stop playing politics and allow the chamber to vote on the president's nominee to run TSA. It's hard for an organization to do a good job when it lacks a leader. But I wont hold my breathe. The repugs have repeated shown that they are willing to compromise the nation's security with their political opposition to the president.

    December 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Jim

    Chaney, please get over yourself. Who cares what you say or think? My family is still scarred from the war you got us into in Iraq. I wish you would try getting into some legitmate business.

    December 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. christopher (hartford, ct)

    Dear Mr Cheney,

    Obama had a "low key" response to this latest act of terrorism because you didn't leave him with many more countries left to invade.

    December 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. FanSlwHnd

    Who cares what Cheney has to say about anything? Why cover this? He's a has been who never was worth listening to to begin with.

    December 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Barbara Caniff

    Why don't this guy go crawl in a hole and shut up. He is just a plain old citizen, just like me.

    December 30, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Simple Words

    “Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Hermann Göring, Nazi Ringleader, c 1946 at the Nuremburg War Criminals Trial

    December 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. sharon

    O.k. so this darth vader........wants to blow up everyone he can think to.
    Start wars wherever, when ever, no need to have "intelligence" .....................

    WANT HE MAKE A GOOD V.P. UNDER PALIN?

    This can be the ONLY reason why these 2 idiots speak out constantly.........media hounds of hell.

    December 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Mike Smith

    I think President Obama knows it's an important issue, but it's only one issue. There are many others, foreign and domestic. One doesn't need to talk about it every day or make it the most important or only issue facing the world. Mr. Cheney has an opinion and some thoughts, and I'm sure some very smart people in the Obama administration think about the same things. Let's just spend more time on the things percentage wise that affect the everyday lives of our families. It might be best if an administration can be known for many accomplishments, not just four or eight years of talking all the time about terrorism.

    December 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. ugh

    Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war while Cheney is trying to pretend he is not a war criminal.

    Both are as credible as the paradoxical "war on terror".

    December 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. CR

    Dick Cheney is anti-American filth. He and the half-wit front man Bush did enough damage to the nation while in office, and should stick a cork it at this point.

    December 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. CJ

    Who cares what Cheney says or does? He is the one that got us into this mess, but he really knew what he was doing? He proves over and over that he is not very smart!

    December 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. historian

    Dick Cheney should retire and let the Obama Administration do their job. If he was doing his job, we may not have had 9-11. How would anyone ever know to check where that bomb material was before this incident? If this situation had not occurred and we had put x-rays, etc. into play, the public would have really screamed that the government was just taking over. You can't win with some of the politicians.

    December 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. jsilver2tg

    Did I miss something but wasn't it the Bush Cheney admin that released the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists from Guantanamo for retraining only to find them back in action today? Shame forner VP you released terrorists not Obama- Don't trust the US legal system? Is that because the Supreme Court stole the election for you and Bush?

    December 30, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. nathan

    Well, we don't have wars on ideologies, War on drugs, War on poverty, War on terror. We have wars on countries. Technically we never got a declaration of war to even go to war. So what the hell are we doing there.

    Bring the troops home get the hell out of that hornets nest and stop letting muslims fly. You are wasting resources when you check every white/black female with a baby or anyone that is not a muslim. I know the numerous implications of the statement above.

    December 30, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. RogerKC

    Mr. Cheney should retire. He's had his shot at the presidency as the puppeteer behind "W"'s disasterous 2 terms. As a result of that failed policy, the US has become bogged down by two wars, one which was totally unnecessary and justified by lies and other Cheney-Bush contrivances and one which has become a ground hog day without escape. Mr. Cheney needs to realize that he and his party were booted out of our leadership in a landslide. They no longer represent anything other than the old guard and the far right hypocritical factions that take the money and "Praise the Lord".

    The game is over for you Mr. Cheney. Now take a bow and get lost.

    December 30, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. brendan fleming

    I wish Dick would just go away. Nobody liked him or cared what he had to say when he was in office. Why would he think people would care about him now? Will somebody please tell this poor, sad creature that he doesn't work at The White House anymore. (thank goodness)

    December 30, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Jerry Bohr

    Mr. Cheney,

    Well at least the president has enough respect to salute our dead hero's when they come back in a casket. What did you and our former President Mr. Bush do? There isnt a politician that can actually tell me they actually give a blank to what happens to our men and women that have served. They think of 2 things..........their own election or re-election..........and their own pocketbook. Please respond!

    Veteran

    December 30, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. dave

    would someone please wake 'DICK' up and tell him he's out of office!

    December 30, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. DR

    Cheney is insignificant.

    December 30, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Tim O'Neill

    He is going to send 30000 troops to Afghanistan and believes we are not at war? He has campaigned to get us out of Iraq, a desire of Iraq itself as opposed to Cheney's preference, but believes we are not at war? Cheney believed there were weapons of mass destruction but the fact they weren't there did not fit in his view of the world. He believed we would be welcomed as liberators as that fit his view of the world. He will not give credit to the present administration we still have not had a terrorist act here as that does not fit his fantasy view of the world.

    December 30, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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