January 3rd, 2010
01:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Brennan: Cheney wrong to criticize Obama

Washington (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney either "willfully mischaracterized" President Barack Obama's terrorism policies or is "ignorant of the facts," Obama's anti-terrorism czar said Sunday.

In comments on "FOX News Sunday" and NBC's "Meet the Press," John Brennan - the deputy national security adviser who is Obama's assistant on homeland security and counterterrorism - said partisan sniping diverts attention from the terrorists trying to harm the country.

Last week, Cheney said Obama had made the nation less safe by pretending there was no war against terrorists. Cheney, who spoke after the failed Christmas Day terrorist bombing of a U.S. airliner, was a main driver of the previous administration's controversial anti-terrorism policies.

Obama has ended or scaled back some of those policies, and Brennan said Sunday that critics were wrong to question the president's resolve.

"It's disappointing to me that either the vice president and others have willfully mischaracterized President Obama's position and actions, or they're just ignorant of the facts," Brennan said on the FOX program.

A former CIA agent who has served five administrations, Brennan said Obama's commitment to national security and fighting terrorism matched any other leader he has known.

Brennan said the unwarranted criticism "made people lose sight of who the real enemy is here."

"Al Qaeda has been responsible for the deaths of many, many Americans," Brennan said. "At this time right now, after this failed attempt, I think what we have to do is to think back after 9/11 when this country came together, when Democrat and Republican said, 'We have to make sure that we are able to stop al Qaeda from carrying out its acts of terrorism and trying to murder innocent civilians.' "


Filed under: Dick Cheney • John Brennan • President Obama • Terrorism
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Carz

    Remember last year when Cheney was *certain* that the country would be swamped with terrorist attacks as soon as Obama came into office? And how he predicted that Obama would be incapable of dealing with it? The dude's a total fear monger.

    January 3, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Cheney will stand trial

    Dick Cheney will stand trial in the willful mis-use of American soldiers, Deciet of Congress, the Senate and the American People, War Profiteering as amember of Govt., Treason,

    All the questions will be answered

    Justice shall prevail

    and He will be forgotten. The name is synonymous with apathy, and disgrace. An historical failure as a Nation to protect our selves from the greatest threat of all, extreme ignorance, hubris and greed in power.

    whispered on the whirlwind.....

    January 3, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. cfj

    Cheney. He's all of the above... ignorant, misleading, vehement, lying, and anything else imaginable. He will do anything or say anything to get his mug in the news circles.

    January 3, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. CTSadler

    And why isn't Cheney in jail again?

    January 3, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Carnell From The Motor City!

    Political Media Theatre Overkill Is The Sport Where HypocriCNN Is The Biggest Fan And Spectator. Thank You Mr. Brennan For Pointing Out The Obvious, And FOX (Nuisense/Noise) News Channel Can No Longer Make A Legitimate Claim That The White House Doesn't Make Its Officials Available To Them.

    January 3, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. TOTUS

    Brennan is a political tool of Obama and previously for Clinton, and is now the mouthpiece for Homeland Security because he can at least look and sound oh so serious and competent (compared to that idiot Napolitano, who has now been placed into isolation).

    But look at his words, and he is saying essentially the same things. "This (crotch bomber attack) was a unique operation that had never before been attempted by AL Qaida." Duh – can you say SHOE BOMBER!!! Richard Reid's attack was operationally identical and also used PETN!!

    AND they STILL want to free more Gitmo terrorists back to Yemen??? Let's get all of these incompetents OUT NOW!!!

    January 3, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. don

    cheney is jealous of obama for trying to do what he manipulted bush not to do.he sound bitter and not objective.he had his turn and messed up.let him speak most americans d o not respect cheney anyways.

    January 3, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Gregory H. Brooklyn, New York

    I am tired, and I believe a large percentage of Americans are too, of hearing what Cheney thinks....One could argue the mess we're in is largely due to him. Stop giving him the mike, we know what's going to come out. It's time we turn the page on Dick. Dick just go away, pretty please.

    January 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Brunton

    I agree and also don't believe we have to become a police state to have a reasonable amount of safety. Nothing we can do to stop the McVeighs of the world anyway. Cheney just wants to preserve the fear in hopes that Obama loses and the next Republican can continue the march to the right wing police state that Bush-Cheney began.

    January 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. jeff

    I hate repubs and dems.
    But for an adviser to call a former vice president ignorant is not acceptable.
    Obama and everyone in his admin have constantly put down the former administration and its pollicies so why shouldn't the former admin fight back

    January 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. socalgal

    So apparently it is this administration's policy to label earned criticism as wrong just as it is to disagree or protest. So we're just one step from calling it 'un-American' and becoming like China and Iran. Just watch how this unfolds...

    January 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. john newsome

    I dont have anything to say about Cheyney but he that had 5 deferments for Vietnam outta keep his mouth shut..5 deferments meant he was scared to go into action like he wants all the other boys to do–Keep your mouth shut–Obama dont owe you anything but to allow Eric Holder to call you in and question you about your war profits with Halliburton...

    January 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. socalgal

    It is never wrong to point out wrong-ness!

    January 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. amt. CA

    I am glad to hear Brennan speaking out & speaking up for Obama. I am really, really, sick of Cheney & other repubs (DeMint, for one)always criticizing our Pres no matter what he does, hoping & praying he will fail. I wonder if they realize how evil & hateful they really are. They would rather put politics first eventho it hurts out country.

    January 3, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. jerseylou

    Who gives a rats ass what the fake heart attack cheney says these days. Only the ignorant listen to this draft dodging coward.

    January 3, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Hugo

    Thank goodness for Dick Cheney's vigilance, if he weren't sniping at Obama's policies we might have Osama Bin Laden as our National Home Land Security Czar. Obama is a rookie and his learning curve (aka dithering) costs American Service Men their lives in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I for one would not want to be a statistic of terror due to an Administration that is in denial that there is a well organized enemy set on destroying us in anyway possible at the wheel. Point being next time you walk through the Airport just take a look at most of your TSA professionals protecting you from the bad guys, especially while they strip search your 83 year old Grandmother and subject her to a body cavity search....Kind of like the DMV!

    January 3, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. beanne

    Hey Brennan,
    we are not ignorant of the FACT that Obama is making it very easy for terrorists to come here and attack us by promisins them citizenship, lawyeres, a wprld platform to spew their hatred...He may as well take down the l girl liberty and replace it with a statue of himself holding ip he Koran in one hand and an olive branch in another.........

    January 3, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. zazzle.com/TheProgram

    Lest we forget: 9/11 happened during the Bush/Cheney regime.

    January 3, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. jules sand-perkins

    Cheney was right in his criticism of President Obama.

    January 3, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This is so ironic that George Bush has just sit back and has said nothing to contribute his thoughts on how we proceed in this fight it would be helpful if all the presidents would dive into this mess .

    January 3, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Ellen

    Dick Cheney needs to step out of the spotlight. His divisive attacks are harming our country. Let's remember these attacks of his started just after Obama sat in the chair behind the desk in the oval office.

    January 3, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    It is quite stunning that an ex-VP who did not end 2 wars of his making in 7 years and who is also a 5 time Viet Nam era draft dodger, is currently giving President Obama WAR ADVICE!

    How ironic that the disposed draft dodging VP thinks he has any thing credible to say about war, other than how to start them.

    All you cons better remember this traitor, and bash him for speaking negatively against the President in a time of war, you did nothing but spew venom when anyone DARED question the motives or ablility of the shrub in the "time of war", however, you have no problem calling Dems "not focused on national security" or "weak kneed" in an international forum.

    Now, that the shoe is on the other foot, this treasonous freak, is just exercising his "freedom of speech"?

    Not one of you will condemn this traitor but you will all defend him.

    Look again, we are still fighting the elective oil war and seeking revenge for Daddy war in Iran started by the shrub, and we are still in Afganistan, the same 2 wars that were running under the former chump in chief.

    Just remember these moments SHOULD you ever see the inside of the WH again other than as a visitor.

    After this these comments by a former republiklan vice president that preached "unity" under his watch, we will not be silenced the next time under the guise of "unity during the time of war", rest assured, we will give as good as we have gotten from this traitor!

    January 3, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Bob in Pa

    Maybe ole Dick should put the sites on the " anti-terrorism czar" cause we all know that BO can't think for himself. Let's get to the root of the problem.

    January 3, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. usualone

    Mr. Brennan is absolutely correct. Partisan politics only shows those folk only care about themselves and getting reelected. They do not care about the American people. It would be wonderful if the public who believes in these types such as Cheney, who are only self-serving people, would wake up and really see what Cheney and his ilk represent. Cheney lost his credibility with the Iraq war (if not before). He got rich after servicemen and servicewomen lost their lives in that operation. People tend to think the war mongers such as Cheney are strong. What an easy way to think and it has proven wrong in most, if not all, cases.

    January 3, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. PK California

    Cheney is not in a position to criticise what the president thinks or does! He was in that position once and did a rotten job! All he did was terrorize the country with fear tactics, Now he watches everything the new president does and finds fault with it ALL! He had his opportunity to end terrorism; end an 8 year war; fix the economy; fix health care. He did nothing except, leave it for this administration, to fix in one year what he couldn't do in 8! Get back to your box, Cheney, and let the new folk do the best they can to clean up the mess you made!

    January 3, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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