Cheney: No regrets
September 6th, 2011
05:44 PM ET
3 years ago

Cheney: No regrets

(CNN) – When talking about his eight years as vice president, Dick Cheney said he had no regrets from his time working as former President George W. Bush's right-hand man.

"And I'm not inclined to make any mea culpas," Cheney told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview to air on the "Situation Room" Tuesday.

Promoting his new book, "In My Time," a 352-page memoir, Cheney spoke about his four decades in government, the Sept. 11 attacks, and his involvement with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cheney had an instrumental role in the decision to send troops to Iraq nearly two years after 9/11. Widespread doubts emerged about the government's initial reason for going to war: suspicions that the country had links to terrorist cells and was harboring weapons of mass destruction.

When asked if the current fatality count of more than 4,000 troops in Iraq, coupled with the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war, made it a worthy endeavor, Cheney said "yes."

"No doubt about it," Cheney said. "When we went in and took down Saddam Hussein, first of all, we got rid of one of the worst dictators in the world."

Cheney added that the takeout of Hussein prompted then-Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to "cough" up his nuclear materials at the time.

Still talking about the war in Iraq, he later said: "I think we made exactly the right decisions."

"There were a lot of things that came out of what we did in Iraq that were very positive," Cheney said. "We're much better off today with Saddam Hussein gone. We've got Moammar Gadhafi gone. We got a lot done. We didn't get it all done, but we got a lot done."

Cheney has been the target for criticism surrounding the government's interrogation methods of terrorist suspects. He stood by those methods Tuesday, arguing that they prevented another terrorist attack in the United States.

"I think a lot of the most controversial things we did that people didn't like, like the terrorist surveillance program and enhanced interrogation, were things that allowed us to save lives," Cheney said.

He also congratulated President Barack Obama for overseeing the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden in May. But Cheney added that the Bush administration also deserves credit for the success.

"A lot of the work we did in the intelligence community and special operations forces in that period of time laid that groundwork for the ultimate capturing and killing of Osama bin Laden," Cheney said.

– Read Wolf Blitzer's blog post about the interview.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: 9/11 • Afghanistan • Dick Cheney • Iraq • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Indy

    Watching this man gives me the creeps, he oozes evil from his skin. To think this man ran the country for eight years with Bush as the Puppet it is no wonder why there is still a mess that will take another decade to clean up.

    September 6, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. al in memphis

    When asked if the current fatality count of more than 4,000 troops in Iraq, coupled with the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war, made it a worthy endeavor, Cheney said "yes."
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Maybe you misunderstood the question– we didn't ask you if it was "profitable" was it worth 4000 lives, thousands of families enduring hardships, and billions of dollars of debt that the middle class will have to pay.
    We already know it was profitable for Halliburton and others.

    September 6, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "No doubt about it," Cheney said. "When we went in and took down Saddam Hussein, first of all, we got rid of one of the worst dictators in the world."
    -----------------–
    When you took out Saddam you took out the counter balance to a strong Iran. Saddam wanted to be the the strongest military power, if not the only power, in the region. Saddam made frequent raids and attacks into Iranian territory against suspected nuclear sites and military research facilities. Only Saddam could do that and get away with it.

    Then you depose Badhdad, and instead of securing your gains, you begin an immediate withdrawal and declared, "Mission Accomplished." I find the choice of words and the sentiment expressed very revealing. Cheney had no plan for Iraq after Saddam was deposed. That was the mission. And he took his eye off Bin Laden in Tora Bora to do it.

    September 6, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Blitzer, I am dissappointed that you did not question Mr. Cheney during your deficits segment about, "Deficits don't matter."

    September 6, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "A lot of the work we did in the intelligence community and special operations forces in that period of time laid that groundwork for the ultimate capturing and killing of Osama bin Laden," Cheney said.
    -------------–
    Didn't Bush say that he didn't know where Bin Laden was, and that it didn't matter because Bin Laden was a non-factor. I believe Bush spoke truthfully, and was not using reverse pyschology to instill a feeling of daring and false confidence. in Al-Qaeda.

    September 6, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Ken in MD

    Cheney continues to think that everything he did was good. One more example of how his judgement is lacking.

    September 6, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. al

    he loved every second of 9-11 .

    September 6, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. w l jones

    Why some people dislike VP Dick Cheney! for a strange reason I always liked the man. Strange again gust look at him make one smile. Bless..

    September 6, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Tc

    Please ask him if he should be brought up on war crimes

    September 6, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  10. BobZemko

    A real-life Dr. Strangelove.

    September 6, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. Scott Mansfield

    Cheney's consistent hubris and willful ignorance continue. The war in Iraq will likely cost the US over 3 trillion dollars plus thousands of shattered lives in this country and millions in Iraq. Supposedly to take out one dictator and his sons who had NOTHING to do with 9/11. Pathetic.

    September 6, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Cheney is proof of what happens when sociopaths are not prevented from gaining power in business and government. I regret he hasn't been charged with war crimes.

    September 6, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. Tanbiker2

    It's amazing that Dick Cheney can sit there with a straight face and claim "we set the stage for getting Osama bin Laden." That is a barefaced lie. Apparently, in his growing senility, Dick can't remember that GWBush was asked on several occasions during his second term if he knew where bin Laden was. On at least two of those occasions, Bush responded, "I don't know, and I don't care." Well, we know by now that war criminals are always liars.

    September 6, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. Jimmy Kelley

    This man is the face of Evil.

    September 6, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    All you need to do is look at that grin on his face and you know what kind of person he is. Now that not one, not two, but 3 ex-Bushies have said he's lied in his book, he still stands his ground on his policies and ideas.

    September 6, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. cured76

    A lot of the work "we" did? Please, man. Bush/Cheney would never have gone into Pakistan since they were trying to get in bed with Musharraf. I actually don't recall hearing a single talking head saying we should go unilaterally into Pakistan to get him. That's why we've been using drones to bomb the tribal areas for years. He can revise history all he wants, history will always remember him as a scoundrel.

    September 6, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. Betty

    well he may not have regrets but most of the rest of us sure do.

    September 6, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Edith Zang

    On the Wolf Glitzer show, Dick Cheney said: "I haven't decided whether to get a heart transplant." If this man, who is personally responsible for the torture, death and maiming of ten of thousands innocent young Americans, Iraqis and Afganis, gets a new heart when hundreds of deseperately ill and dserving people die for lack of an available heart – that will be be one of greatest tragedies of the century. He should instead be in jail for life for his deeds.

    September 6, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. A keen observer

    Besides being a sniveling, draft-dodging coward, Cheney is a disgrace to the United States. He should be tried for war crimes and treason.

    September 6, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. jerseygirl

    He's just as clueless as when he was in office. Scary.

    September 6, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. joe plain WI

    A liar is always a liar! 'nuf said

    September 6, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. rob

    Can't wait for all the lovely, thoughtfull, rational, tollerant posts to appear here after this story. Cheney was at least right about makeing some heads explode, this page will include allot of that. Looking forward to all the 'civility' from all you hypocrites on the left.

    September 6, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  23. mian

    He is full of you know ...WHAT.He has his personel agenda to get Haliburton contracts without bids.

    September 6, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |