February 4th, 2009
12:38 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama making U.S. less safe, Cheney says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/04/art.cheney.gi.jpg caption="Cheney said the Obama administration's policies are making the country less safe."]

(CNN) - The Obama administration's new policies on Guantanamo Bay prison and the treatment of detainees makes it more likely a terrorist attack against the United States will succeed, former Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday.

In an interview with Politico, the former vice president issued a stringent defense of the Bush administration's record on the war on terror, and said he worries the President Obama has already made the country more vulnerable.

Earlier: Cheney: Bush should have pardoned Libby

“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said in the interview published Wednesday.

Cheney also predicted the Obama administration is likely to backtrack on its pledge to end coercive interrogation techniques, since the protection of the United States from terrorists is a "tough, mean, dirty, nasty business.”

"These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek," he said.

The blunt comments come two weeks after President Obama issued executive orders that will close Guantanamo Bay within a year, and shut down secret CIA prisons abroad. Obama also signed an executive order calling on U.S. personnel to follow the Army Field Manual's guidelines when it comes to interrogation.

Related: What's next for Guantanamo Bay detainees?

In the interview, Cheney suggested Obama was irresponsibly adhering to “campaign rhetoric,” and called Guantanamo Bay a “first-class program.”


Filed under: Dick Cheney • President Obama
soundoff (712 Responses)
  1. Bill

    "These are evil people" – Yes. Your administration.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. A.L. Hall

    Get Over It you old codgers...McCain, Cheney...you lost...get behind the man and help instead of just complaining and spinning...you look stupid! Bush is looking ever so smart...gone into seclusion and has shutup.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Bruce Kitchell

    So what's new here. Cheny's fear campaign, even after he is gone, continues. Why does CNN even give him the time of day !! This man has done more to ruin the reputation of our country in the name of protecting us from terrorism than any other government official.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Linda

    How would Dick like it if someone took him and torture his behind to determine if he's guilty or innocent. Someone Tell Dick to Shut up and go sit in a coner and wait to be charged with war Crimes.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    It is time to get tough with Cheney. Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate him for war crimes.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Kenneth

    OK ... "Dick" ... Ever think that we are in this dangerous predicament because of the bully mentality and lack of understanding of the Bush administration? You have effectively setup President Obama's adminsitration and now you have the audacity to be judgmental! The Bush administration led us down this slippery path and you are the one's that have made the United States "less safe" and a target for terrorism. When you torture someone then it opens the door for you to be tortured. When you chastise someone it opens the door for you to be chastised. Don't blame President Obama for our lack of security ... look in the mirror ... "Dick".

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. JESS GULLIVER

    Obama has already shown he does not know what he is doing. His only apparent concern is with politics and his image as The Greatest. Well, it ain't so!

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Robert Bergley

    Dick's right.

    See, back when Dick was testing his gun on that guy's face, he was also concerned with safety.

    ...the safety of Halliburton, the safety of Iraq's oil, and the safety of Rush Limbaugh's illegal painkillers.

    Obama doesn't care about any of these things.

    That's why he should be impeached.

    Rush/Palin 2012!

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Dave

    Wasn't Cheney part of the administration that ignored warnings that 9/11 was about to happen? What does he know about making the USA safe?

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Pvt. Sauce

    I'd really like to see the numbers on how many prisoners that get released who weren't terrorists to being with, end up becoming terrorists later because of their treatment at Gitmo. If they're not terrorists going into Gitmo, they're probably gonna be converted by the time they get out.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. sonia

    Cheney is so irrelevant at the moment, that no on cares. When he speaks of evil people, he should consider himself and bush who used waterboarding instead of clout to get so called terrorists to confess. If you are someone in this world, you don't need to use torture to get what you need and want.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Joe

    I can't stand Cheney – but he's right about this one. Obama should have thought this out before he committed to shutting Gitmo down...he promised to shut it down before he even checked the place out...let's remember that the place is run by our military – you know – the heroes that keep us safe...Obama screwed up on Daschle and he needs to admit screwing up on Gitmo too – so much for the messiah who can do no wrong...

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. mammaduck123

    Why in the world would we care what this man has to say about this administration? He should be prosecuted for his own war crimes. Go sit in your new house Mr. Cheney and stay out of politics.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Dexter

    ah, Dick... You just don't get it.

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. FCheney

    Cheney has just confirmed that the Bush administration is OK with torture and wants it to continue. No wonder we are in the mess we are today.

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Richard

    Cheney knows all about security. He was on duty when 9/11 occurred.

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. Dan

    The former vice president seems to think that his tough methods are always directed against the bad guys, that these methods excel in getting critical information, and that they have no consequences outside of the interrogation room. He is wrong on all three.

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Tom Meyer

    Dick cheney personifies a homegrown terrorist. He continually promotes removing citizens off the strets and holding them in foreign torture camps without charges. This man along with George W Bush were all set to tear up the constitution and write their own. Teddy Roosevelt said : "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". The Bush administration used fear as their misssion statement to try and create a totalitarian government. Thank God the American people came to their senses and believe democracy is the winning strategy.

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Nate

    I thought we got rid of this guy and the Bush administrations fear tactics two weeks ago. Go away Cheney, no one wants to hear your opinion.

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. AB

    Shouldn't Cheney be out hunting somewhere?

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Bill

    "These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek"

    Aren't we all glad that Christian conservatives follow Jesus so accurately to the verbatim.

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Thomas Brown

    And I am listening to Cheney for what reason. Maybe he should take some of the money he made off of the Iraq war and make the US safer. Geez man can you just go away with your buddy Bush, Rush and Hannity...

    February 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. RN in Ann Arbor

    I want to ask all the Republican -Conservative Christians:
    Who would Jesus Torture?

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. Al, NY NY

    go away you old crank. Way to be supportive of the POTUS. I thought it was treasonous to not support your president???? You GOP hypocrites make me sick. You managed to screw this country up for 8 years with your cowboy diplomacy. It was sheer luck that no attacks were made since your "seive" border policy didn't check even 5% of incoming freight and a leisurely stroll over the border was a common practice by anyone who wanted to.

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Cecile, Canada

    Look who is talking, the war-criminal. That's insane. How come he is not in jail yet?

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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