February 4th, 2009
12:38 PM ET
11 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. Jim D, IL

    Anyone else think that Cheney is becoming more and more like a delusional Col Nathan Jessup from "A Few Good Men"? A once honorable public servant, turned maniacal, delusional, power-hungry, all-knowing, never-wrong collateral damage machine, forsaking laws and rights and human deceny in the name of what he wants to do.

    Scary. Even Bush distanced himself from Cheney in the latter half of his Presidency.

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. JL

    Cheney is a cruel, cruel, power hungry man who only sees things through the scope of war. Anyone who thinks torture is the only way to keep us safe is a horrible person and not really christian. We made a big mistake by electing these two men twice.

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Roberto

    Cheney, 10,000 Americans died at the hands of terrorists and/or religious fanatics in the USA, Iraq and Afganistan during your watch. You and Bush did nothing to keep Americans safe. The borders are not secure.

    You and your cabal are a total failure. You have no standing to make judgements on the new administration.

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

    Is Cheney serious? This is coming from the Vice President with a 10% approval rating. The prison is actually viewed by numerous countries as the US version of a concentration camp. It should have been closed a long time ago. We already had 8 years of Cheneys opinions and look where it got us. Obama is doing ethical things for this country.

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Vince K

    Que the Darth Vader music.

    So is it Cheney's turn for regular rotation on CNN's washed up Washington politicians contributing their $.02 time?

    Cheney's greed made this country less safe. With any luck he get prosecuted.

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Jeff

    The Grim Reaper needs to keep his mouth shut. We will be recovering from his and "W"'s policies for generations to come. Cheney–Go crawl back into your cave and let us get on with getting this country back to its roots.

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Chuck

    Hey, Cheney, take a hike and stay out of it. You've damaged this country enough.

    February 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Brian

    The only way that the terrorists win is if they make us change who we are. We will not abandon our principles and our constitution. I would rather have 911 every day than forfeit our constitution and our way of life – otherwise, all is lost.

    Are we the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” or the Land of the Suspects and home of the Frightened?

    Mr. Cheney’s remarks surely hit home with the newly crafted Republican base – The simple minded and easily frightened.

    We have had enough of you Mr. Cheney. Go hide behind a rock. We’ll let you know when it is safe to come out.

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. tony long

    1. who cares what the devil thinks.
    2. bush and all his helpers knew that al qaeda was planning on using airplanes to crash into buildings and did nothing about it .
    they do not have anyones back but their own and they showed it

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. dave

    and this dolt's thoughts are important because??? Mr. Cheney should be in jail, not spewing his nonsensical hatred on national news outlets...

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Connor

    After all the international laws that he's violated and the civil liberties that he trampled and the profiteering he did while in office, Cheney has the least right of anyone to criticize how his mess is cleaned up. He's lucky that an angry mob doesn't tar him, feather him and throw him headfirst into the Potomac.

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Survivor

    I'm a Democrat (leaning mostly because they are a Positive Party) I pay my taxes – I worked for over 40 years – retired – am not rich – am not elitist – love positive thinking people from all over the world – love a clean and heatlhy environment – want to see "brains" over "brawn" in the White House and am getting sick to death of the comments and attitude of the GOP and their minions.....happily the Democratic Party won the White House and most of the House and Senate – get over yourselves and do something that helps someone else besides yourselves and your Agenda!

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Alan

    What Dick is forgetting is WHY these people want to kill Americans any way they can. When we become like them, they use it against us to recruit even MORE. It's like cutting off the head of a dreadful creature that's capable of regenerating MORE creatures each time you do it.

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. steve

    Cheney and the Bush Administration are responsible for the increase in the number of Al Qaeda throughout the world, and especially in Afghanistan. They took their "eye off the ball" when they charged into Iraq, and needlessly killed many tens of thousands of innocent people supposedly going after Al Qaeda. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq despite what the Bush Administration told the American people.

    Who cares what Cheney thinks anyway!

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Kris

    Cheney should keep his head down & his trap shut!! I don't want to hear from him or his "ex-boss", unless it's in front of a judge/jury.
    Hey kettle, you don't REALLY want to go there re: vulnerability, do you??!!

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Richard

    I wonder what conservative Christians think about Cheney's comment that what was good enough for Jesus (turning the other cheek) isn't good enough for us.

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. steveg

    With as much damage this politi-thug has done, he has very little basis on which to make accusations against others. I realize it's somewhat cheeky for President Obama to want the US military to follow international and US law, but he's full of these crazy ideas we shuold at least listen to and consider.

    Cheney, go "F" yourself.

    February 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. yeah right

    it is me or the neocons have no shame.Please go away doomdsay crap now the democrat need to arrest this cheney, no pity just do it.

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Travis Cowsill

    What a Dick Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    Well, I still remember being attack on 9/11/01. Over one year that Bush and Cheney were in office. AND when we were attack Bush didn't know what to do; he kept reading a book to kids. I guess he thought reading a book to kids was more important than finding out who is attacking us... or he knew who was attacking us. What about Cheney; where was he? I remember the media tried to find out where was Cheney. He was hiding in a bunker commanding NORAD NOT TO ATTACK THE HIJACK AIRPLANES. NORAD is very good at intercepting hijack planes, but for some reason not on 9/11/01. Cheney, you made 9/11 and for that you have not made the country safe... EVER!!

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. ShutUpCheney

    Go shoot some other friend of yours

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. mnoel

    9/11 happened on your watch. You left America unsafe!!! Please Shut up!!! You are Evil and full of greed.

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Mike Dallas

    The 53% to 46% spanking the Dems gave you was not enough to let you know we do not want you or your kind anywhere near a leadership role in this country?

    Obama is only doing what the majority of Americans want done, that is why we voted for him. Unlike the shrub's my way or the hiway Obama actually tries to represent the citizens of America.

    You had 8 years and just look where that got us. The shrub was too busy cutting brush in Crawford to pay any attention to a daily briefing that was entitled "bin Laden may strike America" and a SOS that ignored the Clinton's warnings and we were attacked on your watch.

    So, what would make you repubs think anyone wants your ideas on either security or your "tax break" mantra for economic woes. Both were tried for 8 years for the result see the first paragraph!

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Patricia Tharp

    We've heard enought from Dick Cheney the last eight years. He has been instrumental in ruining our country, since he was actually the president behind the Bush figure head. The people of America don't need his advise any longer-–let him go enjoy his Halliburton millions and leave us alone.

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Cole-Boston

    Oh really. Dick............. How many terrorist were released during the Bush-Cheney reign & are now back fighting & killing our American soldiers?

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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