February 4th, 2009
12:38 PM ET
10 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. A

    I love u Obama but I might have to agree with Cheney on this one...

    February 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Vice President Cheney continues to turn a blind eye towards the truth of the situation regarding Gitmo. That place is a repudiation of everything America has stood for since the founders signed the U.S. Constitution. Holding people with no charges, no access to lawyers, and torture denies the rights of man. How in good conscience can we call ourselves “the last beacon of hope” and a “shining city on a hill” when we participate in the same practices as our enemies? When seeking the moral high ground, don’t preach from the same ditch as your enemy.

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Gerry, Eugene OR

    Dick ought to just shut up. He is lucky that the government is not prosecuting him for war crimes. Go back to your 'undisclosed location' Dick.

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Barbara

    Wait a minute I thought Dick Cheney was no longer the "undercover" Vice President. My advice to him is "Dick Cheney enjoy retirement and leave President Barack Obama alone.

    Thank you,

    Barbara, Somerset, NJ

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Anonymous

    this man is crazy

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. angelo

    This crook needs to go home and spend the billions he got from the secret halliburton deals that he gave and shut his trap. Nobody in their right mind will listen to this hipocrite who lied to the american people about iraq just so he and his croonies could get richer off my tax dollars. If it were up to him we'ed all be his slaves and he could run the counry like his own personal plantation. Shut up and go home already, we had to put up with your lies for eight years.

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Jack Eby

    Who cares what the DICK thinks !
    This guy should be in prison for crimes against humanity.

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. girl From GA

    Talk to the hand Cheney! And my hand is showing the letter L.

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. We Are The "One"

    8 years to implement your "tough, mean, dirty, nasty business.”, and what did you get:

    a lost war.
    americans hated all over the world
    spending thrillions of dollars in an unjust war
    did NOT capture or kill Osama
    raped the american economy to the cleaners
    did not find any WMD
    still stuck on stupid

    give it up old man – let the new man try something different than what you republiklans dimwits did!

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. J

    !!! WAR CRIMINAL!!!!

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. GTaylor

    Dick Chaney NEVER cared about the American working families for 8 years so there is nothing he can say that means anything to me. He doesn't even show any remorse for the failed economy all he is converned about is America staying in Iraq so his friends can bleed the resourses of America and Iraq.

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Billy Bear

    Dick Cheney,

    The only evil people that has done harm to America and the world in the last 7 years is you and George Bush. You refuse to admit that you and W screwed up badly on many, many issues. Take a cue from the new President. Own your mistakes and move on.

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. joe mett

    This Cheney guy made America safe by giving Haliburton $8 billion no-bid contract in the war against terrorism.

    Shame on him, the man with no real heart!!!!

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |

    well I guess we should use your tactics EX veepee cheney.. You and dubya were no good for this country. The detainees hate America because of the thing W did in his administration, not just for the heck of it. Proceed to your home town and don't peek your head out ever again.

    February 4, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Cynda P.

    Why doesn't this guy just shut up and go away. We've had more than enough of him. He thinks the Bush Administration did such a bang up job on the war on terror? Uh, DICK, 9/11 happened during the Bush Administration.

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. marie

    SHUT UP!!!! You're not in the White House ANY MORE!!!! You screwed things up royally! Time for someone else to fix what you screwed up.....

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. brandt

    The wonders never cease with this guy! It's absolutely incredible how low he can sink.

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. barbara

    I agree that we are less safe now simply because obama has "informed" terrorists through his actions that we will play nice and that we are weak. he has besically said to them "come and get us". somewhere right now there is another plot in the making but we wont be able to stop it because we will no longer be able to use defensive tactics against the enemy.

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. John

    Cheney's an idiot. It's this kind of thinking that I feel not only puts us in MORE of a position to be attacked due to the increased hatred that it breads, but I don't see any other civilized country using these techniques against terror, and they're no more likely, and probably less likely to be attacked than we are.

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. S.Positive

    By the grace of God, Obama's presidency will be so successful to be used as a barometer for future presidencies. Cheney you and you lots are a disgrace. Just take a look on what you left behind after your term. A big disgrace and may God forgive you...

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Amy

    I thought he went away....

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Ron

    Sadly, Cheney actually believes that his policies made the US more safe when quite the opposite is true.

    Then again, why is this guy even news worthy. He showed his true colors "yellow", when the stuff hit the fan and showed absolutely no accountability for his actions. Its quite appropriate that during the Inauguration, his back went out on him.

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. SB

    Cheney needs to get a life and go retire. Nobody is interested in this mans opinion any more. He and Bush had there turn and they blew it.....now he needs to just GO AWAY!

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Come again!

    Bitter? Party of one! This from an immoral scum bag! I thought we spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of lives so that your administration could eradicate terrorism.....so then we should all be safe forever right, cus you all did such a wonderful job! We really don't need to hear anything from the administration who ignored all the signs and caused the greatest attack on our soil! Shut up and become what you are.....obsolete!

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Frost

    let's be real.. he never said catch and release.. How much does it cost the US tax payers to keep Guantanamo open for X amount of terrorist? 50 dangerous ones? This coming from a man who likes to shoot people, that has a daughter that is gay and won't stand up for her rights. Dick should not be allowed the floor to even talk.

    February 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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