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. chris mccrummen

    The real question is...

    Is it Dick Cheney


    Cheney DICK

    February 4, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Obama Woman

    Why are we even listening to him? He and Bush set us back a century (at least) in the eyes of the world. Please, Dick, just slither off into the sunset like the snake you always were, and always will be.

    February 4, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Judy Hart


    Enough already with your scare tactics. We finally have a President and Vice President and their staff who care about people.

    You and Bush should have been impeached. You were lucky.

    February 4, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Barbara Caniff

    At least Obama doesn't lie to the American people like Cheney and Bush. Cheney has one of the meanest and most evil mind of anyone who has ever been in politics.

    February 4, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Carramea

    Agreed . Cheney is slime , pure slime, I have more respect for Bin Laden than this guy. Sorry Cheney ....... your irrelevant now

    February 4, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Paul from Kissimmee

    I'm sure the libs are going to complain about what he said, but let's face it, he's right. This is the problem with liberals, they want to give these terrorists a big hug like they're teddy bears. God help us with this administration. Or should I say allah help us?

    February 4, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Bob from Pittsburgh


    La hage is the place for him... war criminal..!!

    February 4, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. canttrustit

    i think that when certain companies and industry leaders have business plans that exploit others natural resources with little or no compensation......that expands terrorism. Cheney/Bush = Terror.

    February 4, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. jules

    Wheel away, Dick. The scare-tactics administration is dead. You don't frighten us anymore.

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Tom Mitchell

    Mr Cheney has no credibility. He should be prosecuted for war crimes. But most of all he should just shut up and go away.

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Robert

    Shut you trap Dick! You and Bush made us safe? Great, we're arguably safe and starving in the streets with the economic downturn you and your cronies brought on. Go away!

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Robert

    Cheney should be very careful drawing attention to himself and Bush.
    I would like nothing better than seeing him and Bush tried for war crimes and torture. I will always believe they (Bush and Cheney) had more to do with 911 than we will ever know. If not then a one in a million risk of another "terror attack" isn't so bad. About the same risk as walking across the street unless somone is specifically looking for you and has help! A few crazy's plotted and carried out three simultaneus soshisticated attackes on the most powerful country in the world. Ha ! Not without inside help. And we should cower down and be afraid. So bush and Cheney continue to cry the "sky is falling" to keep people from looking at them! We should all look real closely at them or we may not be as safe as we could be.

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Kim

    Cheney your comments would be worth so much more if you had a proven record of being a wise, intelligent, and effective leader. The only advice I would take from you is how to destroy a country in as little as 8 years.

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Mike K, Phillipsburg, NJ

    Right. Cheney would also like you to believe that 9/11 did not happen during the Bush Administration, Anthrax attacks didn't happen during the Bush Administration and WMD were actually in Iraq. On top of that, he'd also like you to believe torture is a-ok by him (bet he wouldn't volunteer for a demo of waterboarding, even though it's "not torture).

    Are we really establishing the gold standard of protecting America is by tearing up the Constitution and keeping Americans in line by suggesting somewhere, somehow, something terrible will happen.

    Only difference between war hawks like Cheney and the terrorists in Gitmo are the terrorists were caught.

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Lauren

    As a Republican, who did not vote for Obama, but do hope he does a good job,,,,, I would like to say,

    Cheney,, shut up. If Obama is to make mistakes, let him make them. Your comments are irrrelevant at this point.
    Obama won the election, he is President, I do not agee with even part of his ideas and thoughts, but he is the President. If he screws up, it will be his and his alone ot bear, so Cheney needs to just stop stting the pot.

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. Stop the Presses

    Obama needs to cut down on all the interviews. I know he likes to hear himself speak, but gime a break! He's the PRESIDENT, and he needs to focus more on the tasks at hand rather than pandering to the media! The election is over..stop trying to act presidential and do the job we elected you to!

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. Adam

    Protecting the rights of individuals is what the U.S. is all about. If thats gone then what are we so worried about protecting?

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. michael

    Cheney is a delusional, arrogant, crazy old man. Why does our press give him any access to continue to lie to the public. He should be in prison for war crimes and treason – for lying to the American people about justification for the Iraq war. He and his Halliburton friends made billions off of war profiteering, shameful, he is the most evil political figure in American history.

    February 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Will

    No one cared about Cheney's opinion when he was vice-President, and no one cares about his opinion now. This is hardly "news-worthy."

    February 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. mike, demorest ga

    Cheney needs to shut up, go home and shoot somebody

    February 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. DEMwits

    All of the libtards should have a field day with this post.

    Liberals are more concerned with our image to other nations in the world than carrying out a controversial policy which is clearly in the best interest of everyone's national security.

    Given the hard choice between doing the right thing (which is viewed as controversial by the uneducated) or taking the easy way out by succumbing to the pressure of human rights zealots....liberals will always take the easy way out

    When (not if) one of these terrorists that is released from Gitmo is involved in killing more Americans....what will the liberals have to say then???

    February 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. joseph

    If we are going to get nasty and play dirty, then why don't we just bomb any place we know that are harboring terrorists irregardless of innocent civilians and be done with it. This is probably what Cheney would have done if he figured he could get away with it. What a war freak this guy is. He should be jailed for war crimes.

    February 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. please

    Thank god you're not in office any more Cheney – stop with the fear you idiot. You put this country in grave danger by dismissing our allies around the world and following your own made up war in which you tortured people. You are lucky to be out talking, you should be behind bars. GO AWAY!

    February 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Dave

    Former VP Cheney's concerns might have some validity if anywhere near a majority of the detainees were affiliated with Al-Queda, but there have been so few convictions and serious charges filed the point is pretty much null. So many detainees are random people scooped up by bounty hunters to collect a fee.

    February 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Robert

    Hey Dick,

    Congratulations on surviving 8 years as Vice President of the United States. For blurring out your house on Google Earth because terrorists might use it to find a weak spot. For saying you weren't in the executive branch of government because your job includes being president of the Senate. For shooting a friend of yours in the face. For having a man size safe in your office. For making the case for Iraq and convincing Americans that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. For constantly bringing up 9/11 (especially to grieving widows). For proving that the office of the Vice President also needs limits. Here's what the American people want you to do. Do what every other Vice President has done...go away. Alben Barkley, Thomas Hendricks, Charles Curtis these men went away. You can have your opinions please do...and if you don't think that America is safe I suggest you start digging a bunker and saving up on plastic sheeting and duct tape. Wouldn't you argue that its the private citizens job to do what the government doesn't? If you don't feel safe then you have every constitutional right to protect yourself. Get a gun we know you like those. Hide in a bunker we know you like being in an undisclosed location. But don't try to scare me...I'm not afraid any more.

    February 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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