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. geecee

    Can't stop your fear-mongering, can you Vader? What makes you think Obama will close Guatanamo without making absolutely certain that American soil is protected from these men ever roaming free over here? How stupid are you? I hope you don't think Obama is as stupid as you are! There will be safeguards in place to protect America – unlike what you and your puppet Bush did in 2001 to us. Allowing us to be attacked by your Saudi friends who were allowed to roam freely, take "flying" lessons, all without you guys having a clue! What haopened to your National Security Agency? Weren't they on top of the situation? Now you want to make it look like we have to worry that Obama's administration will fail us? They couldn't possibly do as much damage as your administration did. It's going to take a long time to recover from the damage you and your cronies inflicted on this Nation.

    February 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Dexter in Houston TX

    Does the EX-VICE-GRIP honestly think that our new president is going to set terrorist free.

    CRAWL BACK IN YOUR HOLE CHENEY! You have no power here! No one cares what you think!


    February 4, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. LIP

    What Chaney says is true, but Obama's closing of the base won't really take place for another year and they are still reviewing their options for what will happen when it closes. Chaney may be a little premature inhis remarks which could be interpreted as "bluster" from a former VP.
    Obama is beginning to look more like a conservative that was dressed in a liberal outfit just to get elected. Especially since he asked Rep Jim Cooper from Tennessee (a blue dog democrat) to not vote for the stimulus due to the pork. Nancy Pelosi had suspended debate on the bill and Obama probably wasn't too happy with this, thus the request of the coalition.
    I'm beginning to like Obama more and more, even though I voted against him. Dumping Tom Daschle has also helped.
    Rememer to, the remark he made about the Muslims. We won't talk until they unclench their fist. Is that really any different than calling them part of an axis of evil. You have already stamped them as evil with the clenched fist remark. It is getting better all the time.

    February 4, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. badger

    Here is a man that is paranoid, all his experience in public life has made him this way. From when he was nixon's chief of staff, and dealt with watergate everyone was out to get him. If he wonders why he's one of the most disliked people on the globe, maybe he should look around and see what terror he has helped to shape in this world.

    February 4, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Vic

    I haven't always been a fan of Dick Cheney, but believe he's right in this instance. We're already learning that these terrorists go right back to doing their dirty work, and President Obama will do well to study this situation thoroughly before any future decisions are made concerning Gitmo.

    February 4, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. John Meyers, Philadelphia

    I think it was Franklin – or maybe Jefferson – who said something to the effect "Those who value security over liberty deserve neither."

    You're not calling the shots anymore, Dick, and we're not buying your cheap scare tactics either. Time to go home and shut up.

    February 4, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Tom

    cheney is an IDIOT, I cant believe he has the GALL to say that after he tricked and dragged us into a COMPLETELY unneccessary war in Iraq. He should go to Wyoming and NEVER come back to express his filth what he calls views.

    February 4, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. John in Northern NY

    Cheney is a criminal and an idiot!

    February 4, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Scott

    I'm so sick of Cheney and his fear tactics. He needs to get used to the fact that he no longer has any power, much to the benefit of our great country and its' citizens.

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Joyce

    The Bush administration held these presumed "evil" people for years without charging them with any crime and tortured them in violation of the Geneva Convention and the U.S. Constitution. The fact that he was a major player in that administration is what's really worrying Mr. Cheney. Unfortunately, the actions of that administration have made a fair trial for these prisoners – not detainees, they're prisoners – virtually impossible.

    The opinions of the people who were dumb enough to make this mess have no credibility. He’ll say anything to avoid war crimes charges.

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. simplyred

    Cheney needs to shutup, and go sit down and enjoy his retirement as long as he can. He made a horrible vice-president, who advocated torture. For which many thinks he needs to be tried for War Crimes! They did it to Hitler's henchmen. He can't seem to get it through his head. NO ONE CARES WHAT HE THINKS!

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Will R


    Punxsutawney Dick woke up two days late, saw his shadow and predicted that the U.S. would be unsafe for the next two to six years.

    He needs to go back to his little hidey-hole and get a real life, God knows the administration of which he was the key player botched it up for the last eight years.

    When he comes back out, hopefully not until 2012, maybe he and Sarah can team up and drive the GOP even further from relevance.

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. kgeukes

    That's ok Dickie boy...if our President has his way you'll be in prison soon for war crimes, so keep spewing your crap, cos in the end it won't matter.

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Ray Minnick

    Chaney has NO creditability. He and the rest of the Bush administration should be investigated as war criminals. As retired military, I feel that the Bush administration policies have may our troops less safe and less likely to be protected by international law.

    I wish he would just shut up and go away.

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Keeth in California

    "These are evil people."

    Here, Dick, have a mirror.

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Lois

    We really miss the Bush Administration........What an incompetent cabinet. Obam a does not have a clue. Not even a month and it seems like an eternity.

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Sally

    Why can't Cheney be quiet now?

    February 4, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. james

    I cannot believe this guy. I truly believe that because of Cheney, the line between good and evil has blurred. We no longer have moral high- ground.

    February 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Janice, Aberdeen, SD

    Haven't we heard just about enough from this war criminal who's administration cost us and others around the world thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. If we are attacked again, it won't be because Bush "succeeded" and that Obama necessarily failed.

    We know Bush had intelligence report prior to 9/11 that was not acted on at all. That's a known failure. It happened when Bush and Cheney were in office. And the response did not justify capturing, imprisoning, and torturing people without charges which is what we are finding out he did. In fact it encouraged many more fighters to join against our troops in Iraq that would not have joined up had we not mis-treated these prisoners.

    This is a ploy to get media sympathy and to instill public fear to see if he can get the Obama administration to put off doing the investigations of Cheney for war crimes. This is Cheney looking out for Cheney – period.

    Anyone in the media ever consider looking past the statements that he's making to the motivations of source? Come on, guys. Wake up.

    Eric Holder – get to work.

    February 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Missy

    I don't think anyone is going to welcome advice from Dick Cheney at this point. I think they're all too busy trying to clean up the mess he helped create. If anything he should be apologizing to for it. Amazing that even now that he's out of office he doesn't get it. Thank God for term limits (in this case).

    February 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Dianne

    It's my understanding that our former president was in a quandry for some time over what to do with the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, so he decided to do nothing (in order to try to keep his ratings "high?) and let the next administration make a decision. So NOW Cheny is giving an opinion on what that status of that facility should be? Some people......!

    February 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Sean

    Hey Cheney,
    Star Wars called, they want their Darth Vader back

    February 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Cheney belongs in jail

    Shut-up Cheney...you should be in federal prison INSTEAD of Libby. Quit your whining.

    February 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Peter T

    This is not really newsworthy. News would be if Cheney ever shifted his positions in response to facts and events. He is a has-been in the wilderness.

    February 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. McBride, SLC, UT

    This guy is a bleeping JOKE! What he did to this Country and he has the audacity to open his mouth?

    February 4, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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