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. Robert

    I would really like to see this guy disappear.

    February 4, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Realist.

    Is anyone still listening to Dick Cheney and what he thinks. Enough of your fear mongering sir. You are no longer relevant and have never been relevant.

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Manual Lopes

    Cheney is a war monger. He is the one who got us into this mess to begin with. He makes his money investing in compainies that make war machines.

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Jeff

    Dick Cheney is the devil and should be tried as a war criminal.

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Tom

    Dick, you're a linear thinker in a decidely nonlinear world. Time to grow up, old man.

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Dick Cheney is like John Mccain needs to go away. Cheney and Bush tried it their way and it didn't work. Get back in your wheel chair and roll away

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Sevin

    Suprise suprise; Mr. Cheney is critical of the Obama administration.

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Ric

    Cheney's hidden agenda might be he's "concerned" that Guantanamo has been stripped of its "legitimacy" and it might open up the possibility of him being prosecuted for war crimes. This is after he publicly admitted that he was directly involved in the decision of setting up Gitmo and sanctioning "enhanced" interrogation techniques applied to the detainees.

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. George Temple

    Will someone please put this idiot behind bars for his crimes... and then shut him up....Geez!

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Oleg

    Go Home and Hunt some Wabbits Mr. Cheney. Haven't done enough to weck the economy, and the west of the powitical wewations with the west of the world? In short, Cheney; you're fired. We now have Obama, Thank God, and he will do the right thing for our nation.

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Tom

    Like Cheney and Bush had the job of governing down pat. . not

    February 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Mike

    Wind bag. Oops, EVIL wind bag.

    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Terry

    This mofo needs to fall back

    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Debi

    Even Bush had enough sense to stop listening to Cheney before Bush left office.... why do not think this man was not heard from in almost all of 2008.
    Does Cheney seriously think his fear mongering is still a legitimate tactic?

    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Independent for Obama

    Cheney is dispised and has an obvious Republican agenda ....but Obama would be very wise to listen to what he's saying. Terrorists are not exactly wimpy pushovers who will just find someone else to bully-they are Nuts and these ex-Gitmo detainees, if released, now have EVEN MORE reason to kill us. I pray Obama keeps an openmind to opinions-even to comments from Darth Vader--so he can make wise decisions and do everything possible to keep us safe.
    Janie, Springfield MA

    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Mark in Polk City

    Fear monger. Fortunately his opinion does not sway policy anymore.

    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. deb


    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    Who in their right mind is listening to this CRIMINAL ( CHANEY ). This A(_0_)hole has cost thousands of lives, billions of dollars spend, giving contracts to his buddies KBR and Halliburton in Iraq and robbing the tax payers blind, kidnapping, torture, shooting some one and not being charged and now he's trying tell us that America isn't safe, PLEASE !!!!!, if this country isn't safe now it's b/c of him and that killer Bush. How would you like if someone kidnap you and accuse you of same thing you nothing about, never charged you with anything, never allowed you to call home or get a lawyer and then had the nerves to TORTURE you and say, it was the neighborhood, to keep the neighborhood safe then just release you and expect that person not to be mad, PLEASE !!!!!. That idiot (CHANEY ) should be locked up with the rest of the Bush admin., who help run this country into the ground.

    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. former republican

    less safe? no, we were less safe on 9/11, and prior to that. and remember you and bush were given this info on aug 24th. go crawl under the rock in which you came!

    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Sandy Carey

    AND, this isn't "getting tough" – this is CYA of a totally renegade and criminal administration. Good Ol' Cheney likely believes that this crap is going to keep him out of jail. If there is justice in this world, Cheney will stand trial for war crimes.

    February 4, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Toni - Atlanta

    Cheney, take a hike!!

    February 4, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. TWM

    Well, Thank You Uncle Dick – for your unsolicited and useless opinion!
    Maybe Palin needs someone to be vice-president or inquisitor in chief when she runs in 2010!
    Give me a break!

    February 4, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Maryland

    After Eight Years he decides to talk............Tough!!!!!!........He should been tough with his President when they send all those to Iraq to look for nothing...............

    February 4, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Mike in Vancouver

    That is all Bush-Cheney are concerned about – war on terror, war on terror, yada yada yada. Their paranoia has brought about such a fear culture as to seriously impinge upon Americans' freedom as well as their financial freedom. The terrorists have done their job: spread fear. Mission accomplished! Look at the mess we're in now. But none of it could have been possible without such incompetent and small men in the White House. Cheney please go away. You've screwed up enough

    February 4, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Why is this war criminal giving interviews from his villa in Dubai instead of from behind bars?

    Hasn't he done enough with his policies that made us less safe.

    Hmmm, allowing 9/11 comes to mind.

    Shut up old man and get to The Hague!

    February 4, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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