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. Scott H.

    I can envision Dick Cheney as the next Russian Premier after Medvedev for his socialist leanings of state-trumps-individuals dogma.

    February 4, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Niky

    Cheney just wants his era of terror to continue.

    February 4, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Patrick Oliver

    Will this man just go away already?? He was one of the worst Vice Presidents in history, serving one of the worst (if not THE WORST) President in US History. Together they practically destroyed our reputation and frienships around the world. It was such a joy to see him leave office in a wheelchair, looking like the evil Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life". Hopefully it reminded him, if only for a few days, how many soldiers have been maimed or killed in Iraq thanks for him. Ugh!

    February 4, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Cliff

    Cheney claims to be a Christian. He risks burning in Hell for eternity if he doesn't repent.

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Matthew, Houston, TX

    This is a man who was part of an administration who's policies created more terrorists than existed before their policies. Shut up, Cheney and contemplate how you're going to deal with 'Bubba' when you go to jail.

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Arnie

    Cheney obviously doesn't understand democracy any better than he understands responsible government. Your guy lost in November, Dick. Now get off the stage.

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Annie, Atlanta

    I find it interesting that Cheney is accusing Obama of making us less safe when we were actually attacked on the Bush/Cheney watch after they ignored intelligence that an attack was imminent.

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Charlize

    Whether Cheney is right or wrong on this, the point is HE IS THE ONE making the country weaker, by saying these comments publicly. Why not advice Obama directly, or through his cabinet or advisers, without screaming it to the world? Why make this opinion known worldwide, so terrorists and anti-Americans everywhere get ideas? CNN and other media outlets are making a mistake also. They shouldn't be reporting out loud to the world these kinds of statements. THIS KIND OR REPORTING MAKES AMERICA WEAKER THROUGH THE EYES OF THE WORLD.

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. george wheeldon

    Who cares what Cheney thinks? He's gone. Let him be gone from now on!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Melody Pereira

    High praise coming from a war criminal, war-monger, liar, egominical jerk, neo-con.

    Consider the source....when folks stop listening, he'll slither back under his rock.

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Hopefully he will be scared enough to leave!

    Cheney is disgraceful, and thank goodness his decisions will no longer influence our lives!

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. James


    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Candy

    Cheney's words sound just like Bush's words in his exit interview. I'm not saying Obama has all the answers either. But nowhere, I mean nowhere do the "ends justify the means" which is exactly the take on your and Bush's words.

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Ambrose

    We don't care what you think DICK!

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Nate

    This guy is an enemy of humanity. Protecting Americans is terribly important. However, treating detainees like animals by locking them up indefinitely without prosecuting them is simply adding fuel to the fire. Cheney is a relic of middle age ideology. Yeah, we're taking a risk by shutting down gitmo, but in the long run it'll show that we are not this evil nation who cares more about war-profiteering and destruction than we do about life. He should stop perpetuating America's "great satan". stereotype throughout the Moslem world. Maybe then we'll stop being treated as such.

    But then we don't have a perpetual war, do we? And the aristocrats like Cheney don't make a whole lot of money.

    February 4, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Kim

    Go home Cheney. Nobody cares about you and the evil fear mongering that you and Bush have spread for the last 8 years. Go lock yourself in a bunker somewhere with the billions of dollars you made from this war. It's time for peace and hope and trust.

    Good riddance

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Where in the hell has this person been the last eight years????

    Now we hear from him, WHY?? He needs to go away for good. It wasn't only Bush who screw us, it was the VP calling all the shots!! and taking all the money he could steal for USA people. Cheney and Bush will go down as the worst President and V.P in history.

    Cheney go hide and shut the hell up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Steve from Arizona

    Gee, more fear-mongering from Darth Vader himself.

    Add Cheney to the list of Republicans who want the president to fail.

    What a patriot!!!!

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Jim

    VP Cheny ruined any integrity the VP office had, he destroyed American's trust in truth telling by any politicians, and he engaged in what many legal scholars agree was war crimes. It is time he be held accountable!

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. ray

    cheney, why dont you get back in your coffin you vampire?

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Diane

    Mr. Former Vice-President – we we stop worrying about reading Miranda rights to people that is when I will worry. How can we expect anyone to change their opinion of us, if we violate the principles which we proclaim to cherish? Holding people without charges or trials is just plain wrong. If we do that to foreign nationals, who's next?

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. frank

    Screw Cheney. He has done enough damage to this country.

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Darren

    Maybe you should just shut up Cheney. You and your cronies have messed this country for the last 8 years. I would think this criminal would want to keep his head down so he doesn't end up facing charges for ordering the torture of prisoners. The clown just doesn't get it that he is bound by the same laws the rest of us are and that trying to rule us by playing to peoples fears is what got his party thrown out of power in the first place.

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Simon

    Obama is making America more American!

    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |



    February 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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