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. margie w.

    Cheney wasn't worth crap when he was the "President wanna be" for Bushie. I didn't care to hear from or look a te VULTURE when he was in office and really don't care what he has to say no. GO AWAYYYYY!!!

    February 4, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. jaye

    Dear Mr. Cheney – torture is against the law. Period!
    Remember how Bush preached against "Saddam's torture chambers" – well, now the United States has become a torture chamber as well.
    We reap what we sow.

    February 4, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Web Thomas

    The last person we need comments from is Dick Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. ANGIE


    February 4, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Jefferson Handcock

    I thought he was at an undisclosed location?

    February 4, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Americans for an Objective Media

    You say you're scared of Obama, and I understand why. The Republican Party and it’s spokespersons at Fox and talk radio are masters at scare tactics. They've been scaring people for years, and they are really good at it.

    Obama has been portrayed as un-American, un-patriotic, a pal of terrorists, a socialist, a communist, but they have not told you one single major thing that John McCain will do differently from the disastrous policies of George W. Bush. I don’t have time to deal with each of the smears, but just one. Obama’s number one economic advisor is Warren Buffet. Do you think Buffet is a socialist or a communist?

    In Georgia, Saxby Chambliss, the current Republican Senator, got to be Senator by portraying Max Cleland, the previous incumbent Senator, who had lost both legs and both arms in Viet Nam, as unpatriotic. And Chambliss has never served in the military! And in the current campaign, he is running ads that claim his opponent killed children because a death occurred in a large state program when he was a state government official.

    In NC, Republican Senator Dole is running an ad that portrays her opponent—who is a devout church member and Sunday School teacher—as saying, with an actor’s voice that sounds like her opponent’s, “There is no God!”

    On and on it goes, guided by the philosophy of Karl Rove. The majority of Americans, including me, are sick to death of it.

    But these scare tactics work with a lot of people. As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all of the time.

    It is really bad for this country. Democrats are just as patriotic as Republicans, liberals are just as patriotic as conservatives. But one would never know this by listening to Hannity or O’Reilly or Rush or Palin or the other hatemongers.

    When I was in college years ago there were several attacks on single working women by a mysterious stalker. Soon afterwards a company came to town selling portable alarms that women could carry in their purses. Big full-page ads were run in the newspaper! The company did a brisk business until the police discovered that the company had hired a low-life criminal to stalk the women in order to scare people—and sell their product.

    Scare tactics sell product, until the scaremongers are caught.
    –Will C. Justice

    February 4, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Adrian Veidt

    Dick Cheney is a war profiteer who belongs in jail for the rest of his life.

    February 4, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Mark

    Why should "Dick" be c9ncerned that we are going to adhere to the rules? Was he and the Bush administration NOT adhering to them?

    February 4, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. American Hope

    Cheney was an absent Vice President. Now that he no longer holds the position, he has something to say. Unbelievable!

    February 4, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Annette

    Who's zoomin' who? Please, President Obama in office 2 weeks and the ex-VP makes a bogus, fearmongering statement such as this. NO, country is completely safe. The ex Prez and ex VP had no right holding what they called terrorist without charging them. If they were guilty, then why weren't they charged for their crimes? Cheney? Bush?

    What we have here is the ex-VP trying to justify the captivity. Bush and Cheney and rest...created these militants on their watch.

    February 4, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Alley

    Irresponsible? The only thing that's irresponsible is the way the American soldiers have treated the people in Gitmo. Not all of them are evil...some are. But wrongfully arresting them (no due process rights) and having them live in deplorable situations isn't something the US should be proud of. And maybe instead of sending hundreds of soldiers and more out to fight, we should "turn the other cheek" because we should be more concerned about a FAIR fight then to win. Fighting for our country should be fair that's what America stands for. Well, atleast it used to. Obama will change it and make it right again. We should be comfortable with him as president because he's going to help and change all the things that are wrong with America due to former mistakes. Just give him time, and he (Obama) isn't making mistakes, he's showing responsibility for taking ownership that there have been significant mistakes.

    February 4, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. dj

    cheney you're just dissapointed that you and your war-mongering oil company and friends won't be making business or profit out of war!

    February 4, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. lucy

    I'm sorry, but can someone remind me who is Cheney? Is he a Dick or Harry that I supposed to know?

    February 4, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Don in Albuquerque

    Oh like this sucker made it safer???? More repug "talking (or B.S) points". Check Media Matters folks, I just heard their head guy on the radio laughing last night about their buckets full of misinformation and outright lies. WAAAAAAAH! We lost!!! And now we intend to make the whole country pay for it!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAAH! And brother are we. Over 200,000 lost jobs just last month to pay for the Great God Dubya supreme intelligence (and theirs).

    These guys are starting to sound more like a Times Square prophet predicting, and raving the world will end at midnight, instead of just being stupid. Do I sound angry? You betcha!!

    February 4, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Susan Steinhaus

    Cheney is a war monger and anything he says is to encourage war.

    February 4, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Marc in Virginia


    Top analysts agree that your harsh interrogation techniques lead to prisoners saying whatever they can to get out of the situation including giving false information. Your torture, albeit probably satifsfying for you on a personal level, is highly ineffective as a means of defending this nation.

    Marc in Virginia

    February 4, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Brad

    Luckily this dictator is no longer in charge. Hopefully he will just stay away in an undisclosed location or a blurry spot on Google Earth.

    February 4, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. David from Southern Illinois

    The Obama Administration should push to have Cheney tried for war crimes. He was the worst VP in this nations history and trampled on human rights. Thank God he no longer has any control over this nation's policies. Cheney.....GO AWAY!

    February 4, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Griff

    What do you mean, Mr Cheney??? This is the new "Chairman Mou"..
    America will soon be running round in "Their Pygama's"... Or Siren Suits...

    February 4, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. MIMI

    CHENEY IS EVIL PERSONIFIED.........President Obama is doing just fine without Chaney's input !!!!!

    February 4, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. delguy

    DEAD EYE DICK has been wrong about everything the last 8 years .Why does the media give this clown a platform??

    February 4, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Bill / California

    Cheney should shut his mouth and be glad Obama hasn't instructed the new AG to pursue treason charges against him for the Valerie Plame episode. No one made our country less safe than Bush and Cheney, who still serve as poster boys for Al Qaeda recruitment, which hit an all-time high only three years ago thanks to those clowns.

    February 4, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Jennifer

    This coming from a guy who supported torture? What Obama is doing is better supported. Cheney is the pure definition of evil. Why would anyone consider anything that comes out of his mouth after his continual support of the way these detainees were tortured and humiliated? Treating them this way, makes us NO better than they are.

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Dear Dick-

    Secret is out, we know you are Satan.

    We the People

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. obama-mama

    Dick Cheney should be tried and put in jail. He is a hateful man He is the kind of person that would throw their momma off the train.. He believes since the terrorists are evil we should follow suit. I think he's evil and not to be trusted.

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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