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. Honey

    What else do you expect Cheney to say? By pointing the finger at President Obama, it diverts the attention from the issue of war crimes.

    February 4, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. dan

    The following is from a January news story:

    Two men released from the US "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have appeared in a video posted on a jihadist website, the SITE monitoring service reported. One of the two former inmates, a Saudi man identified as Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri, or prisoner number 372, has been elevated to the senior ranks of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, a US counter-terrorism official told AFP.

    The Bush administration had these terrorists in custody, but couldn't do anything to prove it. Not one shred of evidence. I submit that it is the Bush administration's incompetance that has made us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

    February 4, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. ellington

    This foolish, pathetic man can't keep his dumb mouth shut can he. It's obvious that cheney could care less about his country by saying things like this. He want's our president to fail which means he wants the country to fail. Republicans only care about being in control, so now that their not, they want to continue the manupulation, and scare tactics they used to hurt us for the last eight years to in some way lead us to question and doubt the very people that a majority of the country voted for. Whether if it's the republicans in congress who will say "NO" to everything the president wants to do to help us, or Rush Limbaugh who blatantly said he wanted the president to fail, or now Dick Cheney who's trying to scare people into questioning Obama's judgement at a time when we need to feel confident about our leaders judgement. No matter what it is the republicans want to hurt this country, but we the people will not fall for this dangerous rethoric again. We are finished with listening to the pathetic republican.

    February 4, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Bye-Bye Dick

    Who cares! Go huntn' or do something, but shut up. We've had more than enough of you since 1972!

    February 4, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. GBurns

    Nobody made America less safe than this bozo and his inept boss. He should shut is mouth and sit back and watch. Listening to him is akin to listening to Pete Rose talk about how to get into the Hall of Fame. Your inept, you screwed up, you made the world less safe and someone should actually take your advice. Heck even W stopped taking his advice halfway through his last term.

    February 4, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Isn't he

    the one who shot his friend and didn't tell his boss... the pres? humm he had his time... he needs to let it go.. it didn't work "their" way. On to new possibilities.. please.

    February 4, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. jpwilliams

    All Hail the Overlord!

    February 4, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Anita

    Why should Obama listen to the devil. The only record Bush has on terror is causing terror. We as Americans loss so much on 911 and when Iraq called on us as savior, they lost evern more. Image hundreds of thousands people losing there lives. Now that's his record on terror.

    February 4, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Sue

    Why are the Dems so afraid of the Republicans? They need to get a bit bolder and stand up to Big Brother.

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Creative Woody

    You had your chance, Cheney. Now kindly leave the governing to more competent officials.

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. TxVet

    One more thought on this...

    I remember thinking on Sept. 12th, 2001 – one day after the 9/11 attacks – that this was the real test of our democracy: could we defend our nation and respond within the framework of our laws? I should add "and our ideals," though I did not think of it in those terms at the time.

    I see that President Obama is now pursuing this path, and I'm very pleased.

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Trollmaster

    Cheney is a traitor for lying us into a needless war, and we need to recognize him as an internal threat to America.

    Trying Cheney and tossing him in prison for treason would have the same effect as killing Osama Bin Laden: Both would be a major victory for America.

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Nefarik

    America to Cheney: SHUT UP AND GO AWAY.

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Matt

    Seriously...why are Republicans who come to CNN's blogs so incredibly retarded? It's just plain-old NOT socialism or dictatorship to cap salaries for companies who are asking for taxpayer money. If they don't want to have caps on their salaries, they don't have to take the money. And if they don't like that either, then maybe they should think about not running the business into the ground by inventing new and risky junk securities with inflated values in order to rip off the public and stuff money into their pockets without a care as to whether it will eventually catch up to them.

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. joel

    cheney shot a guy in the face. The next day that guy apologized to cheney. I never read that cheney ever apologized!!!

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. BOB

    How can a man of Cheney's stature, liar, cheat, and a worthless politician, whose party's actions put this country in the position it is in now, have any worthwhile knowledge or comments that have any solidity. As he was "vice president", the best thing for him to do is nothing and say nothing, because no one believes him

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Boston Irish

    Hey Cheney, who asked for your opinion?? And who in their right mind would care what you had to say regarding ANYTHING!!

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Mr. Bilek

    Let's see. When he was Vice President and we wanted some answers out of him, he remained in his Cone of Silence, based on "National Security" concerns.

    Now that we no longer need or want his opinions, he's gladly mouthing off. Must we give him a media voice he so eschewed as VP?

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. california grandma

    cheney – what an irrelevant (thank god – i thought it would never happen) dolt.
    first he says he thinks obama will be good for the country, now he says nay.
    the guy simply wants more attention.
    who cares what this guy thinks anyway? he practically destroyed our country single handedly.
    i for one, am so glad bush and cheney are out of office. i held my breath until obama was sworn in – my lack of trust is to the point where i felt the bush cheney machine could have stayed in the white house indefinitely.
    at the very least, we have a president who understands the english lanuage and speaks it well; who can speak intelligently to other heads of state.
    we're already ahead ad far as i'm concerned – and, for the rest of obama's preseidency...
    i don't remember bush getting so much scrutiny during his first 100 days.
    in fact, i don;t remember bush doing very much at all during the first 100 days.
    funny, we hold 2 presidents under entirely different microscopes.
    the bottom line is: the majority voted for obama.
    those who would like to undermine the direction we voted for – think again...
    while some of us could probably be fooled by all the media hype surrounding obama, most of us will not.

    February 4, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Dave in Tulsa

    When has Cheney done anything that was not blatantly self-serving (Haliburton) and without integrity (Valerie Plame name leak – – whihc Bush promised to fire those responsible, then turned around and commuted Libby's sentence). He did not pardon Libby so Libby could claim immunity and thus protect Cheny and Bush.

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. Ken in Dallas

    Sorry, Dick, but your way was never the American way.

    If somebody comes and picks a fight with us, we lay him down, but you're just an old megalomaniac that wishes he could have been Goering. We're not that into taking over the world to indulge your fantasies.

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. mark

    I guess that's why his name is "Dick."

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Jim

    If those of you writing negative comments on this do not believe this will happen, look at what happened when Clinton turned down the chance to have Bin Laden, and he did that. Bush took off ice in Jan 2001. 9/11 was 7 or 8 years in the making. So my guess it happened on the watch of the democrats. If you think handling these terrorists with kid gloves is going to win the war, you have not a clue.

    When one of those released leaves a dirty bomb in New York, Chicago, or even Washington DC, then what will you have to say???????

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. Dem from AZ

    for being as secretive as Cheney is. He is sure full of hot air. Problem with Cheney is he had little respect for anybody but his own self. Sad we had poeple vote for these clowns.

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. keenaber

    All this from cheney is hypocrates,long go morons that are pulling the country back and inviting enemies by saying so to strike the country. If they want to be recognised they should use good terms to set the country forward .we can nolonger want to read or listwn from u and more ,go home rest looky loky tv and listen to what mama says.

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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