February 4th, 2009
12:38 PM ET
9 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. Brook Mantia

    If anyone should know evil, it's Darth Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. ithinkhesright

    I think he's right!

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Holly in Albuquerque

    Mr. Cheney should crawl back into his undisclosed location and have a heart attack. Who cares what this criminal has to say?

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. The Cheerleader of Divide

    Stop the facade, stop posting fear-based propaganda.....

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. King was Powerful Through Non-Violence

    Mr. Cheney is looking to boost himself and George Bush while standing on the back of President Obama. What Cheney fails to recognize is that his dated image of John Wayne isn't relevant in today's world.

    Despite the fact that we are a Superpower, we can't impose our will on the enitre world. We need the co-operation, support and resources of others.

    There will always be evil nuts that are unreachable with logic & fair play but we don't have to drive the marginally disenfranchised people into the terrorists arms.

    We are safest when will build a team of nations with like values that are motivated to control terrorism. When America lives up to the ideals in it's Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, we encourage people to be like us, not fight against us.

    Put our military on top of that and then we are "SAFEST".

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. TLS

    We're being terrorized FINANCIALLY right now due to the selfishness, greed, and ignorance of the Bush administration!!! I'm sure Cheney and Bush walked away from his presidency with fat pockets from all the kickbacks they probably received. You can't convince me that some of the decisions Bush made (when he was actually doing work) weren't based on what he was going to receive out of the deal. We were lead by an idiotic con man for 8 years and I have to blame all the idiots who actually voted him in office TWICE!

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. gl, Pittsburgh

    No Cheney is the putting fear in the Americna People at a time when the economy is a mess becasue of the Bush and Cheney war crimes. Please to not stop go directly to jail you crooks. Terrriors will all way be here. Fear I will not live in.

    February 4, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Toyo

    Cheney,don't start something that Obama will finish,Shall i say a Justice Department investigation indictng you over some over the top issue?

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    And this coming from the administration who has caused so much damage. What an evil clown. What else can we expect these loudmouth, hate filled and just plain meanspirited clowns? Don't ask!

    It's so much easier to criticize than offer good suggestions to help.

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. KimD

    More scare tactics from "the man behind the curtain." I guess someone forgot to tell him that he's no longer in office and that garbage doesn't fly anymore.

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Matt in MI

    who cares what he says? he's a psychopath, I hope he dies a horribly painful death after realizing that he is a worthless human being

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Brian

    Dick Cheney is a creature who belongs in prison for war crimes. I wish he would take Bush's lead, and disappear. The Bush administration has left such a terrible mess for Obama to clean up, anyone who was part of such a failed, morally bankrupt administration should shut up until facing a trial in The Hague.

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Outspoken

    A vice president who actually MATTERED. You had your flaws, Cheney, but at least you weren't afraid to put it on the line to get things done and you always put the safety of the American people first. Unlike most VPs, you were actually RELEVANT–and you still are, even AFTER leaving office.

    A few months from now 70% of AMERICANS will not know (or care) who Joe Biden is–but I'll bet they'll still know who you are.

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. Sara K

    Cheney breeds terrorism then claims to protect us from it?

    I wish someone would throw him into the ocean wearing a suit of dead fish.

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. JF

    I thought this war criminal was yesterday's news?? I must be behind on my current events ....

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Sonia Martin-Campbell

    Mr. Cheney, You Are Done! After you and the Republicans destroyed this great country , now you are talking. Shame on you for attacking Obama. I have no respect for you. Who does?

    Sonia
    From Rockland, New York

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Dish

    Cheney's comment should read, "When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Queda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to protect Americans, then I worry." This would perhaps be closer to the reality. We have seen what Mr. Cheney and his ilk offer, and where it leads. No thanks.

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Angela

    Hes just mad that all the Blackwater contracts are set to expire. He worked hard to negotiate those. He hopes his Haliburtin ones are okay.
    When you live on compromised ethics, and saying something is 'safer' when you cant in any way prove it, then yes, andy steer from what you did would be cause for shouting.

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Robert

    While the old policies made it far more likely to occur in the first place...

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. Amber

    Aren't we through listening to people who do not abide by rule of law?

    Making the emotional argument that "democrats would rather read terrorists their rights, or using the "Jack Bauer Defense" (terrorists have a nuke, only you torturing a terrorist can stop it) really is the definition of un-American. When you make either or both of these arguments, you are stepping all over the Constitution.

    You know, that document that has the second amendment on it...

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. We Are The "One"

    the more these republikans dimwits come out of their closet and keep yapping their gibberish talking points from their 'leader' rush limbaugh, the more the american people have a sense of relieve for voting for Obama!

    keep talking'!

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Eliz.Egger, Camano Island, WA

    Why is the media giving coverage to Dick Cheney? He is despised
    by most of the country and his policies have had a very damaging
    effect on our country. We don't need any more of his lies and
    propaganda; they are merely designed to make Obama's job a
    lot harder as if he needs that kind of "help".

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. HSNP

    Shut up, DICK!!

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. anonymous

    now he speaks!!! hardly a word out of him for 8 years unless he was shooting at somebody and now he is ready to say something. Bush must would not let him out in public

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Mike

    Shut up and Go Away Dick Cheney. We don't care what you think. Thank God your regin of terror, and lies, and secrecy is over. Bye Bye

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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