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. Colorado

    GO AWAY DICK CHENEY! I'm an America who works in Europe much of the year and your policies put a HUGE bull's eye on my back for 8 long years. Just GO AWAY! You are just trying to deflect blame for any attack that happens during Obama's tenure.

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. terry,va

    What's wrong with you CNN? Won't you publish someone's comment that is in conflict with people bashing Cheney? Here is my comment again.....Dick Cheney is 100% correct. History will prove this. I predict that we will take a major blow in this country within 6 months. I just hope that ii happens in the liberal, spineless sections of this country. You know who you are, so there isn't a need to name you.

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. The Big Nb

    Stubborn old man should be a happy he's not behind bars. Doesn't he realize that his criticism of Obama equates to an endorsement?

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Jane

    Someone needs to take up for President Bush. Obama was so ugly, tasteless, unethical, you name it, in his inaugural address. Well, he is getting payback and it has just begun. WAY TO GO VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY, HANG IN THERE AND TELL THEM WHAT YOU THINK.

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Madelyn Green

    So now the ex-vice president thinks that having Guantanamo Bay open has kept us safe. Ignorance is bliss!

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Tim, PA

    It's amazing how people think the Bush administration has made the US LESS safe than it was before... We were attacked because Clinton decided NOT to press against Bin Laden. And we haven't had an attack since, but for some reason, you fools think we're less safe. Ridiculous. Cheney is right, this is campaign rhetoric and once Obama learns how the real world works (which most lefties need a lesson in), he will realize that he can't actually do those things. Notice nobody wants to take these prisoners because they DON'T TRUST THAT THEY ARE INNOCENT!

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Lisa from AZ

    Bush and Cheney made us unsafe! I can't buy food, toys, or household goods without poison. I can't buy a street safe car with reasonable gas mileage. I can't budget for gasoline, because supply/demand economics are out the window with the price fixing oil industry. Our money isn't safe, retirement/college isn't secure. Our healthcare is awful. Americans are not buying cars until there is a worthy car. It has very little to do with "frozen credit" and people needing more preying, unregulated credit cards/loans. Give us a real FCC and FDA!

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Dante in Madison, WI

    Dick Cheney should be brought up on international crimes charges. He has done more to make this country "unsafe" (along with Bush) than any other person in the history of our country.

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Tess

    How can any Christian support this man and the political party he represents when he blatantly defies Jesus Christ's mandates with a statement such as, "we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek"??

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. buckwheat19

    I can't believe that anyone would think that sweet talking a bunch of thug terrorists won't work!
    Mr. Cheney, have you forgotten that those terrorists are his friends?
    For those of you that trust our new President, with so little known about his background, you better take a harder look.

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Bruce

    I'm a George W supporter, and would have voted for him again. But I cannot for the life of me figure out why he chose Darth Vader to be his VP.

    I'm so glad that Darth is out of power now, and his complaints and pronouncements mean nothing whatsoever.

    If not for shooting a lawyer here and there, Darth would have been of no value whatsoever in the past 8 years. I wish he would go home (to Wyoming, not Texas, because TX is where I live), and just rest in all his money and keep his mouth shut until he dies peacefully in his sleep.

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Mark

    I wonder if Cheney cleared these comments with Limbaugh?

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. bobeies

    Yo Dick..You don't work here anymore.

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Linda Blum

    It's both pathetic and scary just how little Cheney comprehends what "fighting for liberty and justice" really means. It means preserving habeas corpus and other civil rights, not giving them up.

    February 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Amber

    Hey Cheney: GO #&$%@! YOURSELF!!!

    February 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. John

    Wyoming is big and very few people live there. Cheny should find a nice hill top and talk to the Big Sky and spare the rest of us. eight years was more than enough.

    February 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. mtanne

    The pot calling the kettle black. He should be in prison along with Scooter. Then I would feel much safer once we paste the Consitution back together.

    February 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Michael

    I'm sorry, who's this guy again?

    February 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Matt Procino

    If there's one thing Dick knows, it's about staying safe. While American boys risked their lives in Viet Nam, good old two DUI (in 1962) Dick stayed safe at home on medical deferments.
    Lucky for his lawyer friend he never learned how to shoot.
    Please, Mr. Cheney, just go away and stay away.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Bill Stapp

    Mr. Cheney may be right about a lot of things.

    He may be right about everything.

    And how did the country do under his leadership?

    There were no terrorists attacks. There didn't need to be. The leaders of the country allowed us to do that to ourselves..not with bombs, but with greed.

    Thanks, but no thank, Mr. Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Jay

    Somebody take out this fossil's IV...please.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Jonita

    Nearly 4,000 dead in 2 wars and 4,000 on 911.....And he's goping after the current President?

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Julie

    Someone should have gotten tough on Cheney (and Bush) before they messed things up so bad that we will be lucky to recover.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. GBurns


    The terrorist do not want the West to be friendly with the Arab world. They loved George Bush and Cheney. They played right into their hands. All Bush and Cheney did was breed more terrorists. Terrorists were not in Iraq unti we invaded. There were never any camps. Heck Sadam Hussien would kill anyone who apposed him without question, now Iraq too is a breeding ground for terrorism. Bush and Cheney only created more terrorists. They made the world not just the US an unsafe place and they will be remembered in History books as doing so. The were not evil only ignorant.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. mcneil

    if something should happen he'd say I told you so, if nothing happens no one would remember what he had said. He is irrelevant now, forget him.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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