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. Matt

    @ J.P.

    No, what Cheney is saying is that if someone is brown, muslim and conveniently found in a location where we can extradite them secretly and hold them without representation or a trial while torturing them into saying they've done something wrong, then it is politically expedient to do so. In addition, he also believes that torturing and violating the human rights of those captives does not anger the targeted populace or otherwise motivate terrorist groups and increase their recruitment.

    As you can see, he continunes to live in a dream world filled with insipid ideology. His face and Bush's are on the front of every terrorist recruitment brochure. Moron.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. flyer

    Proud American
    You are the perfect poster child for birth controll. The rest of you nut's
    have no idea of what you are talking about. All this jabbering you are spouting is just an indacation of the mush between your ears.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. RW

    Where's Dick getting all this bad weed.
    Go home Cheney and stay out of spotlight..

    February 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Dale Long

    We are not safer because of Cheney and Bush.

    Americans have been killed by terrorists since 9/11.

    They havnet attacked the homeland by design. Look at the track record. They usually wait about every 8 years and for a change over in the White House. It is not because of anything Bush or Cheney did.

    Of course youre going be on top of it since 9/11. What did you do before 9/11? Your are/were weak, and you are still.

    The best defense you ever put up was shooting a lawyer.

    February 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. jeff

    Cheney being gone is making America safer already. Now lets try him for war crimes and we'll be even more safe with him behind bars.

    February 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. patrick

    I read alot of post up here and they all said the samething looks like the UNITED STATES of AMERICA to me and WE conclude George Bush and Dick Cheny WE want out of the chicken little philosophy the sky is falling because it hasnt.

    February 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Eric

    What can better rally the American people around Obama than Cheney speaking out against him? This man needs to lay low. He is lucky he isn't sitting in The Hague

    February 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. dwl

    Dick Cheney sounds as if he would have been happier working behind the iron curtain where nobody would have been allowed to questioned his actions.

    February 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Ryan

    This coming from a WAR CRIMINAL???

    Yeah he neglected to mention most of these "terrorists" are stupid brainwashed 15 year olds...and he certainly never caught Osama in 8 years. Not even close.

    Waste of money.

    February 4, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. LorenzoMN

    I have news for Dick Cheney....you're history. Americans care even less for what you think or say now than when you were hiding in your Vice-Presidential bunker. So go shoot a hunting friend, ok?

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Doesn't Dick have better things to do, like figuring out how he can screw taxpayers out of millions of dollars like he did for eight years. I would think him and Bush would be busy spending thier illgotten gains!

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Eisener

    GO AWAY – You Cheney. We voted you and yours out. You have brought us close to destruction. You belong in prison. I do not believe in "evil" as to human beings and I have never hated anyone and never will for this reason. However, I simply can not strongly enough express to what extend I have no wish to ever again hear a word from Cheney. He is a nobody now – wish that was the case long long ago. If anyone on this entire planet made it unsafe to be an American and be in the United States – it is Mr. Cheney. He has done so much harm it is hard to phantom. My goodness, how dares he.

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. david thomas

    Be Afraid, Be Afraid: the mantra of the Bush administration continues.

    These are the same people who started a war, helped in the continued damage to our environment and significantly harmed our economy. Does anyone except those as paranoid as them believe any of this?

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. We Are The One

    the only people that made america less safe the last 8yrs are GW bush and CChenney – go figure!

    talking tough and you still could not capture or kill Osama and could NOT find 1 WMD irak!!!!!

    your wrinkled behind should be in jail, seriously!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. Cathy

    Can't the Dark Lord just go back to the Death Star and keep his opinion to himself?

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Dave

    This isn't "getting tough". This is rooting for Americans to die in a terrorist attack so the GOP can regain power.

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Vincent, Switzerland

    Former VP Dick Cheney is simply blind to the fact that other methods of interogation do exist besides the inhuman method he still propagates. Why Is he afraid that closing Guantanamo Bay and getting back to the rule of law in dealing with our enemies makes us more vulnerable? Maybe he should also contemplate on why some politically disenchanted in areas of the world where America exerts its power and will indiscriminately, later become fanatics who want to revenge the ills done them or their people. I wonder if he really believed he could eliminate "Terrorism" through his inhuman highhandedness. In the 21st Century, "Intelligent Power" and Humanity sway – no longer "clenched Fists"! Long live Obama-Clinton.

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Bob (Illinois)

    What Mr. Cheney needs is a little quality time on the INSIDE of a prison wall! He is totally irrelevant!

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Steve

    Cheney you had your chances. Now sit back and wait and watch;let someone else have a chance to show what they can do. Always negative is not the solution.

    February 4, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. gl, Pittsburgh

    Dave – other coutries hated Americas because of interfering all the time. The love Obama.

    February 4, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. David SA, TX

    If this was the other way around and Bush was doing this I would bet the comments would be against closing GITMO. If you have not heard, one of the men released from GITMO is now seen and claiming to be 2nd in charge of Al-Qaeda. We could only pray nothing does happen here in America.

    February 4, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Gary Jaussaud

    Gary's comment:

    Ex-Vice President Cheney needs to fade away, he had is shot at the
    running of the country, and that is over now. Allow President Obama
    and his appointed people get their feet under them, and get the country up and running again, I think they are fully aware of security
    and the need for it, as they have really good advisors in place.

    February 4, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Why?

    Liberal friends...enjoy the presidential victory – you won already. It just seems you like feeding off of each other's negative and hateful speech based on past events (real or imagined). Stop hating, live in the now – you'll live longer.

    February 4, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. tim

    I have been waiting to tell the libs I told you so but thought it might take more than 2 weeks into obama's take over. But now I can say it- his admin and ideas are going to turn the USA into a semi communist country- so commrads-"I told you so!"

    February 4, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Tracy M.

    terry,va: You are not my co-patriot. Anyone who wishes death on someone because they don't share your political beliefs does not belong on MY soil. You make me sick. Stay away from my children, please, you are a menace to society. Where is Instant Karma when you need it???

    February 4, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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