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. S.M

    Cheyney has the nerve to criticize Obama when he and Bush are responsible for thousands of lives lost in Iraq over a war based on a lie. Because of Bush and Cheyney the majority of the world hates America as a whole. These two characters should be prosecuted for war crimes.

    Cheyne doesn't have any regrets for the crimes that he and Bush have committed. In the end Bush and Cheyney will be judged by God for sinful acts they've committed.

    February 4, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. No more Bush

    I would feel safer if Dick was put in jail for what he and Bush has done.
    Please Mr President stop trying to reach out to these clowns. Eight was enough. Do it the way you think it should be done and send them on their way. The rich boys at the top are laying off more and more Americans to try and make you look bad and these are the friends of the guys that you keep trying to reach out to. They are about greed and we know it so unite with your people and do what we voted you in to do.

    February 4, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. Maureen

    Cheney – poor excuse for a human being.....role away in your chair....

    February 4, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. CitizenAJ

    Ah Dick, you come out of hiding to comment on your failed policies and invasion of Iraq? Gitmo has created enemies of the United States not protect it. If people would have been rounded up and tried immediately, there would not have been a need for Gitmo. If the U.S. wants to lead the world and doing what is right, it has to do what is right first! Leadership by example! Release these people to countries that want them or try and convict them. I understand they are dangerous but so is ill fated policies. This is a global concern not just a U.S. concern.

    February 4, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. DarrellK. Moore

    Who in the hell really cares about what Dick Cheney thinks about President Obama's actions?

    Are you guys going to report some ersponsible news or what? Cheny is history and he most certainly has been an extreme detriment not only to the people of this country but to the world.

    February 4, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Gus

    A question: Why are we still listenning to Cheney? It is a fact now that Bush's presidency has been the worst one in the history of our country. Then, why are we listenning to Cheney? Also, it is a bad marketing strategy for CNN to publish interviews of individuals who are not liked by us, the people. Maybe I should start getting my news from a different website.

    February 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Ghost

    Well, ain't that something. What is it about these folk that they think war is the only solution? I admit I was more than upset after 9/11, but cooler heads must prevail. Our international image puts us at more risk than anything Obama could do. They do hate us, and with good reason. We've been playing all sides involved in the Middle East for decades. It's no wonder they are upset.

    Wanna end this terrorist threat? Simple....stay outta the middle east. Let them handle their own affairs. Or at least let the UN dictate what happens. We are no longer in a position to play woldl police. We have enough going on right here.

    February 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Amber

    If there were any justice in this world, this man would be brought to trial at the Hague, turned back over for life imprisonment in the US for war crimes, prosecuted in the US for treason during time of war, and then summarily executed.

    February 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Victor Kelley

    Any advice coming from the worst vice-president in history isn't worthy of appearing in any publication or news media.

    February 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Joy O

    Cheney is 100% correct. Obama is dangerously naive, and he thinks he'll be the "voice of reason" because he's so cool. Cheney has gotten a bad rap, but this man knows what he's talking about.

    There's a reason he and Bush played hardball–there ARE people whose sole aim is to kill Americans, preferably on our soil. The next time you see your friends and relatives, still alive and well, you can thank Bush and Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Jim Morton

    Mr. Cheney – you're gone. What you have to say does not count any more. You don't count any more. Go away and count your $$$ that you accrued through years of lying and deceipt.

    February 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. shawnee, ks

    Cheney is EVIL!!!! Who cares what he has to say anymore.

    February 4, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Bill

    Please former Vice President Chaeney and President George W. Bush and yourself have just about ran this country off the clift.

    Please move to another country!

    February 4, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Vince_Reno

    Dear terry,va;

    I think you are a shameful person to hope that we have an attack of this country just because you do not agree with Obamas politics.

    Shame on you.


    February 4, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Chris

    for PJP who said:

    "On this I very much agree. Bush and Cheney have had military experience and we cannot go around babying terrorists. Wether you agree or not, ask me if I care. Babying those people only shows a sign of weakness, not strength.

    Is that the experience of getting 5 deferments or sneaking out of the Alabama National Guard that you are referring to?

    February 4, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Ray Gainesville VA

    Hey Dick, shut the he&* up and go back to Halliburton to recoup all the millions and possibly billions you and your cronies stole from the govt.

    February 4, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. J.P.

    I'm afraid as the next decade or two unfolds, and we have 9-11 version 2.0 and 3.0 and 4.0, Cheney will be vindicated. Further, it will also show the willful naivety off those who believe simply being nice to terrorists will make them go away and not want to saw off the heads of the infidels (read: you and me).

    When your enemy has publicly acknowledged they are fighting a thousand-year war to spread a brutal, extremist version of Islam to every corner of the globe ("global caliphate"), you do yourself and your progeny an historical disservice by being so naive as to pretend your kindness to them will somehow spare your neck from their blade. You'll just be killed last. I believe Stalin referred to you as "willful idiots."

    "... history will record with the greatest astonishment, that those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening."
    -Ronald Reagan, 1964

    February 4, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. DO in Austin, TX

    Cheney's comments are why Obama won the election. When did protecting America mean torturing people. This is what has always made America the pillar of RIGHT in the world – we didn't drop to the nasty, dirty tactics of criminals and terrorist. When we do we become no better than them.

    February 4, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. gl, Pittsburgh

    Jane – your comments is hatefull. Please go jump off the Bridge to nowhere with your hatefull comments.

    February 4, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. TomL

    One of the best things about the changes that happened on Jan 20 is while Cheney is just as crazy as ever he can no longer take the rest of us down his sewer pipe. Biden called it right, he is the most dangerous VP ever.

    February 4, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Scott David Smith

    Horrible, bitter, angry, horrible, bitter, old man! It would be nice if he would do something good for the country and stop spreading his hate and fear-mongering. Thank God he and Bush are not in power anymore!

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Adoum

    Dear Dick Chene,

    There is a time to war but there is also a time to peace.
    Why Chene doesnt like a peace world in which all people are equal,this is a dream for everybody in the world now.

    If you are a pessimist,let the New USA Administration do his work because the American People need to live in peace.

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Tabski

    Cheney should just shut it, he messed up things enough that nobody should listen to whatever he says. Happy trails to him and bugger out.

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Ki An

    Guess who the terrorist will try to take revenge if they are released from prison.

    No wonder Dick is very worried.

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. Canuck

    What a huge EGO..are you kidding me Cheney!!!?? after 8 years in power, and creating the incredibly financial hole we all find ourselves in, and the most deceitful act of governing the western world has seen in some time, you can sit there and spew your mouth? Go back to the hole you came from.

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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