February 4th, 2009
12:38 PM ET
10 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. Katy

    chenney must be in Guantanamo Bay along with people he calls evil.

    At least those evils, killing people / not their own people for their religion, Chenney killing his own peole, the American for his & his friends oil & wealth. The American contributed their sweats, tears and blood to make Chenney and his friend rich.

    Who is evil, history will be the judge.

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Dylan from MN

    Just as you see others as evil, others see you as evil.

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. NJObama08+

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! You must have lost something in the translation from english to bush's fear language.
    The biggest gripe about Bush – for me – is he (and tricky dick lol) forgot who they work for – US. Regardless of what 8+% of this country wanted for our country they did what they wanted with no heed to us. And I heard cheyney say "so what" in an interview when directly asked, 80% of this country doesn't support what you and bush are doing, what's you response. That's a lousy disrespectful answer.

    And whoever it was that is bringing up Obama not being American....GIVE IT UP. That was a weak argument during the campaing that held no validity – obviously, you lost, we won. move on and stop with the lies.

    Jane February 4th, 2009 12:41 pm ET

    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 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Cheney not in wheel chair!

    In the fight against terrorists Cheney took away some of our American Rights, but worst yet Bushs Administration didn't even make an effort to restore American citizens rights.

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Joesnopy

    Yes, history will show how Dick Cheney put fear into this nation so we would invade Iraq so oil would rise to $5.00 per gallon so all his friend could get rich off of you Repub suckers.

    February 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Marge

    cheney along with bush had eight years to make America safe, to keep jobs here, to keep us out of 8 trillion dollar debt. What did he do...he helped ruin everything good about this country.


    February 4, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Ramesh

    Please do not give any coverage to Mr. Cheney. It's Thanks to him and his buddies that we're in such a dismal situation. The definition of Security for Americans needs the following areas:
    1. Jobs, 2. Health, 3. Education, 4. Housing, 5. Transportation

    We are witnessing the results of a failed ideology, "With goodwill towards none and fascist mixture of racism and religion".

    February 4, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Cheney is a liar and will go down as the worst VP that ever served
    this country.The war in Iraq was based on lies and ended up being
    a place to go to kill americans.Cheney has no right to say anything
    about Obama.Obama has to clean up the huge mess left by
    Bush and Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Laverne

    @ Terry from VA: Be careful what you wish for. It could be one of your love ones who could be harmed. Your hateful rhetoric will get you nowhere. I am sure you are "predicting" because you never supported and do not like Obama anyway. Remember, you reap what you sow.

    February 4, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. tony_n_atl


    February 4, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. ???

    CNN, Does it bother you that your audience is made up of what seems to be at least 95% or more liberal readers/viewers. I thought it was a core value of news outlets to report unbiased news. It seems clear that by the responses you recieve on your "tickers" that you don't have a balanced audience. Doesn't that bother you? Please just report the news as it happens. BTW – I tell FOX news the same thing.

    February 4, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Morgan, Colorado

    "But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. "I must be first." "I must be supreme." "Our nation must rule the world." (Preach it) And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I'm going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.

    God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. (Preach it, preach it) God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.

    But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. (Amen) The God that I worship has a way of saying, "Don't play with me." (Yes) He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, "Don’t play with me, Israel. Don't play with me, Babylon. (Yes) Be still and know that I'm God. And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power." (Yes) And that can happen to America. (Yes) Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening. And we have perverted the drum major instinct."
    – MLK, Drum Major Instinct

    February 4, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. cjr

    Cheney, Rumsfield Bush will end up at the Hague being tried for war crimes – put money on it. The process is beginning in Europe, we have no control over it.

    February 4, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. AJ

    dick – go away...no one cares

    February 4, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. tishoogle

    Cheney your party lost don't need your comments! You and Bush got us into this mess!

    February 4, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Nonconformist

    I love Dick Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. swade

    Go away. Go retire. You had your time. It's over. Your commentary is moot and of no value.

    February 4, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. Geeque - Chicago,IL

    Dick Cheney is a war criminal, he should be prosecuted and jailed immediately. The man belongs to JAIL.

    February 4, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Tommy

    Me dost thou thinks he protests too much. Get thee to the Hague, vile war criminal!

    I've got an idea. Don't close Gitmo. Use it instead to keep us from politicians that use deception and secrecy to further their insidious aims.

    February 4, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Brenda

    IF anything happens to the US it is not because of President Obama setting things right. It is because they are ticked at you DICK for keeping them in jail without trial or charges. YOU should be arrested for the war crimes that are coming to light

    February 4, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Steve

    Cheney is a greedy lying polluting criminal who should shut up and disappear. The best response for this trash besides a jail cell is his own response to the US Senate, which we all remember contains a very dirty four letter word: F#%@ you, Mr. Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |

    no one will even read my comment or care about it so I won't bother

    February 4, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. A Republican

    Quote-unquote regarding Obama's spending plan of some 1 trillion dollars, from McCain, "unfortunately, the proposal on the table is big on the giveaways for the special interests and corporate high rollers, yet short on help for ordinary working Americans."

    February 4, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Rick

    Excuse me Dick, but who was the president during the last attack on the US? And who was his vice-president? No one cares what you think...just fade away...far away...please...

    February 4, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. honestly


    February 4, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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