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. Jay Henry

    I wouldn't usually agree with Dick Cheney on much if anything. Protecting one's country is a dirty, nasty business indeed. Turning the cheek may not be the best policy. If Israel turned the cheek, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad would bomb them even more. Even though, I agree with Cheney, I agree with Obama that America has to be seen to be following the rule of law and that it must balance its usage of soft and hard power. America in order to maintain its pole position in the world must be number both in soft and hard power. Learn from the British in the "hearts and mind" strategy.

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. Jim

    So Dick is up out of his wheelchair – poor, pathetic old man. Anyone ever wonder why we didn't hear from him for the last 18 months of Dunce-ya's presidency? Maybe he was down at Gitmo giving the torture orders...

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Anonymous

    OMG.

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Romney2012

    Dick Cheney's absolutely correct. The liberal ignorance that ushered, through corruption, Obama into office, is the very threat that this country will face soon. The sheer arrogance of the cronies now in charge will render our borders, along with our service personnel overseas, vunerable.....Liberal democrats need to get off their fairytale island and come to the real world; radical islam doesn't want a compromise...they don't want to live in harmony with us...they want to destroy us. And now, we're allowing the most inexperienced person ever handed the presidency, in Obama, to speak for us?

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. bb

    Because of you and G W Bush this is why this Country is in the
    predicament we are in. Loss of Jobs and Housing.
    The entire world is blaming you and G w

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Wynter

    Isn't it protocol for previous Presidents and Vice-Presidents to NOT directly criticize the current administration? I guess Cheney didnt get that memo.

    Keep it to yourself Dick!!!!

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Teri

    Isn't Cheney the same idiot who was a huge part of the last administration, which was a total screw up???? Thought so.....Shut up Cheney, you have done enough damage already!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Mike

    Even war criminals like Cheney are entitled to an opinion.

    February 4, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. hazel

    Poor Dick. Still thinks anyone cares what spews from his pointy little brain across his snarling little lips. Poor little man.

    February 4, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. cool onlooker

    Why is he still opening up? Anything else to undertake? You're right. Americans were very safe after 9.11!

    February 4, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Chris

    Why in the world are we listening to Dick Cheney when he is now retired? The election of President Obama was a clear message that the public was tired of the mean spirited and harmful policies of Bush/Cheney. Lets move past Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin, that is all old news.

    February 4, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. imobro

    ANOTHER ATTEMPT BY THE GOP TO DESTROY AND DISCREDIT PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA.

    THAT IS THEIR MISSION DAILY.

    February 4, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Theoharides

    Indeed – and you dick are certainly one of those mean, dirty, nasty, and evil people.

    February 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Kay

    Go back to your cave!

    February 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Mike in Ca

    "These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek," Chaney said.
    It always amazes me how Chaney and his ilk, twist things said by their opposition ,and lie to defend their own bad decisions. When has Obama ever said or done anything to suggest turning the other cheek to terrorists. Why is staying true to the core values that this nation was built on a bad thing.

    February 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. dave

    everyone knows that terrorists like to 'break-in' a new president with an incident. Cheney is spinning this 'almost certainty' to make O look to be at fault.

    February 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. Evan Bossinger

    "These are evil people."-

    You would be evil too, Mr. Cheney, if it was you watching your entire family get vaporized from stray bombs...I'm sure you would stop at nothing to get revenge. I think our country's safety relating to Obama's administration is redundant, and you need to stop being so ridiculous.

    February 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. Melissa from New Orleans

    Cheney is a curse upon this country and needs to shut up. He and his patsy Bush are the ones that got us into this mess.

    February 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Phillylucky

    So his argument is that these terrorist are bad people, so we should deny them their basic rights?

    Does that not scare people, Democrat or Republican?

    February 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. mfelder

    Why isn't Cheney bought up on criminal charges yet. In every country, there are factions of the population who is radical and militant. But that percentage of the population does not represent the whole population. We have to get away from demonizing a whole country for the actions of a few.

    February 4, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Tim Grant

    What is it with all the malignant narcissists of the Republican Party? Projection, projection, projection. It is Cheney's pet war in Iraq has made America less safe.

    We can't kill everyone that doesn't like us, Dick. Obama's charm offensive in the Middle East will win us more safety than your misguided wars and with less blood on our collective hands.

    It's frightening that this man had as much power as he did.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. JB

    DICK, just go to a corner and die. You are just ticket off because one of the companies you hold interest in (Blackwater) just got kicked out of Iraq; and no Blackwater will not be allowed to go run Gitmo.

    By the way Darth don't you have a friend to go shoot in the face somewhere?

    I can't wait for his pacemaker (probably made in China) just quits on him.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. shawn

    I think Cheney is the LAST person I'd want to get advise from thank you very much!! You've had your 8 years of terror, Mr. Cheney...now go away!!

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Jim

    When we get people in the oval office that are more committed to giving themselves more power to circumvent the Constitution and are more concerned about giving government contracts to companies they have financial ties to, then I worry.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. Danny from Phoenix

    Haha, really???

    Cheney thinks president Obama has made the U.S. less safe becuase we shut down a torture clinic?

    I cannot stand this man. I hope he pays for all the commotion, wars, and deaths he has caused in the past decade. Despicable neo-con.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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