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. Loser

    The WORST Vice President in the history of the United States!

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Illini

    I have to say....this is the first time I completely agree with Mr. Cheney.

    I want my government to do whatever it takes to keep my family, friends, and fellow citizens safe.

    We just invite an attack when we let our enemies know - in advance - that even if they murder Americans...we'll play "fair."

    Need a cigarette? coffee? a lawyer? another crack at killing us?

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. RB in FL

    Oh come on now Cheney! You and your puppet GW "destroyed" this nations economy. You, and the others like you, made the United States of America economically unsafe. No job in America is "safe." You time is over. Go back to your rock.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. E-Man

    Cheney should shut up, what a piece of trash. This guy belongs in jail. LOSER !!!

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Carl Spinner

    HERE WE GO CHENEY 2012!!!!!!!! Good Job Dick! I support you fully.

    Dick Cheney is going to really test Obama in the Next few months with statements like this.

    KEEP THEM COMMING MR. CHENEY!!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. itbeme

    fear mongers at their best. If you don't do things OUR way, the world will end! Ever wonder if the repukes had more to do with 9/11 then they will admit? Now they are out of office.....and they are threatening another attack......just one of those things that make you go hmmmmmmmmm......

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Linda from Prescott AZ

    DICK CHENEY is beyond belief. This administration is 2 weeks old and already is trying to bury it in irresponsible nasty rhetoric.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Christopher

    I havnet even read this article other than the title and simply felt that I needed to stat. "DICK Cheney needs to F- himself". The US is unsafe beause of his and Bushes policies.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Chris - Pennsylvania

    I think this quote sums up the entire Bush administration rational regarding the need to lock these people away forever.

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves".- William Pitt

    Fear is not a good reason to abandon the principles this country was founded on. This is one of the reasons that the Bush administration will never, ever be seen in a positive light. They robbed us of many civil liberties all in the name of safety. Basically changing our philosophy as a country and giving the terrorists exactly what they want; us changing our way of life and showing that we are afraid.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. jonolson62

    Yawn

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. dave

    This guy isn't in charge anymore. He needs to go home and get out of our sight. He's a jerk.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Eric

    So the guy who helped create some of the terrorists by imprisoning some people who weren't terrorists to begin with is having "issues" with what's happening now?

    Cheney's one of the reasons we're in the mess we're in! Does he have any idea what it's going to take to undo the mistakes the Bush administration made? Does he have any idea of the trouble and political nightmare they left America with? What they did was criminal, and they created criminals to go along with the actual criminals who were imprisoned in Gitmo. Had Bush, Cheney and the rest of Bushco had done what they were supposed to correctly in the first place, we wouldn't be in this terroristic quagmire today. The guilty would have been charged, tried and imprisoned. The not guilty would have been released and some of the not guilty wouldn't not be joining with the terrorists because they're pissed at the US BECAUSE of what Bush and Cheney did.

    Doesn't he get it? It's a Catch-22 he helped create and didn't clean up the mess!

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. S Callahan

    Mr. Cheney, with all due respect.....I disagree he is putitng our country at greater risk. Perhaps if you had sought the 'good book' in your dealings with other countries we wouldn't be in this mess now. One of the most fundamental and the rightful way to go is to live in the motto of
    " Do to others what you would have them do to you".

    This nation was built on faith, sustained on faith, and will go into the future on faith. I think our God, hopefullly the same one for you, is must stronger to prevent these things than you give him credit for. We have a nation of people that will do what they have to do to protect this country and will not tolerate it's diruption but the first goal is to make peace not conflict which is always the last resort. Try to be a little optimistic for a change..it's much more fitting in retirement.

    February 4, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Zzzzz

    *Yawn* No one cares what you have to say, Cheney. You were the worst "influential" VP this country has ever seen. Go back to your hiding hole, and let the President do his job without your worthless comments.

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Barb

    wow. so glad this guy isn't in the white house anymore. he just doesn't get it.

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. jim

    his comments on guantanamo prove that without doubt, he is mentally ill

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Libertarian

    Go away Cheney, you are the reason I left the Republican party.

    YOU and Bush made the country less safe by creating the war in Iraq and not finishing the real one in Afghanistan. For what? Haliburton contracts. Plain and simple. You screwed us

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. random comment

    If I were Cheney I would keep my mouth shut until after Obama decides what he's going to do with the Karl Rove case, etc.

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Peggy - TX

    Know I personally sleep better knowing that arrogant $#$%^!@ Cheney is no longer in power. Obama has in just a few weeks taken real action to diminished the anger toward America I the world by giving an interview to an Iraqi reporter and by getting rid of Guantanamo.

    Cheney talks about evil in the world like he is Gods personally appointed warrior. Well Cheney Evil is as evil does, and you arrogant #$@%$#$! got the US in a war that was not needed and, by your actions, you directly caused 100 of thousands of innocent deaths and disrupted the well being of millions as well as caused the deaths and injury to thousand of Americas’ finest. Cheney you are evil!

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. KMAN

    Who really care what this DICK has to say?

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Caleb

    Well look who crawled out from under their bridge. Go back to your cave dark emperor.

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Joe in Austin

    Cheney's opinions aren't news. There are far more opinions the other way.

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Kevin A

    Hey Dick, Go away already. If anybody made the world more dangerous, it's you and your puppet, W.

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. Greg

    Cheney, go away. Don't you have a heart attack to attend?

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. Markus

    "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 is saying that the US has to resort to being evil in order to win against the other evil guys?
    Isn't that a deeply worrying and sad vision and philosophy for somebody who was so close to ruling a country that used to be all about freedom, justice, and moral standards once upon a time?

    So glad he's gone,
    cheers from Germany

    February 4, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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