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. Larry Houston Texas

    They should take Cheney to Alcatraz, the same place where they should take the rest of the GITMO Terrorists !!
    (and throw away the key)

    February 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. God Help us

    No Cheney what you and Bush did has made this country more dangerous. Obama is doing nothing but trying to clean up your mess. I was embarrased to be an American when that man threw a shoe at our President. It showed how weak we became for us to be a power house but that man was brave enough to throw a shoe and he is considered a hero to many in the muslim world.What does that say about your administration.

    February 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. wagner

    oh now you want to say something now that you are out of the office?

    February 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. BKB

    Hey, DArth Cheney go tickle your a... with those flowers you said we would be showered with!

    February 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. rick

    this comment from the man who participated in recruiting more terrorists to attack the United States by using torture and denying human beings of basic human rights in Gitmo. there are consequences to elections Mr. Cheney. your irrelevance is one of those consequences. good riddance.

    February 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Noah

    Cheney is absolutely right. Beyond these huge mistakes that Cheney mentions, Obama has also been secretly holding meetings with Iran and Syria. The iranians are already feeling bolder since Obama took office and have come out and said that Obama's new policy of talking to Iran is a sign of America's weakness. He has demanded that Obama apologize on behalf of America. Obama has made so many rookie mistakes already. This is NOT a job that lends itself to on the job training and it looks like all of us sane folks who did not vote for Obama because he lacked experience are already being vindicated

    February 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. MH

    He should just shut up. His policies resulted in strengthening of US foes from Chavez to Iran. Dick, just go shoot quail. You're not good at anything else. Oh wait, are you even good at that?

    February 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Tom Harkins

    Go crawl back under a rock Chaney. We are done with you.

    February 4, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Reformed Republican

    This from a guy who makes Kissinger look like Gandhi. It's Cheney's policies that have made this country less safe, not Obama's.

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Betty Anne Jones

    Dear Igor Cheney...

    Shut up!!! You are irrellevent.

    You been yaking "the sky is falling" for years now. You were wrong then and you are wrong now America has wised up....now shut your face you old goat.

    Miss Betty Anne Jones

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Rick

    Let's leave this creep to his rifles and ignore him for the rest of his life.

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. grahame

    Cheney is an idiot

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. lou in Miami

    Dick does not have a leg to stand on literally...W, him and the other Chipmunks destroyed our country and let 911 happen even thou they knew about it. So old man go back home and shut up or we will put your tired behind in jail for crimes against humanity.

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. citizen

    Does it really matter what Dick Cheney thinks about anything at this point?! Get over it DICK, you're not in the White House anymore. NO ONE cares what you think!

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Kathy in Florida

    OMG Cheney came out of his hole. He reminds me of a Ground Hog.

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Larry

    Typical scare mongering as usual from the republicans.

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Joe Fox

    Dick Cheney should reserve his comments until sometime in the near future when he can make them from behind bars for his part in the Bush- Cheney step all over the constitution and to hell with international law administration.
    Good luck Dick, hope you like prison food .
    Joe from Georgia

    February 4, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Sandy in Racine

    Cheney can suck it. The old fart is no longer in charge of the free-world, and created this mess to begin with! Doesn't he have a ranch in Wyoming? Maybe we can send the detainees there.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Dave in Albuquerque

    Dick Cheney: no longer a threat to the Constitution, but still blowing hot air.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. james

    "...mean, dirty...evil ..." Sounds like Dick is tuning up the self-descriptors for his autobiography. Not only did his attitudes and policies make U.S. citizens less safe at home and abroad, they also created a whole new contingent of terrorists that feel legitimized to use whatefer tactics they feel fit to achieve their goals. Way to go Dick!! I've got a waterboard with your name on it!

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Independent_me

    Cheney and the Republicans are on a roll.
    They see Obama's well-intentioned desire to get beyond the rabid bipartisanship of the years of Republican domination of the House and Congress as a golden opportunity for exploitation.

    They (the Repubs) publicly say that they want Obama to succeed, but gleefully obstruct his efforts at every turn. Cheney is simply piling on the crap at a time when Obama has had a few setbacks with his nominees.

    But things are not always what they seem. Things will turn around, and it is the GOP who will once and for ll be exposed as the Godless Obstructionist Party.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. Nick from Holland, MI

    Has Cheney ever thought about how many new terrorists the Bush administration has created by using state sponsored tortue? I for one am happy to see an about face on this issue. And trade in our war drum, for a fiddle.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. RN in Ann Arbor

    In the past 8 years we have heard repeatedly that the US was not safer after Bush-Cheney threw billions of dollars into Gitmo and Homeland Security programs. That we have not been attacked means nothing – we have only heard of attacks foiled by our European allies – who have not used torture. Cheney is angry that the Repubs lost the election and still seems to think that they should be running things in spite of having lost!
    What a moron! Cheney and Bush pushed us into a war that we had no reason to be in. THAT was irresponsible.
    Since this tends to be a pro republican site I am sure this will not be posted.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. Len

    Cheney.....Please go back to your dark black hole.Nobody cares what you have to say anymore.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. In Houston, TX

    If we are not
    torturing our enemies or witholding justice from our enemies
    or spying on our civillians
    or sacrificing our rights and our morals for the illusion of security
    then we're just doin enough to keep America safe as far as The Dark Lord of Sith is concerned.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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