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. Goodwin

    Dick Cheney is on safe ground when he states that the country maybe more vulnerable now than in the past. There is no way to prove him wrong.
    Such fail safe statements are a distraction rather than a help to a country that needs to move forward. Let us hope that this bright but partisan politician quickly disappears from public view.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Jeff

    There is no distinction between rights for Americans and rights for non-Americans. As the Declaration of Independence states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"
    Whether we as Americans like it or not, these are the principles that our nation was founded on. UNALIENABLE RIGHTS...whether your black, white, Christian, Muslim, terrorists or not, evil or good, you have rights given to you by God that we, as Americans, have professed to respect. If we are willing to ignore this, if we are willing to compromise the very foundations of our beliefs, than it's a slippery slop to fascism. Our Founding Fathers have set the rules by which we must live and which we have lived by these past 230 years. I think Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush need to review their history.

    February 4, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Jim

    Yeah, it's a hard thing, this "doing it without torturing" thing. Because it's so hard, let's not bother to figure out a way to achieve our goals without torture. After all, they're not Americans, anyway.

    Get a clue, Dick.

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

    As long as New Yorkers are willing to take the chance I say let Obama do what he wants. They are most likely to pay the price.

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Mike

    Ending torture, closing secret prisons, and closing Gitmo puts Obama in line with Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, the two politicians with the most experience and judgment on these issues. Cheney isn't just outside mainstream, he's outside his own party on this.

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. JB

    Good grief. Has this guy ever read the Constitution?

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. John from San Diego

    Cheney is an example that there is no God.

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Alexander

    Cheney: you're wrong! And btw, thanks again for helping dirtying the US image in the world. There will be no more double standars in which we expect countries to treat us one way, but we treat them another. Geneva conventions were ratified so that a minimum level of humanity could be uphelpd – mostly by civilized nations. To me you are the wrong kind of patriot. Shame on you, and may God have mercy on your sould.

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Kingsley

    As I recall, the last major attack on our homeland since pearl harbour happened on his watch. For eight years they completely endangered America by prosecuting a war in Iraq rather than focusing on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and they failed to bring Osama Bin Laden to book. The shameful acts of torture approved by the Bush Administration and carried out in Abu Gharib prison and Guantanamo Bay served as recruiting posters for terrorists around the world. This man hasn't earned the right to criticize the Obama Administration which is trying to clean up every mess that Cheney and Bush left behind.

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. B E in TN

    shut up cheney!!! how dare you call someone evil; you are the one who should be tortured in guantanomo

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Angie

    Exactly who is Dick Chaney?

    After 8 years he has only been known for his failing health working under GWB, supporting a man (President), who doesn't even care to give rights to his daughter because she is gay, whom he should have supported more than GWB, and for shooting his good friend. (mistakenly, atleast).

    And he calls Obama irresponsible. Come on Dick, your time has came and gone. You never had anything intelligent to say before and I see nothing has changed. Just shut up..................

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Zachary

    Who cares what this washed-up, angry, misguided, dangerous man thinks. You are washed up, gone, done, over with....good riddance!! Its a new day. Go build your evil misguided neo-con empire in the Australian outback with John Howard! And make us a promise not to come back!

    February 4, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. kristin Obeck

    I agree with Mr. Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. greg allen

    CHENEY IS A JERK

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Jean Muir

    It is disheartning to see our leaders demonstrate poor judgement in filing and paying their taxes. At a time when trust is crucial, this is another national wound. However, I do not hear any comments on the excruciatingly tortuous tax filing process we endure annually. Who has not made errors? The entire system needs an overhaul.

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Kitchen Police

    Sounds like Cheney is trying to position himself in case of another attack and make it look like Obama's fault.

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. NEL E BELL

    WELL, IF ANYONE SHOULD KNOW MEAN, DIRTY AND TOUGH ITS DARTH VADAR. HOWEVER, I THINK HE HAS A VALID POINT CONSIDERING THE SCREW UPS PRIOR AND POST 911, TAKEN UNDER ADVISEMENT.

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Tom R

    Cheney will continue defending Gitmo until the day he dies but he can't deny the truth of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    What that means, Mr Cheney, is that if you believe in the ideals upon which this country was founded, you cannot deprive a person of their liberty without due process of law. And that doesn't just mean citizens of the United States, either, because of course at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, there were no citizens of the United States. The Founders were talking about something that belongs to everyone and cannot be taken away by anyone except a duly constituted court of law.

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Darryl

    The "Biggest Scare Crook" Making Claims. THis Guy Chaney Needs to give back not only his salary but all the mony he got from KBR and Haliberton. His man is a Crook and will not be held accountabl

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. No Vaseline

    Cheney, go bury yourself in a hole. You screwed up the country. Stop your whining and let President Obama clean up your mess

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. Mark Senak

    OK Dick. You don't matter anymore. That is why you had a 16% approval rating, leave office with a wrecked economy, a loss of worldwide respect, two wars, domestic government that got turned off by a group of people like you who combined arrogance with stupidity from which all policy sprang. Bye.

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Mike

    Unlike Cheney President Obama has not killed anyone and there is NO evidence at all that he has made us less safe.

    Go back to your bunker Dickie and leave us all alone. You have caused more damage in 8 years than than anyone else in the entire existence of the republic.

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. greg allen

    CHENEY IS A JERK

    February 4, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. WOW they're DUMB

    less safe? He can't be serious. I'm sure Dick is one to know about safety...especially while hunting.

    February 4, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Alan

    Dick Cheney has done great damage to the U.S. in the last 8 years. He should be in prison right now for numerous illegal acts that violate our Constitution including torture, warrantless spying, outing a CIA agent, refusing to turn over critical documents, lies that led to an unnecessary war, secret prisons, etc. Althought the current administration is a breath of fresh air and provides hope for our future, we also need to hold criminals like Cheney accountable for their actions. By the way, he didn't keep us safe; 9/11 happened on his watch and he had adequate warning.

    February 4, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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