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. dave

    "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.”

    Yes Dick, we know how you ran Haliburton. The most amazing thing about how you do business is that it is one of several possibilities. I hope your world does not unravel too much realizing that.

    "These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek," he said.

    So refreshing to hear strong, moral, Christian words from Mr. Cheney. I'm tempted to draw the conclusion from these comments that Christianity is for delusional idiots, but I suspect it must be that Christianity is really only appropriate some of the time, not all of the time. Thanks for clarifying that, dick.

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Smith

    Irresponsible comments from a man who is truly sadistic and probablly the worst Vice President in the history of our nation. Our country is founded on liberty and unalienable human rights. These human rights are important, and for that reason, we do not torture. As evil as our enemies are, we cannot disregard the sanctity of human life.

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Scully

    The GOP Politics of Fear continues.

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. David

    Why does Dick-less Cheney think anybody cares what he has to say...

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. ray

    all these republicans need s to vanish from this panet sooner than later.

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Mike/Chicago

    Dick, Dick, Dick... Go away. Go far away. Your party, your former president, your radio commentators, your obstructionist friends in congress – all irrelevant. Just-like-you.

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Freedom

    If Mr Cheney was man enough, why didn't he just kill all the inmates at Gitmo since they did not have plans on what to do with them. I think we are doing a great deservice for the country by trying to put our on opions out there, let us let the President run the country Cheny had his 8yrs. Can he explain why we are in this mess? Why is our air force base being closed. Mr Cheny if you feel that way why didn't just kill all our enemies

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. Daren Perlstein

    Cheney,
    Shut your trap! You had your chance and you blew it! Just shut up and go away. You belong in jail. You are a war criminal. Just shut up and leave the stage.

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. Robin

    I dislike everything about Dick Cheney. But, I don't feel that President Obama is taking our national security seriously enough.

    These are people who want to kill us. We will not stop that by "playing nice." Hate the Bush Administration all you want, but he did go after terrorists, something that the Clinton Administration ignored.

    February 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Go Directly To Jail

    Cheney, you and your lacky Bush should be sitting in Gitmo right about now. You, Bush, McCain, and Palin need to stop talking to the media, and just go hide under a rock for at least the next 4 years. We do not want to hear or see you, because you are all very RACISTS. The USA and the WORLD for that matter are moving forward, we are leaving you behind. Cheney you will go down in the HISTORY books as being the WORST VP. Think about that.

    February 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Axel

    The usual "stoke fear to get your way" mentality of the GOP showing through as usual. No one is talking about clemency for suspected terrorists, instead what Obama is doing is fulfilling a campaign promise.

    Close illegal jails that do not adhere to US constitutional protections for the right to a fair trial.

    Try suspected fellons in a normal regulated court system. Sentence them if guilty or send them packing if not.

    Torturing individuals without trial does more harm than good to the future of our country and the relations we have with the world at large. This is not that complicated or hard to understand. Standing by our constitution and the right to a fair trial should not be optional and selectively applied as the party in power sees fit.

    Frankly Bush and Co should be investigated for unconstitutional abuse of power, period.

    February 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Nancy - Houston

    Obama gave the Bush/Cheney (or Cheney/Bush) administration the respect of "not but one president at a time." How about the past administration doing the same?

    February 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. jncc1701

    Shut up Cheany – the Constitution is able to keep us safe and respect the rights of those who hate it.

    GO AWAY and shoot something like your foot.

    February 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. ray

    as long as these republicans are in congress nothing will never be done to bring this country from the brinks of defeat .

    February 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. flagguy

    You're right. Treating them like human beings is wrong. We should just cage them up together and let them hate us more.

    I've always been against calling you a criminal, but if the shoe fits....

    February 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Tina in Phoenix

    Cheney needs to just shut up and disappear...I feel he and Bush were more damaging to the US than the terrorists have ever been.

    February 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Seth Hill

    Let's see ... terrorists killed 3,000 Americans, so we could have turned the other cheek, or struck back. I guess we never did consider turning the other cheek. So we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and we lost 4,200 more Americans. If we had turned the other cheek, we would not have lost all those lives. Hmmm ... I can't figure out what's wrong with this logic. Can someone help me?

    February 4, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. usualone

    Why not scatter the prisoners among US (maybe military) prisons, isolate them (rather than being at one prison in Cuba) and they will certainly be ineffective? Mr. Cheney continues to do the fear mongering tactic. If the terrorists do attack us, it won't be as a result of President Obama's watch. These terrorists wait until they are ready, not because of the Bush or Cheney term in office. Of course, we should continue monitoring their activites and some of the other tactics instituted during the Bush regime. Due diligence should not be lacking.

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Celusil

    Dick cheney should be an inmate, not talking about inmates.

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Dave S.

    This coming from DICK Cheney? Please! That lying, unethical criminal should be put under the jail!

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. NJJoe

    Why should we care what Cheney thinks? While I harbor no ill will towards this man, its been a very l-o-n-g 8 years, and I wish he would just go away, and live the rest of his life out of public life.

    Although, there’s little doubt he’ll end up on FoxNews, like the rest of the super right wingers, I personally don't care to see or here from him ever again.

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. thetoadkillerdog

    irresponsibly adhering to “campaign rhetoric,”???? He means keeping his word? That would be a foreign concept to the neo-cons.

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Billy

    Can someone tell Dick that he isn't in office anymore?

    America is once again the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    We have the bravery to not sacrifice our principles and the freedom in this country where our laws apply to everyone.

    Honestly, what's the point of his statement if not to undermine our country? What good is he doing with public statements like this?

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Bubba

    Cheney should be in a cell. If I were president, I'd restrict this traitor's movements and tap his phone.

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Tony in Maine

    Cheney belongs in Guantanamo. Few people in our history have done so much damage to our country.

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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