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. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    I'm sorry but taking criticism or advice on national security matters from an administration which failed to detect and prevent 9/11 simply doesn't give me warm fuzzies at night. Does Mr. Cheney expect America to crumble by closing his GITMO Gulag??? Excrement such as he and his Buddy Georgie should be left to simply dry and blow away!!! America has bigger challenges than to listen to his wisdumb...

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. SunnyD

    Dick Cheney who? Oh you mean the recent VP who by the way should be tried for countless things that he did. Dick you lost all credibility...here's a tip...shut the f#$@ up!

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Michiganian

    Big surprise. Cheney defending torture when he is likely to eventually be tried for war crimes (if not here, then in international courts.)
    And just who died and made Cheney ruler, and lets him decide who is evil? God may not be looking very favorably on anyone who tortures another of his creations. America has no right to force its belief system on anyone, nor are we some perfect little universe that has more rights than another. And truthfully, life isn't "24." "Facts" disclosed in torture are lies.
    God created all of us, and we need to treat each other accordingly. I suppose that while Rush hopes Obama will "fail," Cheney hopes that we will be attacked, just to justify their protectionist, isolationist, pro-war ideals.

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

    Cheney you are the evil person

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Jon

    Nobody cared what Cheney had to say when he was VP. His views are completely irrelevant now.

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. John M

    Shut up Darth!

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Faith Restored

    Says the war criminal. When are charges aginst this devil incarnate going to be processed?

    February 4, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Michael, in Lubbock

    The point of doing something like closing Guantanamo Bay is to show the world that our principles and ideals are far more strong than our fear of terror. The world will be emboldened by our leadership and in the end that will lead to a destruction of terror in the world.

    Cheney's blatant disregard for Constitutional and Human rights is obscene!

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Mari

    IF I NEVER hear a word from Cheney again it will be just fine! The man is evil.



    BY THE WAY, 9/11 HAPPENED ON .....YOUR........ WATCH!

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Rebecca

    Well he would know about tough, mean, dirty, nasty business.

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |

    Hey dick! Kiss my big fat Greek behind you moron! Go to prison where you belong!

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. 1/20/13

    Dick......You are 100% correct I wonder who will translate the Miranda Rights into Arabic under the Obama administration. Might be a good job for Dashcelle.

    Its back to the Clinton days of terror attacks

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. thomas

    Cheney says "President Obama has already made the country more vulnerable." as he stands over the pile of rubble left by the Bush administration. We have been attacked again, but this time the vehicle of choice was our economic system. We have lost our homes, our cars, our jobs, our savings, our families, our lives, and our self-respect. What would you call it, Dick Cheney?

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. kennedy

    I think Cheeney is right and i would want the Obama administration to be careful with some of the decisions they make. Terrorism has no place in 21ist century and those guys deserve no fundamental human right.

    To President Obama, your greatest challenge apart from the present financial crises is preventing another attack on U.S homeland. Please treat terrorist like terrorist, they deserve no mercy.

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |

    Obama has already shown he does not know what he is doing. His only apparent concern is with politics and his image are The Greatest. Well, it ain't so!

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. kenny cole

    mr cheney you're a fool thats what i got to say

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. billion

    woww go back home cheney .. and enjoy that wheelchair because it seems like youll be needing it pretty soon!

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Geo1

    Cheney had his term in office. It is time for him to enjoy his retirement. Present Bush & his wife are doing a great job staying away for while. Why Chaney can't do the same. Tell him to stay home & enjoy his wife.

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. steve

    They should send Cheney to Gitmo and hang him from his thumbs.

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Brian

    This idiot should be in jail himself

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Gallimimus

    Cheney sit down and shut up! You had your chance and really made things worse for Americans. Go find a hole and worry about world destruction there.

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. American Voice

    Unless Chaney goes to Den Haag or Guantenamo....America will not be safe...

    February 4, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Edith

    Cheney don,t know what the hell he is talking about. He only know one way in dealing with situations. President Obama know how to beat them with love and a strentgh from within. It will work. HARSH AND SCOLDING IS NOT THE BEST WAY IN DEALING WITH A WRONG KIND OF PERSON BUT A MORE KINDER GENTLER APPROACH WITH THE RIGHT CHOICE OF STRONG WORDS OUT OF PURE LOVE WILL BE ADHERED TO. ITS HEAVENS FOOD FOR THOUGHT THIS IS HOW TO CHANGE A WRONG KIND OF PERSON AND/OR PEOPLE. God Bless.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Bob Albrecht

    The Bush administration, and Dick Cheney himself, is responsible for letting the worst terrorist attacks in history slip past our defenses. Our response was a folly of mistakes, wars, military strikes, kidnappings, and torture. The claim that his administration kept the US safe not only overlooks the events of 9/11, but completely neglects the fact that tens of thousands of US soldiers have been killed and injured in wars that were probably unnecessary in the fight against terrorism. Now that the Bush/Cheney administration has whipped radical elements into frenzy we have far more enemies than we did before 9/11. Dick Cheney should be prosecuted for breaking US law against unlawful detention and torture, and is not a person that anyone should be listening to regarding current US policy.

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. lindasmaggie

    This sharp shooter belongs in jail !!!

    February 4, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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