March 15th, 2009
10:55 AM ET
14 years ago

Cheney: Obama decisions are putting country at risk

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="Photo Credit: Josh Rubin/CNN."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN's John King Sunday that he believed President Obama's decision to eliminate the use of many of the most controversial interrogation practices used under the former administration had put the country at risk.

Asked whether he thought those moves had made the United States less safe, Cheney said he did. "I think those programs were absolutely essential to the success we enjoy, of being able to collect the intelligence that let us defeat all further attempts to launch attacks against the United States since 9/11," he said on State of the Union. "I think it's a great success story. It was done legally, it was done in accordance with our constitutional practices and principles..."

Watch Cheney tout Bush administration accomplishments

Obama campaigned against those practices, said Cheney, "and now he's making some choices that in my mind will raise the risk to the American people of another attack."

Filed under: Dick Cheney • State of the Union
soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. Timus

    Getting Cheney to say we were wrong is like getting rocks to stop being hard. Actually softening the rocks would be easier. Good riddence!!!

    March 15, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Bill

    When is this guy going to go away already !?!?

    March 15, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. John

    I guess Cheney continues to believe that subverting the United States Constitution is the ONLY way to keep Americans safe from future terrorist attacks. Lets see...Imprisoning people without charges, holding them indefinately, labeling people "enemy combatants" who were not captured on the battlefield, listening to phone calls of private citizens, reading e-mails of private citizens and when the judiciary branch tries to question you or your colleagues claiming "executive priveledge" (how a private citizen like Karl Rove gets executive priveledge is beyone me).

    These are things that when I was in grade school at the zenith of the Cold War I was told they did in the Soviet Union. We were told that we were better than they were because we lived in a country where they did not do such things. I never thought I'd see the day when my country was doing those very things and I'm completely in support of the current administration dismantling these measures.

    If we decide to live in a police state under a dictator, the terrorists have truly won. Good riddance to Cheney, Bush and everyone else that brought us some of the worst 8 years of leadership in the history of the country. And as for keeping us safe?!?!?!? I believe the worst terrorist attack on US soil occurred on your watch.

    March 15, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. lf

    Whatever you did must have been effective because it is more than co-incidence we've been spared more attacks since 9/11. Thanks for your best efforts to avoid these attacks during your administration. Oftentimes
    unrecognized contributions are realized after the departure of political figures. Others may comment; "yes, and some negative contributions are also recognized." Fine, let everyone enjoy freedom of speech, the right to express opinions without fear of being incarcerated–Thanks for the FREEDOM we enjoy, but it doesn't come without a cost or price to keep.

    March 15, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. DOC

    So, by NOT torturing people we are putting our country at risk?

    Our country was not founded on these principles. We have fought other nations for having done this very thing and now we act like our enemies acted?

    Why is this man NOT in prison?

    There is no justice in the country...

    March 15, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Cynth

    Is he evil? Or is he well-intentioned but wrong? Which is it, people? One or the other.

    March 15, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Hopeful Optimist

    What can one say? 'Five Deferment Dick' has spoken and that's the law!!!

    March 15, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Raymond

    This OLD Fool is a has-been
    Him and the Bush should be in Jail.

    March 15, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. CDN Ginger almost destroyed the country...nobody cares what you think.

    March 15, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. Jack in Florida

    Our country is at risk because the Bush/Cheney policies pissed the whole world off and the United States was not respected while they were in office. Cowboy diplomacy did not work for the past 8 years and it is about time we tried true diplomacy and speak with those that we have issues with.
    History will prove that Bush and Cheney were the worst administration in our history......................they should be the next group tried at the Hague.
    By the way, why is Cheney speaking more now than the last 8 years in office. Just shut up and go away to your ranch in Big Sky country.....count the stars and be quiet.

    March 15, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Marie

    Haven't we heard enough fear-mongering from Dick Cheney? I just wish the media would stop giving him a forum.

    March 15, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. disgusted

    What can we expect? Obama takes his foreign policy orders from the New York Times.

    March 15, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Katie

    We owe Bush and Cheney a big debt of gratitude for keeping us safe. Obama is sending a big message to those who hate us that he is not going to be tough on them. I do not feel safe at all with this anti war liberal with no leadership experience in office. He appears to be in over his head and the financial market knows it. We cannot let this guy change our capitalistic system punishing the most responsible and hardest working among us. Some new rules in the financial market would be fine, let the free market system do its job. I well remember the threats from the Soviet Union saying that they would bring us down from within and it might take a long time. Obama has a Marxist mindset and associated with many who were. This is the "change" he was talking about. The MSM has been completely taken in by the "cool one".

    March 15, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Dixon

    Electing Bush/Cheney put us at risk. It will take some work, but Obama willput us back on course. I do believe there is a use for the waterboarding. Use it on Bush and Cheney until they tell us all the illegal acctions they took during the past 8 years.

    March 15, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Jake

    My apologies to Mr. Cheney, but the fear mongering approach has run it's course. It's a shame that we could not use our collective intellect to interrogate those we needed to obtain information. Instead, we relied on brute force stupidity.

    The public has had quite enough of our government operating outside of the will of the people. Moving forward, let's hope this new administration actually hears what the people want, and carries out our will.

    March 15, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Peter

    Maybe it's time to use controversial interrogation techniques on this secretive, quintessential chicken-hawk to find out exactly what HE has done to put the country at risk.

    March 15, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. bill

    Cheney lives in his own universe where torture, wiretapping and cherry picking intelligence materials are the norm. And anyone that doesn't agree, are hurting the national defense.

    When I hear that from Darth Cheney I am glad I voted for change

    March 15, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Dennis

    Apparently Dick isn't a believer in Kharma. One of these days he probably will be.

    March 15, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. Dave

    The only thing we're at risk of is becoming more like the decent, fair and free country we were intended to be.

    March 15, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Ray Fisher

    Cheney keeps coming back like a bad memory to haunt us spurred by media attention. It's time to move on and look forward to our recovery.

    March 15, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. Dan, Idaho Falls

    No. Cheney is wrong on this one, too. America has been a beacon of freedom, peace, democracy, flag, motherhood, & apple pie. His administration's degradation of everything American, attempting to lower America's standards of behavior below those of the worst dictators like Saddam, Hitler, and Pol Pot, have placed us, and indeed the world, in serious jeopardy, politically, economically, and militarily. Arrest the MF and his puppet Bush, give them a fair trial like Saddam, and the same fate.

    March 15, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. PJH

    And once again the evil that helped to make the world what it is today can't miss an opportunity to stir the pot of chaos! Why would anyone find reasons to interview this maggot of irrelevance?

    March 15, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Rickymo

    This guy was part of the team that created the mess we are now and what we will be in for a very long time. What he says should be irrelevant now and forever.

    March 15, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Chris

    Cheney has no credibility, whatsoever.

    March 15, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. Everyman

    The proof is in the pudding, as they say. We haven't had a terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11 with the last administration.

    I don't think the situation can be cured with a big group hug, this is WAR.

    March 15, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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