March 23rd, 2009
11:41 AM ET
11 years ago

On '60 Minutes,' Obama rebukes Cheney criticism

In a '60 Minutes' interview, President Obama said, 'I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney'.

In a '60 Minutes' interview, President Obama said, 'I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney'.

(CNN) - President Obama said in an interview aired Sunday that the hardest decision he's made since taking office was to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Also in the interview on CBS' "60 Minutes," Obama defended his decision to shut down the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and he countered criticism from former vice president Dick Cheney.

"I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney - not surprisingly," Obama said. "I think that Vice President Cheney has been at the head of a movement whose notion is somehow that we can't reconcile our core values, our Constitution, our belief that we don't torture, with our national security interests. I think he's drawing the wrong lesson from history."

Obama was responding to comments Cheney made to CNN's "State of the Union" on March 15, when he said the president is making the nation less safe by closing the Guantanamo prison and ending interrogation practices that Bush administration critics consider torture for terror suspects.

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soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Glennis

    As much as the fools screaming for the heads of Bush and Cheney on a platter want to see them suffer, they are no more criminally liable for anything than previous or current administrations. What's sad is that one day in the not so distant future, all of the Obama worshippers will begin to realize that their world has changed radically for the worse because of his arrogant, incompetent, selfish policies. After he's finished destroying our economy, who do you think will take care of you then?

    March 23, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Florida Joe

    Jack in DC

    You are 100% CORRECT sir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 23, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Willa

    Quintessentially, Dick Cheney represents everything that was wrong for this country during the last eight years. He should be hanging his head in shame and keeping his mouth shut. In another life he would have been tarred and feathered in a public square". The unbelievable nerve of this man......really!!

    March 23, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Brian Crooks

    @ New Yorker: I would use what WORKS: talking and interrogation, not beatings. Here's a scenario. We have a hardcore terrorist that has information about a pending attack 6 months in the future. We know it's one of let's say three major American cities: Boston, LA, and Chicago. If we beat him up, keep him awake, freeze him, torture him, etc, what stops him from telling us the attack will be in Boston when it's really in LA? I mean, we got information out of him, but information from torture has been proven to be EXTREMELY unreliable (remember the Spanish Inquisition?).

    If, on the other hand, we appeal to his humanity, subject him to repeated, hard questioning, but don't prove him right about America being hateful and an evil place, over time he may crack. It worked with the Nazis, and it worked with Saddam Hussein. Not only did we get a ton of information from him, but after we did we put him on trial and he was sentenced to death. All you get from torture is more terrorists and bad information. Please explain to me how we know the information we get from torture is accurate. If you kept me awake for 6 months at a time, butt naked in a room where the temperature was 35 degrees, I'd tell you whatever I thought you wanted to hear to get out of there too.

    March 23, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. no corporate politics

    @ Dawn "President Obama is not a warmonger and he would rather end both wars"

    You have read the news right? Obama is sending 17,000 troops to war and continues to kill with missles in Afghanistan.

    Time to wake up from the dream – you have been lied to.

    March 23, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Wally

    @ San Francisco non-believer

    ok based on what you're saying, how are you any different than the people you are condemning?

    March 23, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Marie

    No wonder we stand to be a target.Cheney thinks toture is alright then he thinks it's ok for foriegn countries to torture americans.This is why these countries don't trust the US because of warmongering tactics as these.You better beleive these countries will not forget about Guantanamo and these prisoners that hasn't even been tried and convited but tortured ...this is what makes what Cheney said and did more despicable

    March 23, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. matt

    dont hate on President Obama he wants to unite this country infact he wants to unite this country with the European Union he wants us to be like them which plays into the EU hands

    March 23, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Eva M.Huschka

    The main reason terrororist attacks happen is that there are too many people in the world who profit from feelings of hate against America and the Western world.
    President Obama is contributing a great deal to minimize this universal hate and distrust.
    Fighting the roots of such crimes is fighting the crimes themselves.
    More power to you, Barak H.O.!

    March 23, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Real Change

    Rick March 23rd, 2009 10:51 am ET

    You're just wrong! The job of the President and VP is to execute the law. Any constitutional law expert you talk to will tell you that Gitmo and torture and all the rest of Cheney's greatest hits are beyond the power of the President as provided for in the constitution.

    If we do this to others, what business do we have complaining if other countries do something similar to our citiziens?

    March 23, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    It's not about BUSH keeping us safe for 7 years – IT'S ABOUT THE TERRORIST "KNOWING" WHEN TO ATTACK AND HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT DOING SO!!!!!!

    Come on now – Islamic Terrorist are getting SMARTER and are willing to WAIT for YEARS before another attack. And each time they attack, it would be more devasting than the last!!! HOPEFULLY, President Obama's policies – which is definitely DIFFERENT from the last eight years – would TRULY keep us SAFE from within and NOT just on the SURFACE!!!!

    March 23, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Terry in NY

    Only time will tell. We'll just have to see how many attacks on the US happen and how many are Stopped on the Obama watch. But seriously do you think this wasn't going on under your belovid Clinton? He he new there are just time when you have to do things for the safety of the many.

    March 23, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. elliott

    Cheney's right Osama!!! Closing Gitmo is very stupid!! We can't let them rejoin their terrorist buddies and we sure as HELL don't want them in this country......
    Wake up Obama!

    March 23, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. manhandler

    Funny how CNN doesn't have anything about Obama laughing about the economy and the bailouts during this interview. Guess he thinks it's funny. At one point, Steve Kroft asked him if he was punch drunk. CNN has always been this goofballs propaganda arm. Second only yo MSNBC. If you want to find out what's really happening you have to to Fox news. CNN is a biased disgrace.

    March 23, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Chad, Wisco

    This isnt news, now if he would have agreed with him, now that would have been news.

    March 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Los

    We really are seeing the beginnings of a transition from the old into the new. Obama and Cheney couldn't possibly be more different ideologically, physically, mentally, etc. etc. etc. I hope that this change is sustained.

    March 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. CJ

    It would be great if CNN would print all comments. I have commented many times but it does not get printed.

    March 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Anthony

    Bush/Cheney should be in jail! they are responsible for our economy being broken, they lied to us and spent all their time spending our money on an illegal war, with WMD's that did not exist. and Cheney still has the balls to blame Obama for there no shame!!!
    IT ALL happened under their watch ( 9/11, War, Economic collapse...)Americans are not stupid! no we have to clean up their mess. Prison would be too good for him, I have another place he can go...

    March 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Ranger7

    We all know Bush >Cheney screwed this country up..!!

    over Bush's personal vendetta against Saddam H..

    A waste of money..and lives for nothing...

    Not a proud moment in our history...

    Bush-Cheney... should be tried... for this mess...!!

    March 23, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. John

    4000+ of this countries finest where killed in terrorist attacks since 911! DO you really think in matters to their families where they where standing when they where killed.

    This "excuse making" thinking is no different than tribal people sacraficing virgins to a volcano and then claiming it is working because there have been no eruptions.

    March 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. please

    Ken Lewis –
    How do you know these are killers and not someone a local war lord sold to the Americans? YOU DON'T!!! That's the point. These poeple deserve to hear the charges against them and stand trial. I don't understand what in the hell is wrong with people that disagree with this. Obama isn't simply going to put them on a boat to the US and let them run around free.

    Remember when the Americans landed in China and were held captive for over a week? What would you have thought if China took them to some south sea prison and locked them away without a trial because they were terrorists. Wouldn't you scream bloody murder? Wouldn't you have supported any attack economically or physically to get them back? Seriously, what in the world is wrong with given these people a trial? The US is better then the former Soviet Union that just locked people up for the rest of their lives.

    Get over Cheney's fear game. These people deserve to hear the charges against them and stand trial. Those of you that support keeping them in detention without trial are sick.

    March 23, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Lance

    Obama could stand to learn a few things from Cheney. Cheney knows what he is doing.

    March 23, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    @ Dave, who said "Get your guns ready( if Obama allows them), the terroists will be your next door neighbors!!!!!!"

    Translation: "I'm afraid of immigrants and anyone who doesn't look like me, and I've completely bought the GOP/Limbaugh fabrications about Obama planning to kill the 2nd Amendment so they can make the mindless, gun-toting GOP 'base' angry and more likely to commit an act of domestic terrorism in the name of defending freedom from 'sochuslizm'...praise be to Chuck Norris, amen."

    March 23, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Shadysider

    It is so depressing that there is an argument FOR the use of torture in our country. Beyond any other point, torture is counter-productive. Almost every time torture leads to false testimony because the detainee just wants the torture to end. How do we think the testimony for yellow-cake was produced? The Iraq War is based on these false testimonies. Secondly, the use of torture and improper detainment of innocent indivuals leads to the militarization of previously non-involved individuals. The use of torture is more likely to lead to the radicalization of individuals than gaining useful information through its' use.

    March 23, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Bill

    This is easy for O-man to say. He's only 2 months in. I want to see what he is going to say the next time we get hit.

    How much do you want to bet that, when it happens, we'll hear nothing of the programs put into place under W that he deleted upon taking office? How much do you want to bet he will only say, "There was nothing else we could have done. We did our very best."

    And the media and liberals everywhere will jump to his his actions would not predictably bring on the next attack.

    Wake up, America.

    March 23, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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