June 15th, 2009
05:24 PM ET
13 years ago

CIA: Panetta doesn't believe Cheney rooting for terrorist attack

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/15/art.panetta.gi.jpg caption="A CIA spokesman said Panetta does not believe Cheney is hoping for a terrorist attack."](CNN) - A CIA spokesman is sharply downplaying Director Leon Panetta 's recent comments that appear to question whether former Vice President Dick Cheney is hoping for another terrorist attack against the United States.

"The Director does not believe the former Vice President wants an attack," CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said in a statement to CNN. "He did not say that. He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama's security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone's motives."

The statement comes days after the New Yorker published an interview with Panetta during which he said Cheney's recent criticism of Obama – including the decision to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – show the ex-vice president "smells some blood in the water on the national security issue."

"It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics," said Panetta. "When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."

Cheney's office released a terse statement from the vice president Monday responding to the comments, saying "I hope my old friend Leon was misquoted."

"The important thing is whether or not the Obama Administration will continue the policies that have kept us safe for the last 8 years," Cheney said.

Vice President Joe Biden also appeared to distance himself from Panetta's comments Sunday, telling NBC "I don't question [Cheney's] motive."

- CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Leon Panetta • Popular Posts
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. D Sylvester

    Cheney just needs to be gone I'm sick of GOP losers.

    June 15, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    While I had to admire Panetta for defending the CIA against Pelosi's insane statement, this asanine, stupid assertion that Cheney wants an attack on the US to prove his point that Obama is making us weaker, is unbelievable political nonsense from the leader of the CIA.

    June 15, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. stag

    There will not be an attack on the USA because the terrorist are winning. They have a strategy, we don't. They have the will to win, we don't. Plus, there buddy is now in charge.

    And Al Jazer (is that spelling correct?) tells the truth and MSNBC lies. Yea, right on that one!!!!

    And "Expat American", what do Christians have to do with this?


    June 15, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Nottington

    I strongly beleive the previous administration wants an attack so they can rub it in the country's noses and yell "I told you so, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!". They want it soooo bad they probably are going great lenghts to make it happen. I wouldn't put it passed them given the track record.

    June 15, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Cheryl from Minnesota

    If Cheney believed he wouldn't be caught, I wouldn't put it past him to plan and finance a terrorist attack to make Obama and his administration look bad. He has the money and the power, and Cheney and the Bush administration lied about the whole WMD from the start. He is not to be trusted, they lie to get what they want and have the money and power to do it.

    June 15, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Mishagothe

    Hey Dick – It was YOUR department of Homeland Security that let Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad back into the US after his stint in the AL Queda taining ground of Yemen. You were also at the helm on 9/11.

    So I guess maybe Mr. Cheney had best shut up and get back to shooting lawyers.

    June 15, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Rev. Wright here

    WHAT , just another stepping stone for my friend OBAMA to relocate back to CHICAGO........

    June 15, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Lukie

    It is absolutely ridiculous that CNN would run a headline like this. Do you really consider this responsible reporting? This is another reason why Americans don't trust the media.

    June 15, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. history repeats

    "When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."

    thats what he said!! and now a CIA spokesman comes out and says "thats not what he meant" is supposed to make us change our minds about what he said!? WELCOME TO 1984!!!!

    June 15, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Frank

    Wake up America. There already has been another terrorist attack on American soil since the twin towers event of 09/11/01.

    The right-wing, fantatical, anti-abortion, christian terrorists have killed an innocent Medical Doctor.

    We must stop these domestic terrorists with all force at our disposal

    June 15, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. notforme

    You "people" are all hooked on loon flavored kool-aid on this site.....

    June 15, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Big G

    @ROC – possibly – BUT, due to Clinton's inability or simply stated, "no nads" to deal with it, he is the one that let Osama get away! You idiots can't blame the republicans for everything that goes wrong. There's plenty of blame to go around between both parties. Carter started the ball rolling on the housing problem, Clinton helped it along with his idea that everyone should have the American dream – even if they couldn't afford it! Now look at us.

    June 15, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  13. John

    Isn't it something when one's political view gets to the point where he prefers to see a whole nation and its citzens endangered?

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is the sad reality of a political party these days.

    God bless us all.

    June 15, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Stephanie

    Cheney IS wishing for another terrorist attack because he's a sore loser and wants to somehow prove, sadistically, that he and the Bush administration were right.

    June 15, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. ron

    Yes he does!! and so do I.

    Dick is doing everything he can to keep the gitmo victims out of the US because he knows that anything they say outside the US is hearsay but if they say it in a US court it will have to be investigated and he and his storm troopers will go to PRISON.

    We know his motives its the idiot republican Koolaide drinkers that I don't understand. I hope no one they know joins the army because if the US says torture is ok, GOD HELP US!

    June 15, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. worriedmom

    I dont think that Cheney wants another attack. Why would anyone want one. I think the point that most of you idiots are missing is that he is trying to keep the public aware and not become like Obama where he thinks he can talk smooth and easy and everyone will be your friend. Cheney is just saying Beware. Wouldn't you want someone to warn you if they felt that we are vunerable to attack?
    Again i think it is the Left Liberal media ousting Cheney because they don't want him on their playground.
    @Expat American: I happen to be a Christian and proud of it but just because I am doesnt mean I would welcome such a tragedy. I still tear up thinking about 9/11. You people are so one-sided it is pathetic.

    June 15, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Shane Creamer

    It is OK to disagree with Obama, that is how a democracy functions. Stop with the left hate machine. I am a democrate but if their is one thing I give Bush/Chenney credit for is the fact that we were not attacked again. Trying to be liked is not the answer. Cheney just wants the policies put in place to stay and frankly so do I. Give credit were it is do and stop with the robot like hate Bush, hate Cheney, stomp Palin into the ground, etc,etc,etc.

    June 15, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. ksmiller

    Wow, Davis and everyone else spewing on here – you represent your party very well. Let's polarize this country and get all the people who do not agree with us and our viewpoints out of the way. Nice job! You have learned from this administration very well.

    June 15, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. David

    it's politically correct to say that Cheney isn't wishing for another attack, but HE IS! He wants to justify his criminal activities by saying: see, I told you it was necessary.

    June 15, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. mtv

    Just like Steele Apologizing to Rush so this Guy Apologizes to Cheney ............even when he know what he said was right, Cheney wants a attack and i hoped he is the first one attacked

    June 15, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Fallin Emory

    Step down, Panetta. You have misused your position for political purposes. Get out! That's not Constitutional.

    June 15, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. Lee

    It is absurd of Panetta to say " "When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point." I never thought I would hear Panetta say that. And the comment from a reader that the attack was on his watch. The one attack on our country here in the US while on his watch is true–but, the point is it was the one and only attack here in the US. I don't understand why many don't give credit to the Bush administration for protecting us from other attacks. I pray that this administration continues to protect us. In any event, it is all in God's hands–only He knows what will take place.

    June 15, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. ray

    vampire chenney wil wish for an attack because a black man is running the country........these people should be in prison. what a patriot.

    June 15, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. changing my screen name to see if it helps getting my comments posted

    @ Leon The Idiot,

    First, everyone knows what we did in Gitmo. The pictures don't need to be shown to enrage people. Second, if we gut the Patriot Act, yes, the CIA has less weapons at its dispossal. But then we have the added benefit of our Constitutional rights not being violated in the name of Freedom and our protection.

    If you want to live in a militarized state move to North Korea.

    June 15, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. CHV

    I agree. Cheney is crossing his fingers for another attack.

    June 15, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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