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. Doug, New Jersey

    There is no doubt that the members in the Obama administration have a much more evil hatrid with Americans who disagree with their national socialism than terrorists who want to destroy America and Israel. It would seem that they don't have a problem with the terrorists since their goals surely align.

    June 15, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. bell

    IF Cheney is wishing for an attack, lets hope if this happens it happens in his and Liz's back yard.

    June 15, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. lostinamerica

    Cheney is a lying traitor that should be deported or hung.He is white trash,and shoul be punished(Remember his Jane Fonda comments?)

    June 15, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |

    @ Neutralizer June 15th, 2009 4:10 pm ET

    Mr. Paneta, that's what happen when MAINSTREAM MEDIA covering up for Obama will MISQUOTE you INTENTIONALLY. It's a shame sir, they even try to USE YOU for LYING to the American people.

    I question EVERYTHING US MEDIA reports, for validation I ALWAYS read news from other countries what they say about USA.


    And yet you are here reading and posting. . . and please, enlighten us as to how mainstream media is covering up for Barack? RepubliCAN'T much?

    June 15, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Shane Creamer

    I am a democrat, I am becoming more and more embarrassed by the left robot like hate. Give credit were it is do, and that is in the fact that we were not attacked again. The comment was nothing more than liberal hate. Cheney wants us to be safe, quit believing the agenda driven media and make up your mind for YOURSELF, sheep!

    June 15, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Larry S

    How can this get to the point of this article??? If CNN can not find out about the truth of what was said by PANETTA, then it proves again that CNN is unable to provide facts for stories. Why are so many people willing to continue the hatrid of the Bush administration??? Are these same people wanting to find other than valid reasons for a dislike of the BO bunch. The controlled media contines in the BO area.

    June 15, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. James in Nebraska


    Common sense isn't welcome here! It's all everybody elses fault!

    June 15, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Pragmatic

    "I wish Dick Cheney was in charge of our national defense...."

    He was and the country was attacked on September 11th ... while Bush was reading My Pet Goat and Cheney was heading for his usual undisclosed location. The previous administration ignored the chatter and everything the Clinton Administration knew ... remember the August memo Condi couldn't get Bush to read? Cheney wants a terrorist attack so he can say "see! told ya!" and he doesn't care who dies to prove his so-called point.

    June 15, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Doug, New Jersey

    "The Democrats usually allow the Republicans bully them into back-tracking on the truth when they tell it."

    Ha ha ha, well then I guess this has yet to happen since Democrats have never told the truth and believe that telling the truth is a hate crime.

    June 15, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Rob

    A little CYA from the CIA.

    Isn't it amazing how when Bush was in charge, comments like this, as well as other negative comments from such people as Hillary, AlGore, the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, basically every Dem and kook lib was portrayed as people speaking for the people, or exercising their American given right, yet when teh Dems are in charge the very same statements are bad mouthed and the people who make those remarks are anti-American? If that's the case, then the Secretary of State and our own president are un-American as well.

    But hey, Panetta and Biden are just prime examples of what happens when peacenik, tree-hugging libs try to do grown-up work.

    The official symbol of the Obama administration should be a foot in a mouth.

    June 15, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Garret

    CNN, you did it again. You put amplifiers on one provocative comment (using it by proxy as your point-of-view) and thrust it at an angry mob for the latest red meat. Why not just host a reality show with Dick Cheney thrown to the lions? What a ratings coup!

    To those who blame the Bush admin. for the attacks happening on their watch... I'm sure the security briefings are full of a multitude threats on the US and no administration acts on every one. The 'success' of 911 took everyone by surprise –I believe even the terrorists were surprised at the ease of it. They exploited the very root of a free society, you idiots.

    June 15, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. history repeats

    OK LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT.....half of america actually voted for an oil man and an ex CEO to run this country and THEY are the ones that say they are the patriots that care about america? lets see, CHENEY is sitting on his rear collecting stock options he never gave up when he became the vice pres and Gore is touring the world spreading awarness on climate control, which anyone WITH HALF A BRAIN KNOWS IS REAL BY NOW!!! and you cant tell which party is all about CORPORATE america and which party is about AMERICA?!

    June 15, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. barbara campbell

    "The policies that have kept us safe for the last eight years"?????? Once again, Cheney is either delusional or deliberately reinventing reality. 9/11 happened on Bush/Cheney's watch, AND they were warned, AND they blamed it on Iraq, AND their illegal war killed thousands more American citizens, AND it provided a recruitment tool for more terrorists in training, AND it wrecked America's international reputation.

    We're not buying your propaganda neocons.

    June 15, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Harvey for Obama

    Cheney, you lost.....get out of the news. I can't stand you. I can't stand Bush. Get lost.

    June 15, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Lolbama

    LOL at the dims and their fascination with Cheney.

    June 15, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. geecee

    I totally question Cheney's motive. He is a war-mongering, fear-mongering hateful bully who would like nothing better than to say "I told you so." Who is he kidding. He won't stop running his mouth and instead of talking quietly to the President about any concerns he might have that he felt were legitimate, he runs to FOX Noise Channel (where else) to express his "concerns".

    Dick, you lost, go home and shut up!!

    June 15, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. JayG

    Cheney is allowed to speak his own opinion, why do people feel its so wrong for him to "sound off" about what he feels may endanger this country?? Were the Democrats wishing for Bush to fail in Iraq??? How come its a different story whenever it has to do with somebody in the Bush administration? The Democrats has plenty to say about how we would fail in Iraq and it was a lost cause, Therefore they must have been wishing for our troops to fail, How un-patriotic is that!

    June 15, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Glenn

    Cheney wanted a terrorist attack from the 1st day in office so he could have a war that would generate billions of dollars in government contracts to his company Halliburton. I don't understand why he is still free, walking and talking amongst us and not locked away in prison.

    The Iraq war has caused tremendous human suffering and is bankrupting our treasury. Lock him up and throw away the key.

    June 15, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. SS

    Which ever way you want to slice it...
    Cheney using the words "I hope my old friend was misquoted" has underlying threat of I know you and I know where you live tied to it....LOL!
    Does Cheney sit in some room all day long scheme scheme plot ploting away? I guess it's lonely where he's at =)

    June 15, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Larry S

    The ignorance of some of these replies proves the hatrid of the democrats and liberals. Come on people, if you can not provide some intelligence to your comments, then please use some commion sense. I would hope that most of you are better than BO and do not need others to provide your comments.

    June 15, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. JonDie

    Of course, Cheney WANTS an attack with deaths on American soil. This draft-dodging guy is about making buckets of money off of the suffering of Americans, including by the deaths of our soldiers. Cheney is every bit as evil as Kim Il Jung or Ahmadinejad, and politicians in Washington should stop being such gutless cowards when speaking about Cheney.

    June 15, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Bubba

    Cheney wants another 9-11. Republicans are sick. Panetta backed down, but he meant it; give us a year and we'll have the proof.

    June 15, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. ksmiller

    So much hate and bitterness on here – what is the problem? Do you not feel safe with this administration in charge? Sounds like you are afraid of something but I cannot quite figure it out.

    June 15, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Rob from Delaware

    Cheney is a flat out terrorist himself. the best thing that could happen to this country would be for Cheney to be at ground zero of the next attack.

    June 15, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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