February 14th, 2010
02:31 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama adviser suggests Cheney uninformed on national security

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/14/art.2shotjones0214.cnn.jpg caption="'I don’t know what his information is' Obama national security adviser James Jones said Sunday of former Vice President Dick Cheney."]
Washington (CNN) – One of President Obama’s top national security advisers suggested Sunday that former Vice President Dick Cheney, a persistent critic of the Obama administration on national security issues, might not be informed enough to criticize the White House.

Asked on CNN’s State of the Union about Cheney’s criticism of the way Obama has chosen to fight terrorism and treat terrorism suspects, national security adviser James Jones replied, “Well, you know, if it’s informed, then that’s one thing.”

Jones, a retired Marine general, continued, “It’s important that people understand that we have a sitting vice president [Joe Biden] who’s very much involved in the day-to-day operations of our national security. He’s a member of the national security council. He has access to all of the information.”

Asked by CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley whether he considered Cheney to be informed, Jones responded, “I don’t know what his information is. I just would ask people to consider the fact that these are very serious issues for our country and that when you take them on, you take them on in a respectful way. We consult and share with both sides equally of the political spectrum and we’ll continue to do that. In the national security council, we can’t do it any other way.”

Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Cheney are set to square off Sunday in a television duel of sorts as the men make competing appearances on three of the Sunday political talk shows.

During an appearance on State of the Union in March of last year, Cheney said a number of Obama’s policies relating to terrorism were making the country less safe, a persistent drumbeat of criticism Cheney has kept up since then which has also been echoed by Cheney’s daughter and former State Department official Liz Cheney.

Filed under: Dick Cheney • James Jones • Popular Posts • State of the Union • Terrorism
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Will Work for Health Care

    I believe it is you that is in the dark and clueless here. Perhaps you should do a little (a lot) more research on this and not just parrot your
    bar room chitter chatter.
    Cheney is an arrogant old fool who really has no clue. His (their) answers were "I want to kill... kill.. see blood and guts and have veins in my teeth... kill". Let's leave the war mongers in the dark past they created and came from.

    February 14, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Aunt Bea and Opie

    If you like to live in fear,you should listen to the rightwingnuts on this post,they love fear and spreading it to others.

    February 14, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Ron San Bruno, Ca

    In the future of political jargon cheney will be refered to as a" Dickism".

    February 14, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Death Panel Sarah

    Cheney knows all about the terrorists because he has regular meetings with bin Laden!!! That's why they never caught or killed him, they are buds! Bin Laden kept Cheney in power and Cheney funneled bin Laden money!!!

    Bush wasn't the only Saudi-hugger in the Cheney administration!!!

    February 14, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Nancy G

    Yes Cheney you do live in the dark....the dark side that is. We don't call you Darth Vadar for the fun of it. You're a nasty, bitter, draft dodging old man. Get over yourself!!

    February 14, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. ydr

    Dick Cheney probably has significant brain damage, a not uncommon result of heart disease that has led to multiple surgical procedures. If you look back at his 1994 interviews, particularly on the subject of the Middle East, he is an entirely different person. He is thoughtful, calm, and approachable. He is able to handle tough questions without the attack mode strategy he has utilized in the last few years. I don't believe Cheney had any business being VP or anything else, for that matter.

    This time in world history is way too complex. Decision making requires collection of facts, input from multiple points-of-view, and mostly, an absence of firely rhetoric that leads to fear mongering. Cheney did his party no favors. I believe from now on we need to be sure that those in the chain-of-command possess the mental capacity to do the job. This is not a matter of intelligence. It is a matter of national security.

    February 14, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. veritas

    Niether Cheney nor any other member of the No Party have stated what Obama is doing differently then Bush that makes our country less safe. Rest assured, when there is a successful attack on our soil he will be out there saying "I told you so"...........even though he told us nothing. He reminds me of Hitler and the big lie, just keep saying it over and over and people begin to believe it. Well, his people anyway.

    February 14, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Sparky

    A black man is the first US President living in a town FULL of rich racist white dudes and you think Obama is "thin skinned"???

    HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Allan

    You're complaining about calling Cheney "Dark Lord"?? Check the record. He had that nickname years ago, and relished it. And one trillion is NOT 1000 million. It's a million million. Why do people insist on displaying their ignorance? 1000 million is merely a billion.

    February 14, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. hillcoguy

    katiec...........That was not my point. My point was the civilian courts are been very successful

    Excellent! Now, do you believe that the rights our military, who have fought and died for, extend beyond our borders to every enemy of America all around the world? Simply put, citizens rights for our citizens and military rights for those beyond our borders.

    February 14, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Mike in Texas

    TCM and Phoenix are at it again with their baseless claims.

    TCM. If President Obama were white and his dad was say from Austria and not Kenya would you still be barking up the birther tree?

    Phoenix86. How many terrorists suspects were tried in a civilian court during Bush's term and what was the conviction rate? How many were tried in a military court? Do some fact checking.

    Hillcoguy. Love your use of selected information. Who cares about a teleprompter. Fact is Obama was schooling the Repubs so much FOX News left after 20 minutes.

    Another fact: More Al-Queda leaders and operatives have been killed with drones under Obama than Bush with a lot less American lives being lost.

    Repubs are pro war and pro military complex. They are anti veterans. Look at their voting records.

    February 14, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Murski

    LOL...the right-wing nutjobs posting here suggest that (N)Obama and Biden themselves are uninformed and clueless about what's going on. And these NJs are getting their information where? Fox News and Rush Limbaugh?! Yeah, they're pundits. Grab a gun and a six-pack, guys, and go shoot some quail or something.

    February 14, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. hal

    The comments are very funny! The two parties are disgusting-that is why we need a third party!! I am an Independent- but I think we need a "new" third party. We are going in the wrong direction and have been for a long time. I don't like this administration and I haven't liked the last 4-meaning Bush and Clinton. Our forefathers would be disgusted with the way we are acting and the direction that we are going in- shame on us!!

    February 14, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. valwayne

    "The System Worked"!!! Wasting over a billion dollars on circus trials in NYC? a murdering Al-Qeda terrorist the right to remain silent and a laywer instead of interrogating him? I'll take VP Cheney's tough approach to national security any day over the incompetence and insanity coming out of the Obama administration. As for VP Biden? Give us a break?

    February 14, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Charlie in Albuq

    The statement "you're not entitled to your own facts" needs more emphasis. I wish people would actually look at history (especially regarding Mr. Cheney) before they start idolizing him. He was a miserable SecDef, and made more mistakes than he had successes throughout his political career. If John Wayne Gacy asserted he was a soldier of God, would HE have been entitled to a military trial? I repeat, the thugs who committed crimes against us, no matter how horrible, need to be tried as common criminals and not given the military recognition that gives them instant legitimacy. If we could only be spared from his hand-wringing self justifications of his warped views of US ethics and values!

    February 14, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Mike in Texas


    Are you from Allah Bama? Sounds like it with your anti Islam views. Do you remember why our forefathers left England? Do some history checking. I am sure you hate others or are intolerant of others who don't think like you. I will stay away from Allah Bama.

    February 14, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. hillcoguy

    Nancy G ...... You're a nasty, bitter, draft dodging old man. Get over yourself!!

    And your branch and rank?? Take your own advice. But I mean that in the most constructive way! ;o)

    February 14, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Ann

    It's highly hypocritical of the GOP – especially Cheney – to be faulting the Obama administration on terrorism. Yes, the Christmas Day incident was very, very serious – but the "dots not being connected" has been acknowledged and is being addressed – Fortunately, no one was hurt or died.
    Under the Bush/Cheney (or was that Cheney/Bush?) administration, the "dots, also, WERE NOT connected" and almost 3000 people lost their lives on 9/11 – they never acknowledged their part in that disaster – and addressed it by starting two wars (at least one of which was unneccesary) – Cheney is the last person who should be commenting on national security or terrorism.

    February 14, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. katiec

    As a senior citizen I have never seen our political system as it is today. There has never in the history of our country been a political party that in one year conducted 112 fillibusters, put a hold on over 200 policies and until recently held up over 60 nominees for staff positions. A political party that will not acknowledge or take responsibility for crisises they created and refuses to support any measures to get our country back on it's feet. Politicians that have totally lost the path they were elected to take and that is present us and our country. A party that has no acceptable, workable ideas, supports big business over middle class America so resorts to lies, finger pointing, fear mongering and obstruction.
    And, of course, knew there would be those who state the Democrats are out to destroy our country as they most certainly cannot point out anything constructive that their party has accomplished., except continue on with their broken, unAmerican politics as usual that got our country into the diasters we are facing.

    February 14, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Dick Cheney was on "this week" again actively endorsing that we disregard our laws, in favor of tactics that a) make us look like hypocrites b) do not work.

    February 14, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Independent One

    Fear, Fear, Fear and be afraid some more......ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

    February 14, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. jo

    Who cares what Cheney thinks? I wish the media would stop interviewing Palin and Cheney every five minutes just to create more air time and space on the website. Its called investigating reporting what the hell happened to that? They are both losers and quitters, why are they even considered leaders to begin with, they failed miserably when they were given the chance.

    February 14, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. hillcoguy

    FactCheck I say we start by cutting off social security and Medicare. I am sick and tired of my hard earned money going to support these old, useless bags of hate.

    Old bags of hate? Nobody wants YOUR money! I only want what I paid in but the dem congress took away to spend on YOUR education.....which YOU obviously squandered! ;o)

    February 14, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Texas Jack

    Well you know the answer to this, don't ya? This man is part of Obama's team. He will say, do anything and lie about everything so that Obama can make his changes to, "America's One Nation and Freedom for All".

    February 14, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    Of course Cheney is in the dark – he doesn't receive Presidential Daily Briefings any more.

    Not that he ever did pay attention to them ...case in point:

    The August 6, 2001 PDB entitled, "Al Qaeda Determined to Attack the U.S. Using Airplanes." And within a month, Al Qaeda did just that on September 11, 2001.

    February 14, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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