Cheney: Iraq invasion was the ‘absolute right thing to do’
July 14th, 2014
05:22 PM ET
8 years ago

Cheney: Iraq invasion was the ‘absolute right thing to do’

Washington (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq more than a decade ago on Monday, saying, “I believed in it then. I look back on it now - it was absolutely the right thing to do.”

A few minutes into a Politico event in Washington, where Cheney, his wife Lynne and his daughter Liz were speaking, protesters began to heckle the three members of the Cheney family. The protesters called the former Vice President a “war criminal” while holding signs reading “Arrest Cheney.”

Cheney’s wife Lynne brushed off the interruption, joking, “I wondered why the line (to the event) was so long.”

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A man dressed as Dick Cheney in a prison uniform stood outside of the venue, protesting as attendees entered the Mayflower Hotel where the event was held.
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Asked about the current crisis in the Middle East, the former Vice President said that President Barack Obama isn’t totally to blame for the conflict there, but that his policies calling for a decreased military presence in the region have been “totally unwise.”

“The world’s not getting safer,” Cheney said. “It’s getting far more dangerous all the time, and we are rapidly withdrawing from that portion of the world where the danger is going to emerge from. The policy is his responsibility. He has created a situation in which our friends in the region are scared to death. They don’t think they can trust us and we prove it to them on a regular basis.”

While Cheney criticized the president for the White House’s foreign policy agenda, he did have some kind words for current Secretary of State John Kerry, calling his efforts to help facilitate a recount in Afghanistan’s most recent election “a plus.”

Asked to choose between the judgment of Kerry’s predecessor, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her husband President Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney wasn’t thrilled with either choice saying, “I didn’t vote for Bill and I don’t expect to vote for Hillary either.”

His daughter, on the other hand, was a little more forward.

“Taken in its totality in how one conducts themselves in all aspects of life, I’d have to go with Hillary,” Liz Cheney said. Pressed why she would pick Hillary, Cheney responded, “I said all aspects of life.”

Lynne Cheney also weighed in saying, “I’m not sure there’s a difference.”

Asked whose judgment he respects more between the recently dueling pair of Rick Perry and Rand Paul, Dick Cheney said that he doesn’t plan to endorse any candidate.

But "one of my great concerns is that we’ve gotten to the point where, within our own party, we have sort of an isolationist strain developing," he said.

Cheney said that anyone who believes the United States can retreat from the international stage after the 9/11 attacks is misguided, adding, "I think isolationism is crazy."

On a more personal note, the Cheney trio shared some details about their family, admitting that they like to talk about war stories from campaigns they were involved in around the dinner table.

They also opened up about how the family has dealt with Vice President Cheney’s heart condition.

“Every day when I wake up, I’m thankful with a smile on my face,” Dick Cheney said. Things like this “really affect your sense of what’s important and what isn’t.”

One topic of discussion that was not dwelled on during Monday’s talk was the public spat between Liz, a former Wyoming Senate candidate, and her sister Mary on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Asked about the conflict, Liz said that while she loves Mary – as well as Mary’s wife Heather – the issue is something they disagree about that and she has “nothing new” to add to the conversation.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check • Dick Cheney • Iraq • Liz Cheney • President Obama • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Cheney ALREADY used up to many GOOD hearts to KEEP a BLACK HEART A LIVE, go away, FAR AWAY!!!!!!

    July 14, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Couldn't have happened to a better heartless zombie like family.
    He needs to go to jail for treason and murder of thousands for ghost WMDs where he and his puppet, #42, both belong.

    July 14, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Chaney, maybe you should explained how your company, HALBURTION got ALL the no bid contracts for Iraqi oil INFRASTRUCTURE contracts that are NOW GOING UP IN SMOKE , Cheney , one of the greatest CROOKS of this century . All this information is available from news articles on on the internet.

    July 14, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Jojola

    Apparently, Bush doesn't agree with Cheney. Why is it we are hearing more from the ex VP than the ex President about the Iraqi war? Bush has not said a mumbling word since leaving office but yet Cheney rears his ugly head every opportunity he gets. Let him and his evil daughter keep talking. Eventually, they will say something that will put Cheney behind bars where he belongs.

    July 14, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. king

    cheney and his delusiinal right wing nut daughter, enough said

    July 14, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Ol' Yeller

    Yes, I will never forget just how peaceful and tranquil it was in the the middle east for centuries before Obama came along. Flowers and butterfiles and widdle puppies.... nary a hint of any violence or unrest.
    Good to know the war criminal can continue to lie with a straight face while his blank eyed wife and daughter nod like little cheney bobbleheads..(shudder)

    July 14, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. guest

    of course he thought it was the right thing to do...he basically transferred the entire stock market and world bank into personal bank accounts of his buddies.

    July 14, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    "Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it - eastern Iraq - the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq." – Dick Cheney circa 1994

    July 14, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    -not arresting this war criminal and not putting in jail, or Gittmo with other Iraqi prisoners is a grave mistake by USA. If it were ant third world he would have been pelted, stoned to death. True. USA is nice.

    July 14, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Of cource he'd say it was the right thing to do. He had absolutely no skin in the mess. Why would anyone expect him to say otherwise. He's a war criminal, and deserves to be treated like one.

    July 14, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    I see he's still completely delusional...."greeted as liberators"....right. Halliburton profits..thru the roof. this guy is an absolute disgrace

    July 14, 2014 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    You might want to tell Glenn Beck that Dick. Also maybe dig up a few dead soldiers and tell them the same. (No offense to any of our great military men or women.) But I got so sick of seeing pictures of young dead soldiers on the news daily. My heart went out to them and their families.

    July 14, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Gary

    When all you righties scream " why do you keep blaiming Bush, He's not president anymore". Just reread this article.

    July 14, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. freedom

    This country was much better protected under Bush/Cheney. Obama is dismantling our nation at every turn – and there will be hell to pay.

    July 14, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |

    Yea Iraq had wmd s he used them on his own ppl and Iran and moved them to Syria . 0bama was one breath away from doing the same thing W did inside Syria on his own red line ? You dems need to think for yourselves and research the facts .

    July 14, 2014 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    'Cheney said that anyone who believes the United States can retreat from the international stage after the 9/11 attacks is misguided, adding, "I think isolationism is crazy.""

    In other words: "Check out my giant straw man argument that nobody's watch how I proceed to mischaracterize anything anyone says as being this straw man I just invented!!!!"

    July 14, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    'Cheney said that anyone who believes the United States can retreat from the international stage after the 9/11 attacks is misguided, adding, "I think isolationism is crazy.""

    In other words: "Check out my giant straw man argument that nobody's watch how I proceed to mischaracterize anything anyone says that I don't agree with as being this straw man I just invented!!!!"

    Seriously. Anyone who doesn't argue for more invasions and neocon pipe dream foreign policy of nation building and intervention and corporate imperialism with be labeled as "isolationist." Not because they are, but because mischaracrterizing them as such makes for good demagoguery. The world's not getting safer, but more guns and bombs and mass acts of violence isn't the answer. Besides, the world's not getting safer BECAUSE of more guns and bombs and mass acts of violence....those things are just profitable for Cheney and his investments, so of course he supports it. It's no different than the NRA and gun manufacturers profiting from the fear and lack of safety they help perpetuate. Guns sell guns...more guns, less regulation, less oversight, less enforcement...more fear, more danger, more incidents of gun violence, more guns, more guns in the wrong hands, more guns in plain sight on the street and at Denny's while you're trying to eat breakfast with your kids...that all sells guns. Just like more world-wide invasions, violence, etc., all helps sell more military hardware and manufacturer contracts. Nothing makes Cheney and the defense contractor industry happier than seeing Iraq devolve into chaos. Nothing. They're all pushing throbbers over it.

    July 14, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. Fritz Bayerlein

    This pathetic excuse, who couldn't be bothered to serve in the military himself, needs to shut up and climb up onto the dustbin of history, where he is a tad overdue.

    July 14, 2014 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. Eric

    Cheyney needs to be taken to the ICC where he should spend the rest of his heartless days behind bars.

    July 14, 2014 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    In who's history book will this EVER have been the right move? Only the Dick Cheny version, I'll bet....

    July 14, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. becca helen

    He really needs to just be vaporized. Sociopaths never admit to wrongdoing. Just remember this, Chainee, 9/11 happened on your and W's "watch." WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

    July 14, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. Thomas

    And the K Car and the Ford Pinto were great cars ?

    This Dick Chaney mind set of never being wrong , or never admitting a mistake is why America looks stupid in the eyes of the world .

    Dick should have been CEO at GM .

    July 14, 2014 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  23. MrManhattan

    That man should be behind bars.

    July 14, 2014 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. Liz the First

    This proves he's just as evil and stupid as he was a decade ago and he's incapable of admitting his mistakes or learning from them. he needs to be put on a plane to the Hague and tried for his war crimes. and his seatmate needs to be his puppet, Georgie. these two are a main reason why the world is far more dangerous than ever. they've given a lot of people a lot of reasons to hate this country. and if, God forbid, we do get attacked again, these monsters will blame it on Obama, guaranteed.

    July 14, 2014 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  25. smith

    First, the US has had issues with Saddam dating back to 1987(USS Stark attacked by an Iraqi jet fighter 37 killed). Then Saddam invaded Kuwait killing and raping thousands the US did the right thing and declared war Saddam(Gulf War). After the war in 1998 Bill Clinton warned that Saddam was possibly in the pursuit of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and launched Operation Desert Fox. At the end of this operation Clinton announced that "So long as Saddam remains in power, he will remain a threat to his people, his region, and the world. With our allies, we must pursue a strategy to contain him and to constrain his weapons of mass destruction program, while working toward the day Iraq has a government willing to live at peace with its people and with its neighbors."[139] American and British aircraft in the Iraq no-fly zones attacked hostile Iraqi air defenses 166 times in 1999 and 78 times in 2000. The point of all this that we have been at war with Saddam for than a decade and it was time to finish it. That is why I supported the war and why I went willing over there in 2009(Joint Task Force Special Operations FOB Baldwin Mosul, Iraq). The news only shows the negative aspects of war (50%) the postive aspects don't make the news(the other 50%). Both sides of this aurgument of good points. This is my point of view.

    July 14, 2014 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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