Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday that President Barack Obama has increased the nation's risk of terrorist attacks by jettisoning key elements of the Bush administration's aggressive approach.
The criticism came in a broad-based attack on Obama during a Sunday news program in which Cheney also disagreed with expanded White House involvement in the economy and denied that President George W. Bush was responsible for the nation's financial ills.
Of course Cheney disagrees….he would like to keep things just the way they were where he and his cronies at Halliburton and in the Oil industry could continue with the raping of America. Unfortunately for them, Obama has pulled their “Carte Blanche” card.
Cheney has sharply questioned Obama before, but the latest attempt comes amid a chorus of Republican criticism that nonetheless has had little effect on Obama's popularity or his success in pushing his programs through Congress.
Cheney contended that the key elements of the Bush administration's approach to terrorism were "absolutely essential" to what he described as its success in foiling subsequent attacks after Sept. 11. In particular, he said, it was crucial that the nation treat the fight against terrorism as a war rather than a law enforcement issue.
Since entering office, Obama has announced plans to eventually close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba; banned waterboarding; said he would make CIA interrogators abide by rules in the Army Field Manual; and ordered the closure of secret intelligence interrogation sites.
Waterboarding is an interrogation technique that makes a prisoner believe he is in imminent danger of drowning.
"Now he's made some choices that in my mind raise the risk to the American people of another attack," Cheney said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Cheney said Obama is returning to the Clinton administration's approach of treating terrorism as a law-enforcement matter rather than a "war." He warned that this would reduce the effectiveness of the U.S. response. "They're very much giving up that center of attention and focus that's required," he said.
In addition, Cheney criticized the new administration's approach to business regulation and said Obama's plans to reform health care, energy and the environment constituted "one of the greatest expansions of federal control over the private economy, probably in the history of the republic."
Although he acknowledged that the economy Obama inherited was "difficult," Cheney said the Bush administration did not deserve the blame that Obama and other administration officials were directing its way. He called the downturn a "global problem."
The White House had no comment.