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  • Cheney's Detainee Speech: Obama Got His Answer

    Former US Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the American Enterprise Institute on US national security in Washington, DC, May 21, 2009. Cheney said Thursday that bringing the "worst terrorists" from Guantanamo Bay onto US soil would be "cause for great danger" as he stood by tough interrogation tactics. "I think the president will find upon reflection that to bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the United States would be cause for great danger and regret in the years to come," Cheney said in a speech on national security.

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney offered a straight-forward, no nonsense appraisal of what the Bush administration did in the wake of 9/11 and why. He detailed their strategic overview in plain language and without apology.

    He answered all of the indictments from President Barack Obama’s immediately preceding speech at the National Archives. Obama claimed Guantanamo made the United States less safe and more vulnerable to terrorists. He decried enhanced interrogation techniques and postured his policies as those that will restore America’s moral authority.

    Cheney responded by noting that terrorism can not be treated as a law and order problem as it was in the 1990s. Preventing future attacks instead of prosecuting after we’ve been hit requires a “sustained wartime effort.” Cheney said he would not hesitate to take the same steps the Bush administration took after 9/11 again.

    Cheney then accused the left of dressing up political differences as “punishable offenses” … these attacks only make America weaker by giving the terrorists the impressions they can exploit divisions in our country.

    More detailed reaction to follow shortly.

    Read the full text of Cheney’s speech here.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    35 Responses to Cheney's Detainee Speech: Obama Got His Answer

    1. Susan Garlock says:

      I was so proud of Mr. Cheney for cutting through the rhetoric and misinformation by the left and for opening up issues for debate. I aplaud him for the calling for transparency and presentation of the positive results of the interrogations. He was not defensive as Mr. Obama was. I felt like Obama got his feelings hurt by Congress and had to get some ego strokes and hugs hence we get yet ANOTHER orchestrated press conference.

      I was apalled at Mr. Obama's continual reference to "the rule of law". He sure won't be thinking of those words as he signs the consumer's credit card bailout bill nor was he concerned about the illegality of taxing the AIG bonuses. After all they were just LEGAL contracts. After all he's the president and can step right over the consitution.

    2. RM Florida says:

      Since Obama has been constantly ragging the Bush administration, it's great that Cheney has decided to let the American people know what's really going on. Cheney has been there for 8 years; Obama still has the training-wheels attached.

    3. David Adams, Las Veg says:

      Mr. Cheney defended the use of waterboarding by claiming that our country was under attack and needed to find out what our attackers were planning to do next, in order to defend our country.

      In WW II, the Japanese used waterboarding on American soldiers, because their country was under attack and they needed to find out what their attackers were planning to do next, in order to defend their country.

      After WW II, the United States prosecuted those Japanese who used waterboarding as war criminals for using torture. We tried, convicted, imprisoned and, in some cases, executed those who employed waterboarding on our soldiers.

      Why is it OK for the United States to use techniques for which we executed people when they used the same techniques against us? Is there ANY possible justification? Or were we wrong to prosecute those Japanese soldiers who were just urgently trying to extract information to protect their citizens? Do we owe Japan an apology? Will Mr. Cheney deliver that apology?

    4. Anthony, Colorado says:

      Mr Cheney and his isolationist policies has set back the country in so many ways it's remarkable that we are in as good shape as we are in. Instead of garnering world support for 911 and pursuing real terrorists, he led us into a horrible situation in Iraq with questionable motives. Now he continues to try to defend them in the face of overwhelming evidence they were destructive. It's no wonder he and Rush Limbaugh are in a hot race to be the voice of the party.


    5. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      The simple fact is that innocent US lives lost in the 1990s with no coherent policy in dealing with the terrorists. Clinton administration prosecuted them all right. It led to the culminating 9/11 that cost over 3000 lives. Which Geneva convention did they follow?

      We have not been hit since then. If you believe it was luck you probably believe in tooth fairy and Obama bailout too.

      Majority of the Northeast liberals are weak and can not make a distinction between good and evil. Terrorism is evil and has no redeeming features.

      Obama, please keep following the stupid policy of appeasement as a platform of high moral ground. The next attack when it comes will be more than likely a WMD attack on the United States. I am not betting against another attack with the crowd that we now have in Washington.

      Where is the great cooperation from Iran? I thought Comrade Obama apologized for the US behavior and promised to be good.

      What a pathetic state of affairs as we approach another Memorial Day.

    6. Susan in Napa says:

      As I review the speech that Obama gave this morning, another thought came to mind. Why does Obama have the arrogance to think that these terrorists think like we do? All the appeasing and words that have no power behind them will change their agenda. It is arrogant and dangerous to think that they hold our western values. Look at all the appeasing of the isalamic extremeists in Britain and France. They not only get to now support them financially but have approved Sharia law in Britain and helped them establish cells across Europe. I have to say that at least they are who they say they are and their agenda is clear. What part of this does Obama not understand? These detainees are enemy combatants (PC for terrorists)and can be held until the violence has ceased.I say don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

      By the way Mr. Cheney keep it up. Bold very bold words! I thank you for defending your decisions and hope Obama will tell the whole story.

    7. Matt, Cleveland OH says:

      To David Adams from Las Vegas, NV:

      Your comparison to Japan in WWII is invalid. First off, Japanese soldiers and their American prisoners were subject to and protected by the rules of war – Geneva Convention.

      Terrorists with no state sponsorship who do not adhere to the rules of engagement are not protected by the Geneva rules, nor is the United States bound to grant those protections.

      Secondly, Japanese waterboarding was quite different. They would first feed the prisoner uncooked rice, and the resulting swallowed water would cause his stomach to become distended. Once he was distended, they would then beat on his stomach until they were satisfied.

      Please don't bring that weak argument up when discussing with your friends.

    8. Pingback: Juxtaposition « The Tiger in DC

    9. Thomas, Anchorage, A says:


      You clearly have been duped by the media and sold on the misinformation, as well as forgotten key statements from Democrats post Desert Storm and pre-9/11. The motives for engaging Iraq were not questionable then and are not questionable in retrospect. When in the White House President Clinton stated the imminent threat posed by Saddam Hussein as he pursued WMD. The threat was significant enough to call for missile strikes. Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and countless others spoke out in warning of the Iraq WMD threat when they were running the show. They just never happened to actually mobilize and take effective action. Google "Clinton Iraq WMD" etc and get some education.

      Vice President Cheney never seemed to be in the limelight during his tenure, especially when Condi Rice was placed in an overshadowing role in defense. Still, I am incredibly impressed with his intelligence and devotion to protecting the homeland and regret that he was treated and continues to be treated with such disdain. Mr. Cheney is a patriot, a straight-shooter, and a great beacon for the country in these times in which we live. I'd vote for him for President.

    10. Paul, Baltimore MD says:

      "Former Vice President Dick Cheney offered a straight-forward, no nonsense appraisal of what the Bush administration did in the wake of 9/11 and why. He detailed their strategic overview in plain language and without apology."

      As opposed to Obama who is constantly apologizing for all HIS perceived wrongs of America. I think this will end up going down as one of the most important speeches on national security in US history.

      Keep up the good fight Mr. Vice President.

    11. Steve M, Michigan says:

      Mr. Adams of Las Vegas.

      The point you make is off the mark my friend. Yes we tried and punished the Japanese for water boarding our soldiers, after we won the war and earned the right to do so through victory. The Japanese did not prosecute their own people for water boarding their American enemies.

      If the terrorists want to defeat us in open war and then prosecute our people for water boarding their operatives they are welcome to try.

    12. Grace, Florida says:

      I was very proud of Dick Cheney yesterday. Finally someone is standing up to Obama and speaking out. O has had to go back on some of his campaign promises and I think it would be good if he kept his mouth shut as far as what the Bush administration did to get information out of the Terrorists. He has no clue what's down the road for him and what methods he'll use to keep the country safe. Who knows though – he might want us all to burn up.

      Thank you Mr. Cheney! Oh yea, any other Repubs going to stand up to O or are you just going to let Cheney hang out there by himself?

    13. dr_donn says:

      THIS IS FOR THE PEOPLE THAT CONTINUE TO COMPARE JAPANESE WATERBOARDING TO WHAT WE DID. Do your homework and stop repeating liberal B.S. There is no comparison. The Japanese filled the lungs and stomach of prisoners with water and jumped on their stomach to force the water out. Some survived, some did not. They say it took more than 80 water boarding sessions to get the information from one terrorist. If it took 80 times, how bad could it have been. The man probably talked because he was bored into submission. Had I been the interrogator, it would have only taken one session and the terrorist would not have survived to complain about it. I am not cruel, I am a patriot and given the choice between American lives and terrorist rights, the choice is simple for me. Furthermore, I would take a lesser view toward any UN-American that tried to condemn the Patriots that were trying to save YOUR sorry life.

    14. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Every day, 5 or 6 stories are provided in this

      publication giving exact reasons why this

      socialist has to be gotten rid of before there is

      nothing left to save for the 2010 election. Yet all we do is have tea parties. People, it's going to take much more than that. If you are unlucky

      enough to have a Democrat rep in Washington, writing letters or e-mails are a waste of time.

      More severe action must be taken now.

    15. Les in Pelham, AL says:

      Like it or not, Barack Obama has star power. But Dick Cheney has brain power.

      Barack Obama has spin, Dick Cheney has facts.

      Barack Obama speaks from a teleprompter, Dick Cheney speaks from years of service to this country.

      Star power can be fleeting. I'll put my trust in smarts, facts and experience.

    16. Greg, Vail, AZ says:

      In rebut to Mr. Adams post, Japan is a signatory of the Geneva Conventions. Terrorists ARE NOT. They are not covered by the Geneva Conventions. Terrorists use appalling torture methods. Water Boarding is a slap on the wrist in comparison. Terrorists are NOT uniformed combatants, rather cowardly animals hiding behind women and children in hopes they will be killed in the attempt to apprehend them. These terrorists give up their rights as a human by committing inhumane acts. It is not the terrorists you should feel sorry for, give your sympathy to the 3000 plus victims of 9/11.

    17. Ron Thompson says:

      Like most deniers of 911,they can find anything they fell can distort the fact to their liking. I heard the Cheney speech, I heard facts and the logic behind situation and the belief of protecting the American public. As stated in the oath everyone in office takes. What obama is doing is not in the interest of the American public. He's complaint of "fear mongering" is false and lacks substance!The facts were simply stated for us to decide, and obama doesn't like it, so, start the name calling, labeling, because he has been caught in a lie! Without Cheney's speech, i have felt and continue to feel this man is in over his head, doesn't have good advisors and is doing more for the enemy than the American public's protection.

    18. Dave Hiltbrand, Wath says:

      I have become absolutely (a term liberals will not recognize) convinced that liberalism absolutely (there I go again) lacks reason and is an irrational and illogical belief system. I'll just give one simple example, simple enough for a liberal to understand if they could exercise any rational thought.

      Obama and the liberals claim that Gitmo has created more terrorists than it has saved us from because it really angers the Muslims throughout the world who are on the verge of becoming radicals Muslims. They then will admit that the living conditions in Gitmo are better than those in our own prisons. Next, they propose to move the Gitmo detainees to one of our maximum security prisons, where their living conditions will be degraded substantially. Well, if we (excuse my language) were pissing off the Muslim world with keeping the detainees in the Gitmo paradise, won't we really piss them off when we move them to a prison. Think about it!

      Sorry, but I absolutely believe that Obama and liberals have no regard for reason, rule of law, or our Constitution and are destroying this country before our eyes!

    19. Dennis, Idaho says:

      To David The Japanese like Alquada attacked the US. We drove them back to their homeland and made sure that they would never be able to attack again.

      There will never be any peaceful agreement with radical Islam. Their desire is subjugation and dominance of the entire world.

      We must let them know that we will NEVER submit to Sharia Law.

    20. Ben Franklin, Kendal says:

      To further comment on Matt from Cleveland… if we had afforded those detainees various rights under the Geneva Convention, they would all be dead, because under the Geneva Convention, an armed combatant not in uniform is subject to being summarily executed.

    21. David Adams, Las Veg says:

      It is rather clear from the arguments put forward by the former Vice President and his apologists that they truly believe that it does the United States no harm to torture captives. I can only say that they are entitled to their beliefs, but I will still question why only THREE prisoners were waterboarded, and why one was waterboarded over 80 times in one month AFTER he had already disclosed the identity of the 9/11 mastermind.

      If waterboarding was so effective, then:

      1. Why was it only used on three captives?

      2. Why did the Bush Administration discontinue it?

      And as for the argument that "the opposition does not adhere to the Geneva Convention so why should we?" The answer is that the United States is (supposed to be) a civilized nation, not a rag-tag bunch of religious nut-jobs. We are better than those who indiscriminately murder anyone that does not adhere to their beliefs. At least I think we're better than that, and that we don't need to stoop to their level.

      For those who don't believe we're above those scum-bags, you are entitled to your opinion, and I defend your right to express it, just as I defend the former Vice President's right to defend his position. For you, torture is acceptable, and because of that, your vision of America is vastly different than mine.

    22. LW, Newport News VA says:

      To David in Las Vegas—Waterboarding is used by the U.S. military routinely to train our special forces. One of my friends in the Marines talks about being waterboarded as part of his special ops training. The Army and Navy probably use it too. According to you, we should indict the entire U.S. military establishment for the practice. My friend believes it will one day save his life and prevent him from disclosing ANY information to an enemy who is determined to destroy our culture. Nothing short of all nations bowing to Islam will be accepted. How would you deal with ruthless people who lack any form of conscience? Who do not care how many innocent Americans they kill. To a terrorist there is no such thing as an innocent American or the rule of law. Yesterday Obama reminded me of Neville Chamberlain after he returned to England from conferring with Adolf Hilter. Gee, that turned out well for England and the rest of the world, didn't it? David, get the blinders off and wake up to hard, cold reality. There are people out there who loathe us, who want to kill us and who are plotting to do so each and every day. Who will you blame when another 3,000 Americans lie dead? Don't say Bush. He's no longer in a position to make national security decisions.

    23. Ross Writes, Bradent says:

      It seems that former VP Cheney is (for now) the defacto leader of the Republican party inthat he speaks the same language I do, blunt and plain. At least I know where he stands on handling radical Islamic terrorist.

      These deranged human-looking animals still want to kill us and destroy personal liberties and our way of life all in the name of Ali. I could care less about their "liberty" or if they rot in Gitmo with their final resting place being in the stomach of a crab or shark to be dropped later on the seabed off Cuba.

    24. John, Fort Worth, Te says:

      My question for Obama is "how are we going to appease the detainees and make their living conditions more pleasurable by moving these terrorists from Gitmo to a high security prison?". OK, let me think about this… if Gitmo encourages terrorist recruitment, then detainment in high security prisons (with none of the luxuries of Gitmo) will ultimately make everyone happy? Inexperience at it's finest. Thumbs up Mr. Cheney. This will be a LONG 4 years. Wake up America and get these idiots out of office. Their mistakes will take generations to repair.

    25. Tim AZ says:

      Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    26. Mark, Las Vegas says:

      David Adams is naive at best. The Japanese in World War II used genuine torture against American, British and other Allied prisoners of war. Waterboarding was perhaps the lease of the strategies they used. The Japanese were guilty of outright murder, and some of the most inhumane acts ever subjected to people. To suggest the United States is morally corrupt by using EIM, where no treat of loss of life was possible, was hypocrisy, plain and simple. Mr. Adams, I live here in Las Vegas and would be pleased to meet you any time at the airport where I will buy you a one way ticket to any country in the world. Perhaps you would de better to take your misguided views and cowardly and go live someplace "better!"

    27. David Adams, Las Veg says:

      I give up. You folks want to live in a land that approves the use of torture. My suggestion to you is to get together and elect a President that will implement your desires. Good luck in getting the majority of Americans to vote for your candidate.

      At the present time, a sizeable majority of Americans went to the polls and selected the current President, and, in fact, the OTHER candidate was equally against torture (he had endured torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese).

      You will have to choose to live here and "suffer" with his policies for the next four years, or find another place to live where torture is the policy of the land. Meanwhile, you're certainly welcome to continue with your opposing views – after all, this is a country where opposing views are tolerated and even encouraged. If you pick someplace where torture is the policy, you might discover that public dissent is not encouraged.

      Oh, and by the way, the "SERE" program, under which our own soldiers were subjected to waterboarding in order that they could learn to resist torture — that program DISCONTINUED the waterboarding because of the adverse effect it was having on our soldiers that were subjected to it.

    28. Rich Ferraro, Raleig says:

      Mr. Adams, are you for real comparing what the Japanese did to millions of people during WW II to us. Mark is Las Vegas was being nice when he suggested you were naive…..uninformed and non-realistic is more like it! I suggest you do some soul searching this weekend especially. It is those brave men and women who have died in the line of duty for the past 233 years that gives you the right to say and print what you believe. Now you are saying that by not using techniques such as waterboarding, perhaps more of our soldiers will dye and your OK with that. Go to China Mr. Adams and try to say what you say, or better yet, stay here and keep supporting those polisies the Left keeps coming up and when the next attack comes, pray you are not where it happens….but I get the feeling your against prayer too!

    29. Yvonne Naples fl says:






    30. Claudia, Idaho says:

      I think it's interesting that the Obama administration has more feeling for terrorists than anybody else…. but when they are destroying the economy, trying to pass over and over again a law that will willfully kill babies and also those who survived the abortion…. they seem not having any remorses for it.

    31. MEB4, Virginia says:

      In WWII ( mr Adams, in Vegas) the Japanese used other techniques than waterboarding. Like your fingernails where they are? Did you hear of the 'Batan Death March?' Don't be a lightweight. Waterboarding May saved 100's of thousand lives in LA-LA land, not to mention others. Let's see, "we" Waterborded three hardened Known terrorists who helped kill 3000 innocent Americans and the liberals are out of whack over it. Why should they be, when they lift not a finger or raise an eyebrow to stop abortion on demand that kills millions of lives? They say,"Keep you laws off my uterus?" but give the terrorist milk and cookies….what a bunch of hypocrites!!!

    32. william boyer says:

      The Japanese were merely defending their country, according to David Adams. One despairs.

    33. Debra, Texas says:

      CHENEY/PALIN 2012!!!!

      That is why the liberals hate them both. That would be the true conservative, winning ticket that we could get behind and sweep accross the Nation, before we lose it completely and descend into communism. Palin's debate pulled more audience than the Presidential debates ever did – she could win with a true conservative and they know it.

      And wow, I wish we had heard from Cheney more often while he was in the White House…or maybe we are all now just so damn starved for some experience and responsibilty — and for the safety of our country. Vice Presidents really don't have but two responsibilites so we normally don't hear much from them (unless they have big mouths, have done lots of botox and feel the need for attention) so I guess we didn't know how intelligent and impressive Cheney really is. IF someone could just keep a notebook of all the stupid and even dangerous things Biden says on a weekly, if not daily basis, no one will want to see him near the White House again. We don't even want him near sharp objects. No wonder he is so hostile towards our right to keep and bear arms. Who would want him near a firearm? Even normal people can have accidents.

      Back to the next election: If Americans want to pay higher taxes, (according to Colin Powell) why did Obama run on 'lowering taxes for 95% of Americans'? After 3 years of this garbage, he will at least lose ALL of the naieve people who believed that one – look at what just happened in CA. If there is hope for the liberals in CA, there' hope for the nation.

      NEWSFLASH– War is not a garden party. It's war and it's ugly. It's not pleasant and you dont' find out what the enemy is planning using harsh language. Wouldn't it be nice if Obama and his cronies had as much empathy for innocent babies as they do for terrorists? Do you think that maybe the terroists should just…I don't know, not terroize and plot to destroy thousands, if not millions of Americans? OH MY GOSH? WHAT A NOVEL THOUGHT?

    34. Bill, Forney, TX says:

      I am not an advocate of torture. That being said, why have we allowed the PC crowd and those in the media (with alternate agendas) to dictate what truly constitutes torture. Torture should be defined as an act that could result in ACTUAL death or dismemberment. The perception of those two results is NOT physical torture. That would fall into phychological interrogation. All interrogation is psychological since you are attempting to get someone to give up information he/she is not volunteering (i.e. good cop/bad cop, etc.). There are even complaints from the media that we are torturing detainees by playing constant music or depriving them of a restful night of sleep – where does the MEDIA think that line should be drawn.

      As for our friend in Nevada, since he appears like-minded with his senator, Mr. Reid, a local prison in Nevada sounds like a fine place to move the detainees. Much has been said about the secureness of prisons in keeping the detainees from breaking out of a prison. What has not been covered is the threat of the prisons becomming targets of terrorists trying to break INTO the prison to release their buddies. GITMO is well-guarded and secluded from attack by the fine US Navy. The same is not true of our other prisons where a truck bomb or other larger scale attack would bring violence into a local US community and those asked to guard and run the prisons.

      Its easy to criticize policy when you are not responsible for the results.

    35. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      Cheney is what we expect from Leaders!!!

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