Jeez, I wish the guy would make up his mind, or least try not to be so obvious with the election year partisan puffery:
Cheney: Obama has learned that Bush policies were right
By Daniel Strauss - 01/17/11
President Obama has “learned from experience” that some of the Bush administration’s decisions on terrorism issues were necessary, according to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
In his first interview since undergoing major heart surgery last July, Cheney said he thinks Obama has been forced to rethink some of his national security positions now that he sits in the Oval Office.
"I think he's learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate. So I think he's learned from experience. And part of that experience was the Democrats having a terrible showing last election."
Cheney also asserted that Obama has learned that the prison at Guantanamo Bay simply cannot be closed, despite the promises he made while campaigning for the White House.
"I think he's learned that he's not going to be able to close Guantanamo," Cheney said. "That it's — if you didn't have it, you'd have to create one like that. You've got to have some place to put terrorists who are combatants who are bound and determined to try to kill Americans."
Cheney made the comments about Obama in an interview that is set to air Tuesday on NBC’s “Today.” The interview was Cheney's first since before he underwent heart surgery in July. Doctors introduced a device into his heart that pumps blood from the ventricle chamber to his aorta.
The former vice president cited the Obama administration’s expanded use of drones in Pakistan as more evidence of continuity from the policies of the Bush White House.
"As I say, I think he's found it necessary to be more sympathetic to the kinds of things we did," Cheney said. "They've gotten active, for example, with the drone program, using Predator and the Reaper to launch strikes against identified terrorist targets in the various places in the world." http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-r...-necessary
The Cheney Fallacy: Why Barack Obama is waging a more effective war on terror than George W. Bush.
Jack Goldsmith, May 18, 2009
Former Vice President Cheney says that President Obama's reversal of Bush-era terrorism policies endangers American security. The Obama administration, he charges, has "moved to take down a lot of those policies we put in place that kept the nation safe for nearly eight years from a follow-on terrorist attack like 9/11." Many people think Cheney is scare-mongering and owes President Obama his support or at least his silence. But there is a different problem with Cheney's criticisms: his premise that the Obama administration has reversed Bush-era policies is largely wrong. The truth is closer to the opposite: The new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit. Almost all of the Obama changes have been at the level of packaging, argumentation, symbol, and rhetoric.
This does not mean that the Obama changes are unimportant. Packaging, argumentation, symbol, and rhetoric, it turns out, are vitally important to the legitimacy of terrorism policies.
The Bush approach to counterterrorism policy included eleven essential elements. Here is the Obama position to date on each... http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/the-...d1f5e2&p=1
The vindication of Dick Cheney: Obama has won the War on Terror debate -- for the American Right. And they're quite appreciative
By Glenn Greenwald, Jan 18, 2011
In the early months of Obama’s presidency, the American Right did to him what they do to every Democratic politician: they accused him of being soft on defense (specifically “soft on Terror”) and leaving the nation weak and vulnerable to attack. But that tactic quickly became untenable as everyone (other than his hardest-core followers) was forced to acknowledge that Obama was embracing and even expanding — rather than reversing — the core Bush/Cheney approach to Terrorism. As a result, leading right-wing figures began lavishing Obama with praise — and claiming vindication — based on Obama’s switch from harsh critic of those policies (as a candidate) to their leading advocate (once in power).
As early as May, 2009, former Bush OLC lawyer Jack Goldsmith wrote in The New Republic that Obama was not only continuing Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies, but was strengthening them — both because he was causing them to be codified in law and, more important, converting those policies from right-wing dogma into harmonious bipartisan consensus. Obama’s decision “to continue core Bush terrorism policies is like Nixon going to China,” Goldsmith wrote. Last October, former Bush NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden — one of the most ideological Bush officials, whose confirmation as CIA chief was opposed by then-Sen. Obama on the ground he had overseen the illegal NSA spying program — gushed with praise for Obama: “there’s been a powerful continuity between the 43rd and the 44th president.” James Jay Carafano, a homeland-security expert at the Heritage Foundation, told The New York Times‘ Peter Baker last January: “I don’t think it’s even fair to call it Bush Lite. It’s Bush. It’s really, really hard to find a difference that’s meaningful and not atmospheric.“
Those are the nation’s most extreme conservatives praising Obama’s Terrorism policies. And now Dick Cheney himself — who once led the “soft on Terror” attacks — is sounding the same theme. In an interview last night with NBC News, Cheney praised Obama for continuing his and Bush’s core approach to Terrorism:
He obviously has been through the fires of becoming President and having to make decisions and live with the consequences. And it’s different than being a candidate. When he was candidate he was all for closing Gitmo. He was very critical of what we’d done on the counterterrorism area to protect America from further attack and so forth. . . .
I think he’s — in terms of a lot of the terrorism policies — the early talk, for example, about prosecuting people in the CIA who’ve been carrying out our policies — all of that’s fallen by the wayside. I think he’s learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate. So I think he’s learned from experience.
Cheney was then specifically asked whether he stood by his early attacks on Obama’s national security policies — “You said you believe President Obama has made America less safe. That he’s actually raised the risk of attack. Do you still feel that way?” — and Cheney, not exactly known for changing his mind, essentially said that, thanks to Obama’s continuity, he now does not:
Well, when I made that comment, I was concerned that the counterterrorism policies that we’d put in place after 9/11 that had kept the nation safe for over seven years were being sort of rapidly discarded. Or he was going to attempt to discard them. . . . As I say, I think he’s found it necessary to be more sympathetic to the kinds of things we did.
It overstates the case to say there are no differences. There were some: Obama formally ended the “enhanced interrogation program” (the authorization for which had been withdrawn when he took office); banned CIA black sites (which were empty when he took office); and has not invoked the Article II lawbreaking theories of Bush’s first term (Bush largely abandoned them as well in his second term as Congress began legalizing his programs). And there is a more conciliatory tone, and some greater technocratic efficiency, in some foreign policy pronouncements. Gen. Hayden put it best, as quoted by The Washington Times:
“You’ve got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan],” Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. “And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action.”
And that list, impressive though it is, doesn’t even include the due-process-free assassination hit lists of American citizens, the sweeping executive power and secrecy theories used to justify it, the multi-tiered, “state-always-wins” justice system the Obama DOJ concocted for detainees, the vastly more aggressive war on whistleblowers and press freedoms, or the new presidential immunity doctrines his DOJ has invented. Critically, this continuity extends beyond specific policies into the underlying sloganeering mentality in which they’re based: we’re in a Global War; the whole Earth is the Battlefield; the Terrorists want to kill us because they’re intrinsically Evil (not in reaction to anything we do); we’re justified in doing anything and everything to eradicate Them; the President’s overarching obligation (contrary to his Constitutional oath) is to keep us Safe; this should all be kept secret from us; we can’t be bothered with obsolete dogma like Due Process and Warrants, etc. etc... http://www.salon.com/2011/01/18/cheney_72/singleton/