Cheney to O’Biden: Before you take credit for Iraq, thank Bush

Responding to Puff, the Magic Biden’s preposterous remarks from earlier this week in which VP Biden suggested that Iraq could be one of Obama’s “greatest achievements,” former Veep Dick Cheney didn’t pull any punches:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, in an exclusive appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” offered a sharp critique of the Obama administration’s handling of national security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying any achievements over the past year largely stemmed from policies implemented under President George W. Bush.

“If [the administration is] going to take credit for [Iraq’s success], fair enough … but it ought to come with a healthy dose of ‘Thank you, George Bush’ up front and a recognition that some of their early recommendations with respect to prosecuting that war were just dead wrong,” Cheney told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.

Earlier Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Cheney “either is misinformed or he is misinforming” about what policies have been most effective in combating terrorists.

Biden has also suggested that Iraq may end up being one of the Obama administration’s greatest successes.

“Obama and Biden campaigned from one end of the country to the other for two years criticizing our Iraq policy,” Cheney said. “If they had had their way, if we’d followed the policies they’d pursued from the outset or advocated from the outset, Saddam Hussein would still be in power in Baghdad today.”

Here’s video of Cheney’s remarks (via Jim Hoft):

He also went on to criticize the Obama administration’s handling of the so-called “Christmas Day bomber” Umar Abdulmutallab, as well as Biden’s ridiculous prediction that another attack on the homeland is “unlikely”:

But the former vice president repeated his rebuke of the administration’s handling of suspected terrorists, including would-be Christmas Day bomber Umar Abdulmutallab.

Following the attempted attack on Dec. 25, Abdulmuttallab was interrogated for 50 minutes, read his Miranda rights and has been arraigned in U.S. federal court. The Obama administration also has promised to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, try several high-profile suspected terrorists in U.S. federal courts and repatriate others abroad.

Cheney said the Mirandizing and detention of convicted shoe-bomber Richard Reid by law enforcement officials in December 2001 was appropriate at the time because military commissions were not yet operational.

“We hadn’t had all the Supreme Court decisions handed down about what we could and couldn’t do with the commissions,” he said.

Reid was arraigned in U.S. federal court but never faced a trial because he pleaded guilty.

“I do see repeatedly examples that there are key members in the administration — like Eric Holder, for example, the attorney general — that still insist upon thinking of terror attacks against the United States as criminal acts of war,” Cheney said.


Cheney said the Obama administration’s “mindset” is putting the country at risk of a terrorist attack and cited as an example Vice President Biden’s recent statement that another attack on the scale of 9/11 is “unlikely.”

“I just think that’s just dead wrong,” Cheney said. “I think the biggest threat the United States faces today is the possibility of another 9/11 with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind. And I think al Qaeda is out there — even as we meet — trying to do that.

“You have to consider it as a war,” Cheney said. “You have to consider it as something we may have to deal with tomorrow. You don’t want the vice president of the United States running around saying, ‘Oh, it’s not likely going to happen.'”

Cheney is, of course, right, but that won’t stop the chorus of left wing geniuses who will (and probably already are) scream to the rafters about how Cheney is being “unstatesmanlike” in criticizing the current administration during a time of war. I’m sure I don’t have to remind everyone, though, how the left thought it was perfectly ok to slam a President in a time of war in order to weaken that President and his counterterrorism policies, where as Cheney’s criticisms, as are the criticisms of others – including Senator Lindsey Graham, who took the admin’s counterterrorism policies to task in the GOP weekly radio address yesterday – are meant to inform people that this President and his administration are taking us to a pre-9/11 mentality that could lead to more deadly homeland terror attacks in the future. The implicit message behind the criticisms? Not to weaken the President, but instead to implore him to stand strong and stop watering down the numerous powers Presidents have to wage war both home and abroad against determined enemies that reside both here in America and overseas.

Not only that, but if this administration is going to continue to bogusly take credit for successful policies from the previous administration that they stridently opposed, and if they’re going to continue to shove blame for their current problems all on the previous administration, then they (O’Biden and Co.) are going to have to deal with the fact the former Veep and others from the Bush admin – like Marc Thiessen – are going to work tirelessly in order to set the record straight.

This administration should simply not be allowed to make blanket criticisms of the prior administation, nor steal the credit for their successful policies without the “other side” being able to respond to what’s being said. It’s understandable that President Bush is staying out of the fray, as that is what former Presidents should do as a courtesy to the President who takes office after them. But Cheney, as Gore was before him, is not bound by any such constraints and as a result he has repeatedly put himself out there to defend the Bush/Cheney record on the global war on terrorism. Of course, the mainstream media will continue to portray him as someone who is trying to “interfere” in the current administration’s affairs purely for political reasons, which is not the way I see it. But even if it is – so what? Cheney’s telling the truth and that, more than anything else, is what has gotten under the O’Biden administration’s collective skin.

Somebody’s gotta say it, and why shouldn’t it be the man who held the second highest office in the land who helped craft administration policy on war on terror policies, tactics, and strategies? I hope he keeps it up.


Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.

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