Cheney accuses Obama admin of being soft on terror

Last Updated: Sunday, February 14, 2010 - 23:34

Washington: Former US Vice President Dick
Cheney today accused the Obama administration of dithering on
the war against terrorism, contending that the government`s
mindset is not tuned to fight terrorism.

Criticising Obama Administration`s actions, including the
decision to close the Guantanamo Bay facility, Cheney on a
Sunday talk show said the government`s action were indicative
of a mindset that was not tough enough to fight terror.

In an interview to ABC News, Cheney strongly disagreed
with the assertion of his successor Joe Biden that the US is
unlikely to face another 9/11.

"I think, the situation with respect to Al Qaida to say
that, was a big attack we had on 9/11, but it`s not likely
again, I just think that`s dead wrong," Cheney said,
criticising this "mindset".

"If you`re really serious and you believe this is a
war... then you have to consider it as a war. You don`t want
the vice president of the United States running around saying,
Oh, it`s not likely to happen," Cheney said.

Vice President Biden shot back at Cheney`s allegations,
saying his predecessor was either misinformed and trying to
rewrite history.

"Dick Cheney... is entitled to his own opinion. He`s not
entitled to rewrite history," Biden said, claiming that the
administration is pursuing the war successfully.

"The success rate exceeds anything that occurred in the
last administration," he said.

Biden said the Obama administration`s efforts have killed
12 of al Qaeda`s top 20 leaders and 100 of their associates.

"They are in fact not able to do anything remotely like
they were in the past," Biden said of al Qaeda. "They are on
the run".

Cheney also charged that the administration was not
equipped to deal with the aftermath of an attempted attack
like the one on December 25.

"My reference to the notion that the president was trying
to avoid treating this as a war was in relation to his initial
response when we heard about the Christmas underwear bomber up
in Detroit, when he went out and said this was the act of an
isolated extremist," Cheney said.

"It`s the mindset that concerns me," he said, adding
terrorist acts should not be treated as criminal acts but as
acts of war.

Slamming the decision to close the Guantanamo Bay he
said: "Those were the tools we put in place to deal with this
kind of situation. They should have had something to put in
lieu of those programmes," he said.

Cheney claimed that the Obama administration was trying
to take the credit of the previous dispensation`s successful
policies in Iraq.

"... we got rid of one of the worst dictators of the 20th
century. We took down his government, a man who`d produced and
used weapons of mass destruction... a man who had a
relationship with terror. We`re going to have a democracy in
Iraq today," he said.

Cheney however supported Obama`s policies on Afghanistan,
including the troop surge.

Biden, in an interview to the CBS news, said the al Qaida
threat has prompted the US to put "incredible resources" in
the war and claimed "we`ve had significant success".

"We`ve eliminated over a dozen of their top 20
operatives, another 100 of their associates. They`ve been
unable to operate in any significant, coordinated way.

"That`s why you`re seeing al Qaeda metastasize into
smaller bore operations coming out of the Arabian peninsula
not directly coordinated by them.

"The reason why I do not think it`s likely (another 9/11)
is because of all the resources we have put on this,
considerably more than the last administration did, to see to
it that it will not happen," Biden said.

He said the administration was also in the process for a
plan to corral loose nuclear weapons and fissile material
within the next four years, something the last administration
paid virtually no attention to.

Cheney had also criticised the decision to try the
Christmas Day bomber in federal court and said the
administration had shown an inability to deal with such a
situation.

Biden responded: "I don`t know what Dick`s been doing
lately. We did exactly what he did with the shoe bomber,
Richard Reid. Exactly what he did. We brought in the experts.

"I was told he said we didn`t bring in the right people.
The experts are the FBI interrogators. They are the best that
we have".

PTI



First Published: Sunday, February 14, 2010 - 23:34

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