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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

 
Cheney's Bunker

by digby


Is Dick Cheney saying here that Obama will never know how important it is to protect the country from a terrorist attack until he's failed to protect the country from a terrorist attack? That's what it sounds like to me.


Jamie Gangel: 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?

Dick Cheney: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. Things like the enhanced interrogation techniques or the terror surveillance program.

They'd been vital from our perspective in terms of learning basic fundamental intelligence about al Qaeda, about how they operated, who they were, where we could find them. And we were able to put in place a successful policy that did prevent any further major attacks against the United States over all those years. And he campaigned against all of that.

As I say, I think he's found it necessary to be more sympathetic to the kinds of things we did. 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.

That's all well and good. That's a plus that he's learned in that regard. But I still worry that until you've been there -- clearly a day I'll never forget-- 9/11-- I mean most Americans will always remember where they were on that day. But to sit in the Presidential bunker under the White House as al Qaeda launches hijacked aircraft and hits New York, hits Washington and kills 3,000 Americans, that's something I'll never forget.

And-- it requires you to-- certainly stimulated in me and I think the President I worked for an absolute commitment that that's never going to happen again on our watch. And that we'll do whatever we have to do in order to prevent it. And I hope President Obama is to that point now where he has that same basic attitude. But we might never find out until there's actually another attack.


Cheney seems to be grudgingly appreciative that Obama has adopted his policies and unhappy that there hasn't been a terrorist attack.

But this tribute to Cheneyesque politics should make him happy:
"Internal U.S. government reviews have determined that a mass leak of diplomatic cables caused only limited damage to U.S. interests abroad, despite the Obama administration's public statements to the contrary. A congressional official briefed on the reviews said the administration felt compelled to say publicly that the revelations had seriously damaged American interests in order to bolster legal efforts to shut down the WikiLeaks website and bring charges against the leakers.

'I think they just want to present the toughest front they can muster,' the official said.

" But State Department officials have privately told Congress they expect overall damage to U.S. foreign policy to be containable, said the official, one of two congressional aides familiar with the briefings who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. 'We were told (the impact of WikiLeaks revelations) was embarrassing but not damaging,' said the official, who attended a briefing given in late 2010 by State Department officials."


The only thing that would disappoint Cheney is that they let congress in on their little fabrication.


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