Obama’s anti-terror policies risky, says Dick Cheney

March 15th, 2009 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 15 (DPA) Policy changes pursued by President Barack Obama have increased the risk of terrorist attacks for the country, former US vice-president Dick Cheney said in an interview with CNN Sunday.
When asked if Obama’s new policies had increased the risks to the US, Cheney answered “yes”.

Cheney added that the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies - including its secret information-gathering tactics - had been “absolutely essential” in warding off subsequent attacks after the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.

“President Obama campaigned against it all across the country, and now he is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack,” Cheney said in the interview.

Obama has announced plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba that was opened by the Bush administration to hold terrorism suspects. He has also said he opposes violent interrogation tactics that were endorsed by the previous administration and wants to hold interrogators to international standards.

Critics had said those Bush administration policies amounted to sanctioned torture.

Cheney also defended Bush administration policies on the economy, saying it did everything within its power to handle the rapidly moving financial crisis in 2007 and 2008.

“Stuff happens, and an administration has to be able to respond to that and we did,” Cheney told the broadcaster.

Cheney defended the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “We’ve accomplished nearly everything we set out to do,” he said. Obama has announced plans to wind down US occupation forces in that country.

Cheney also announced plans to release a book about his nearly 40 years in public office. No title or release date for the book was given.

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