White House in war of words with Cheney over plane attack

December 31st, 2009 - 1:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Dick Cheney By Arun Kumar
Washington, Dec 31 (IANS) The White House fired a salvo at former vice president Dick Cheney in reply to his sharply critical comments on President Barack Obama’s response to the botched terror attack on a US airliner on Christmas Day.

“It is telling that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticising the Administration than condemning the attackers,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on the White House’s official blog Wednesday.

“Unfortunately too many are engaged in the typical Washington game of pointing fingers and making political hay, instead of working together to find solutions to make our country safer.”

The response came hours after Cheney delivered a blistering statement saying the administration’s response is proof that the president “is trying to pretend we are not at war.”

In his first statement since the Christmas Day terror attempt, Cheney hit out at Obama for what he described as the president’s “low key” response to the events last week and criticised the administration’s broader approach to national security.

“He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war,” Cheney said in the statement.

“He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core Al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war.”

Obama outwardly “pretends we aren’t [at war],” he said repeating his months-long criticism that the new president has made America “less safe.”

“Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war?” Cheney asked. “It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’ t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency - social transformation - the restructuring of American society.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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