Cheney: Obama owes the Bush administration an apology

posted at 9:25 am on October 3, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Despite what people might think, Dick Cheney does not reflexively oppose everything Barack Obama does. In fact, the former VP spoke to CNN’s Candy Crowley in support of the strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, American citizens that joined al-Qaeda to support terrorist attacks against the US. Cheney told Crowley that Obama acted appropriately and made a correct wartime decision — and then said that perhaps Obama might want to apologize for not recognizing that as a candidate when attacking George Bush for doing the same thing:

Cheney took particular issue with the administration’s reluctance to describe the fight against al Qaeda as a “war” and Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo where he walked back from many Bush administration policies.

“The thing I’m waiting for is for the administration to go back and correct something they said two years ago when they criticized us for ‘overreacting’ to the events of 9/11,” said Cheney. “They, in effect, said that we had walked away from our ideals, or taken policies contrary to our ideals when we had enhanced interrogation techniques.”

“Now they clearly had moved in the direction of taking robust action when they feel it is justified. I say in this case I think it was, but I think they need to go back and reconsider what the president said when he was in Cairo,” he added.

“If you’ve got the president of the United States out there saying we overreacted to 9/11 on our watch, that’s not good,” said Cheney.

When asked by CNN host Candy Crowley if Cheney expected an apology from the president, the former vice president said, “Well, I would. I think that would be not for me, but I think for the Bush administration, and that he misspoke when he gave that speech in Cairo two years ago.”

I want to clarify one point that seems to have been lost in the debate over the strike on Awlaki and Khan, which is that we’re not at war just because Obama, Cheney, or George Bush said we are.  Congress authorized the use of military force against al-Qaeda, wherever it exists and whomever belongs in it:

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
    (b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-
    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

By joining al-Qaeda, especially after the adoption of the AUMF, Awlaki and Khan made themselves targets at war. They became specific targets because of their success in waging war against the US — again, as defined by Congress in 2001 — and that does not obligate the US to treat them differently than any other officers or leaders of an entity waging war against us.  And as the AUMF explicitly states, one of the primary purposes of this AUMF is to prevent future attacks of the kind that Awlaki was planning and for which Khan was recruiting.

Will Cheney get his apology?  Undoubtedly not, but in fairness, Obama wasn’t really talking about this precise scenario when he criticized the Bush administration’s policies in the war, either.  Obama should be apologizing for his accusations that Bush and Cheney refused to engage with Congress on military matters, which wasn’t true at all but is most certainly true of Obama in his handling of Libya this year.  They won’t get that apology, either.

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I credit General Petraeus, not Obama.

Obama is reaping credit for groundwork that’s been going on for a long time now at the cost of American lives he never quite appears to sincerely respect. But he’s *right there* at the ready for the credit when the accumulated lives and labor reap good results.

Lourdes on October 3, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Will Cheney get his apology? Undoubtedly not, but in fairness, Obama wasn’t really talking about this precise scenario when he criticized the Bush administration’s policies in the war, either. Obama should be apologizing for his accusations that Bush and Cheney refused to engage with Congress on military matters, which wasn’t true at all but is most certainly true of Obama in his handling of Libya this year. They won’t get that apology, either.

Well said. I completely agree.

Lourdes on October 3, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Darth Cheney, you rock

kelley in virginia on October 3, 2011 at 9:30 AM

You’re darn tootin’ they should

But it ain’t gonna happen

cmsinaz on October 3, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Show me the UN resolution authorizing military force in Libya, and I’ll show you the UN resolutions authorizing military force in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Until then, STFU President Obortion.

BobMbx on October 3, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Long live Dick Cheney!

petefrt on October 3, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Halliburton!

/

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2011 at 9:44 AM

PBHO owes America an apology, as do all the fools who voted for the man back in 2008.

Bishop on October 3, 2011 at 9:45 AM

BobMbx on October 3, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Bu… bu… but NATO!

Washington Nearsider on October 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Where are all thpse pius almighty folks who marched and protested mere waterboarding as torture when their messiah kills folks with merciless life taking drone attacks?

It’s not the hypocisy of the left that bothers me-its the two-faced agenda against all that is good -using the name of goodness as a disguise to do their own brand of evil.

Don L on October 3, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Undoubtedly not, but in fairness, Obama wasn’t really talking about this precise scenario when he criticized the Bush administration’s policies in the war, either.

I think the point Cheney was making was that Obama had criticized Bush for “torturing” three Al Qaeda men and not offering them due process. They way I heard it, Cheney was inferring that the three men Obama said we “tortured” lived through the experience and will eventually (assuming Obama allows it) receive their day in court (military tribunal). It seems that Al-Awlaki didn’t receive such equitable treatment. You could say that Obama’s prosecution was much graver than Bush’s and therefore, Obama owes an apology.

You’re right that one won’t be forthcoming though.

BKeyser on October 3, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Bu… bu… but NATO!

Washington Nearsider on October 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Heh. After re-reading my own post, it sounds like I was giving some credibility to the UN, or that the US needs a Permission Slip (TM) to conduct foreign policy.

Neither is the case.

BobMbx on October 3, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Cheney: Obama owes the Bush administration an apology

Sure. And, The Vikings are going to win the superbowl this season….

snicker…

jbh45 on October 3, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Neither is the case.

BobMbx on October 3, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Correct. That’s the part that infuriates me. For YEARS we’ve been literally farming out our right to defend ourselves (pre-emptively, if necessary).

…all enemies, foreign and domestic…

Washington Nearsider on October 3, 2011 at 9:52 AM

I think John McCain owes Bush an apology

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/64983.html

William Amos on October 3, 2011 at 9:53 AM

I am waiting for the Obama Administration to apologize for bascially everything they have done since 2008.

RDE2010 on October 3, 2011 at 9:57 AM

I think John McCain owes Bush an apology

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/64983.html

William Amos on October 3, 2011 at 9:53 AM

I think John McCain owes the nation an apology, what with his: “you have nothing to fear from an Obama Presidency.”

Lourdes on October 3, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I’m not crying over the loss of Awlaki; he undoubtedly deserved his fate. But what did the Constitution ever to do anybody?

I’m with National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson ( Assassin-in-Chief) on the matter: “Decent governments do not assassinate their own citizens.” The Founders never vested this sort of unilateral power in the president. Even a casual reading of the Federalist Papers makes that clear. We can establish a system to deal with citizen terrorists without shredding the Constitution to do it.

Stayright on October 3, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Never Forget…..the 2001 Authorization of Military Force

jp on October 3, 2011 at 10:04 AM

I’m waiting for Abraham Lincoln to be put on trial for not reading the Miranda rights to every CSA soldier (Us citizens!) before shooting him.

mankai on October 3, 2011 at 10:04 AM

mankai on October 3, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Or George Washington at the Whisky Rebellion

jp on October 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Don L: Where are all thpse pius almighty folks who marched and protested mere waterboarding as torture when their messiah kills folks with merciless life taking drone attacks?

Where? 10 years after 9/11, the Leftists are targeting their real enemy– New York City. Soros is financing punch and pie for his raging Ruckus minions on Wall Street.

Why isn’t billionaire progressive George Soros financing any unhinged Leftist rent-a-mob rallies against Obama’s summary execution of (un-Mirandized!) civilians by Reaper drone airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, et.al.?

Afterall, The Obamateur’s tactics are clearly more “violent” than Mubarak’s secret police beatings.

The Obamateur’s policy to use Reaper drones to target (un-Mirandized!) civilians has increased without a peep. Get busy, progressives.

Michael Moore should film Rev. Wright burning a Koran every day until The Obamateur regime flees the country.

*Rage against the machine, progressives!*

Terp Mole on October 3, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Never Forget…..the 2001 2002 Authorization of Military Force

jp on October 3, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2011 at 10:40 AM

I’m not a “man crush” kind of guy, but Cheney comes close.

CurtZHP on October 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Lotsa Cheney Love at The Hill comment section

Up yours Cheney. You should apologize for 9/11 ever happening, you pig.

Why doesn’t Crooked Cheney apologize to the American people for lies about WMD in Iraq or his self-serving no-bid contracts to Halliburton. Pure corruption. This failure should be deported for all the harm he’s done to this country. A heart attack waiting to happen – go away crook.

Cheney is an @sshole, and he should apologize for living. He ruined our country, and now he wants to talk.

I think Cheney should get waterboarded for enhanced interrogation so we can get to the bottom of all this and get the truth about 9/11.

If not For Bush’s push to pass the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that was set up for failure in Congress Cheney and Bush would have been Impeached and/or in Prison.

It’s time for “Chicken Hawk” Cheney to take his fat a$$ and his five Vietnam-era draft deferments and just slink back into whatever sewer it is that he’s been hiding in since January 20, 2009.

This latest Rocket Scientist doesn’t care that the current VP has 5 draft deferments too.

But yes, there are some sane voices posting too:

Wow – lots of mad liberals here…did someone report us to AttackWatch or something?

Heil!

Del Dolemonte on October 3, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Sure. And, The Vikings are going to win the superbowl this season….

snicker…

jbh45 on October 3, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Well, that was cold. Why would you want to make those tens of Vikings fans weep into their Post Toasties this morning?

SKYFOX on October 3, 2011 at 11:01 AM

“Thank you, Mister Vice President!”
Khun Joe

(I am quoting myself, as a homage to crr6)

Khun Joe on October 3, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Danno chirped: Ron Paul!

The 1942 case of the Nazi saboteurs– including one U.S. citizen (Herbert Hans Haupt) who snuck into the United States– is exactly on point. They were arrested by the FBI. But FDR detained all of them, including Haupt, as enemy combatants, tried them before a military commission, and executed them. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the president’s right to treat Haupt like his comrades.

If al-Awlaki had been falsely accused, he could (for starters) have professed his innocence. He could have surrendered to U.S. authorities and tried to explain how it was all a misunderstanding. Instead, he taunted us for our inability to find him. What process is due a terrorist on the lam in an ungoverned portion of Yemen?

Given that al-Awlaki was beyond the reach of our courts and very difficult to capture, our options as a practical matter were to (a) assasinate him or (b) let him continue working with al-Qaeda to target innocents Americans for murder– consequences be damned.

President Obama is to be credited for rejecting this specious line of thought and specifically authorizing the targeting of al-Awlaki.

Terp Mole on October 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

That’s as likely to happen as the creation of Obama fried chicken,

oh wait

and Obama loves the chicoms too

sings their praise

Sonosam on October 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Given that al-Awlaki was beyond the reach of our courts and very difficult to capture, our options as a practical matter were to (a) assasinate him or (b) let him continue working with al-Qaeda to target innocents Americans for murder– consequences be damned.

President Obama is to be credited for rejecting this specious line of thought and specifically authorizing the targeting of al-Awlaki.

Terp Mole on October 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Yes.

If people want to argue that someone was wrongfully killed by a US drone, they may want to find a more sympathetic character than Awlaki.

JohnTant on October 3, 2011 at 12:23 PM

They were arrested by the FBI.

Terp Mole on October 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Twerp, you would compare apples to oranges then claim that al-Awlaki EVER had the chance to proclaim his innocense?

In America NO ONE IS FORCED TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE. All real Americans understand that we all are innoncent UNTIL PROVEN TO BE GUILTY BY A COURT OF LAW.

Want to try again? ;o)

DannoJyd on October 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

If people want to argue that someone was wrongfully killed by a US drone, they may want to find a more sympathetic character than Awlaki.

JohnTant on October 3, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Let’s hope that you are a “sympathetic character” when the 0bama Regime decudes that you need to be assassinated.

If you belong to the TEA Party there are plenty of Democrats who have labeled you a terrorist already. Better get out your steel umbrella. ;o)

DannoJyd on October 3, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Let’s hope that you are a “sympathetic character” when the 0bama Regime decudes that you need to be assassinated

If you belong to the TEA Party there are plenty of Democrats who have labeled you a terrorist already. Better get out your steel umbrella. ;o)

DannoJyd on October 3, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Cheney is right. Obama acted appropriately and made a correct wartime decision.

The idea that killing an avowed enemy combatant of the US, overseas, on the field of battle, gives Obama a license to kill citizens who are peacefully protesting in a public park is a ridiculous slippery slope argument.

JannyMae on October 3, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Twerp, you would compare apples to oranges then claim that al-Awlaki EVER had the chance to proclaim his innocense?

In America NO ONE IS FORCED TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE. All real Americans understand that we all are innoncent UNTIL PROVEN TO BE GUILTY BY A COURT OF LAW.

Want to try again? ;o)

DannoJyd on October 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Awlaki is on record as proclaiming his own guilt. He claimed credit for killing innocents, and vowed to destroy the US. http://awlaki.sethhettena.com/

So much is being ignored in favor of trying to paint this terrorist as a US citizen with civil rights, it’s ridiculous.

JannyMae on October 3, 2011 at 1:14 PM

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 [emphasis added]

This does not exclude US citizens, or US citizens in voluntary organization – and it should have.

God help us, suppose one of our home-grown supremacy movements had coincidentally perpetrated another bombing that day? This would have permitted the President to authorize the invasion of Idaho, and the wholesale round-up of Aryan Nations and the Branch Davidians.

Targeting a US citizen for assassination has opened a Pandora’s box, and I greatly fear the consequences.

ss396 on October 3, 2011 at 2:40 PM

In America NO ONE IS FORCED TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE. All real Americans understand that we all are innoncent UNTIL PROVEN TO BE GUILTY BY A COURT OF LAW.

DannoJyd on October 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Does this apply to enemy combatants and their officers during military operations? If so. please show me documentation that we followed this practice during the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.

psrch on October 3, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Targeting a US citizen for assassination has opened a Pandora’s box, and I greatly fear the consequences.

ss396 on October 3, 2011 at 2:40 PM

He was NOT a US Citizen, by virtue of both his renunciation of citizenship, and by joining an organization we are engaged – legally, by act of Congress – in military actions against.

psrch on October 3, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Targeting a US citizen for assassination has opened a Pandora’s box, and I greatly fear the consequences.

ss396 on October 3, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Is that you, Adam Gadahn?

profitsbeard on October 4, 2011 at 12:01 AM

psrch on October 3, 2011 at 6:27 PM

He did not renounce his citizenship – he has a dual citizenship, as do millions of other people. I worked in Yemen for a number of years, and was told by the US Consul there that there were over 5,000 dual USA-Yemeni dual nationals resident in Yemen at that time.

Being a US citizen by birthright, the only way to lose it is to formally renounce it, which Alawi never did. Presence in foreign territory and engaged in armed hostilities against the US does not equate to renunciation of citizenship. He was abusive and contemptuous of it, but he was yet a US citizen.

Joining an organization engaged in armed hostilities against the US is treasonous, and treason is punishable by death, but even treason does not rise to a Presidential summary execution.

ss396 on October 4, 2011 at 12:30 AM

.

DannoJyd on October 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM