Cheney Strikes Again: Cheney Says Obama Risking National Security by Nominating “Second-Rate” Cabinet Members

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who will likely be treated unkindly by history despite his 100 percent self confidence that he has always been and will be right (in more ways than one), is now providing a classic example of a pot calling a pot a pot:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Saturday night that President Barack Obama has jeopardized U.S. national security by nominating substandard candidates for key cabinet posts and by degrading the U.S. military.

“The performance now of Barack Obama as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal,” Cheney said in comments to about 300 members of the Wyoming Republican Party.

Cheney, a Wyoming native, said it was vital to the nation’s national security that “good folks” hold the positions of secretary of state, CIA director and secretary of defense.

“Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people,” he said.

What he actually means is that he’s alarmed that Obama seems to be putting in place people now who help Obama forge a larger break from the neocon foreign policy he and George W. Bush pursued — a neocon policy that will likely get thumbs down from historians, except those who are talking heads on Fox News.

Plus: a)Kerry ran against GWB and there is no love lost there (remember how they painted Kerry as far left and he was Swift Boated with the blessings of the Bush campaign,) and b)Hagel is considered a traitor by many GOPers for breaking with the Bush administration over the Iraq War and it is now payback time on several fronts.

…Cheney said Hagel, a former Nebraska U.S. senator, was chosen because Obama “wants to have a Republican that he can use to take the heat for what he plans to do to the Department of Defense.”

He said Obama’s plans are to allow severe cuts in U.S. defense spending, which would limit the capability of the U.S. military to respond to future foreign crises well after Obama has left office.

“He is today … establishing what limitations will be on future presidents,” Cheney said.

Mr. Cheney: if there had been some limitations on a certain past President, perhaps the United States would not have gotten into the Iraq War under what are now historically demonstrably false pretenses. Much of the media in recent years has finally gotten it right about Cheney. Expect more as academic historians detail the era.

UPDATE: Lest we forget, as Cheney blasts Obama’s weakness on national security, here’s a nice summary via National Confidential:

Under President Obama, several top Al Qaeda leaders have been killed or captured, most notably Osama Bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs. The 9-11 terror attacks occurred under George W. Bush, not long after he was given a national security memo that warned Bin Laden was determined to strike.

President Bush launched the invasion and occupation of Iraq, often at the prodding of Vice President Cheney. There were never any weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq, and many national security experts criticized the war as distracting from the ongoing fight against Al Qaeda.

Both Bush and Cheney backed then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, despite repeated incompetence, sanctioned torture at Abu Ghraib, and insufficient armor and equipment for U.S. soldiers in combat.

For Bush’s entire presidency, Osama Bin Laden was a free man.

So it might be more than a tad wise if Mr. Obama uses his OWN judgment on national security and “good” people, rather than Mr. Cheney’s.

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14 Comments

  1. Mr.GANDELMAN,

    It’s my understanding that he would like to take them all hunting.

  2. After all Mr Gandelman,

    He is a legend in his own mine.

  3. Frankly, I thought AG Gonzalez was second rate. And Mr. Bremer as US Administrator of Iraq was certainly second rate. I can’t call Mr. Yoo second rate, simply duplicitous in his opinions.

    The only thing that is going to “establish what limitations will be on future presidents” will be to repeal the War Powers Act which, of course, Mr. Cheney thinks should be repealed because it limits the power of the presidency.

    With regard to the powers available to the president on national security, Cheney, a former congressman, continues to disagree with Congress writing into statute limits on presidential power, and even deemed the 1973 War Powers Act “a violation of the Constitution.”

    “The War Powers Act is still in force out there today, that requires him to grant certain notifications to the Congress and give them the authority to supercede those by vote if they want to when it comes to committing troops,” Cheney said. “No president has ever signed off on the proposition that the War Powers Act is constitutional. I would argue that it is, in fact, a violation of the Constitution; that it’s an infringement on the president’s authority as the commander in chief. It’s never been resolved, but I think it’s a very good example of a way in which Congress has tried to limit the president’s authority and, frankly, can’t.”

  4. Dick Cheney, huh? Name sounded familiar, so I looked him up on Wikipedia.

    Turns out, this Cheney guy was once Secretary of Defense under some long-forgotten President named “George Bush.” Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about his tenure in office:

    Over his four years as Secretary of Defense, Cheney downsized the military and his budgets showed negative real growth, despite pressures to acquire weapon systems advocated by Congress. The Department of Defense’s total obligational authority in current dollars declined from $291 billion to $270 billion. Total military personnel strength decreased by 19 percent, from about 2.2 million in 1989 to about 1.8 million in 1993. (emphasis added)

  5. Frankly, I thought AG Gonzalez was second rate. And Mr. Bremer as US Administrator of Iraq was certainly second rate. I can’t call Mr. Yoo second rate, simply duplicitous in his opinions.

    The only thing that is going to “establish what limitations will be on future presidents” will be to repeal the AUMF (which I have been erroneously calling the War Powers Act – another critter entirely).

    Of course Mr. Cheney has always chafed under the War Powers Act:

    With regard to the powers available to the president on national security, Cheney, a former congressman, continues to disagree with Congress writing into statute limits on presidential power, and even deemed the 1973 War Powers Act “a violation of the Constitution.”

    “The War Powers Act is still in force out there today, that requires him to grant certain notifications to the Congress and give them the authority to supercede those by vote if they want to when it comes to committing troops,” Cheney said. “No president has ever signed off on the proposition that the War Powers Act is constitutional. I would argue that it is, in fact, a violation of the Constitution; that it’s an infringement on the president’s authority as the commander in chief. It’s never been resolved, but I think it’s a very good example of a way in which Congress has tried to limit the president’s authority and, frankly, can’t.”

  6. Actually the article is wrong on one point, Cheney is a native of Nebraska not Wyoming. So it’s really one Nebraska Republican complaining about another. So much for state or party loyalty.

  7. Kerry, first rate, Rice second rate compared to Kerry. Hagel, second rate, strictly political.
    Cjjack, interesting stuff on Cheney’s parsimonious budgeting during his DOD tenure, perhaps Obama should nominate him as he is also a Rep.

  8. Yes, a “first-rate” cabinet (read: Bush/Cheney et al.) is one that enacts policies that result in the national economy collapsing, an invasion of a foreign nation under false pretenses, our standing in the world to plummet, federal disaster relief to needy communities to become a national disaster, the Department of the Interior to become a late-night punchline, and the socio-economic divide between the wealthiest and most impoverished families to reach an all-time high.

  9. Cheney was not a second rate VP. He was third rate, tops. Seriously.

  10. So good DOD (read cheap), but lousy VP. Fair enough.

  11. Cheney was an excellent Secty. of Defense. Bush I wanted to cut the grossly bloated Defense Department from the Reagan/Weinberger years and Cheney did it. If he had stayed at the Defense Department instead of becoming VP, maybe 9/11 wouldn’t have happened. And maybe the energy corporations wouldn’t have been asked to write the country’s energy policy guidelines during the Bush II years.

  12. I guess that means we should never let Hagel become V.P. :-)

  13. Now wait a minute…if i recall correctly isn’t this the guy that GW sent out to find people capable to fill the Vice-President position. He came back with himself being the only qualified candidate…

    Looks like the believes he could find better ones to fill the cabinet…Maybe he has dreams of being Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State?

  14. The real question: does Dick Cheney get an opinion on anything at this point in the game? He’s totally allowed to go away and shut up now. My disinterest in anything Cheney is profound.

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