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Cheney Calls Obama "Radical," Says 9/11 Trials a "Huge Mistake"

(AP)
Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday continued to press against President Obama's plans to fight terrorism both domestically and abroad.

Appearing on Fox News, Cheney said the administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other men allegedly behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in a civilian federal court was a "huge mistake."

The trial would allow Mohammed an opportunity to "generate a whole new generation of terrorists,'' he said, and make him "a hero in certain circles, especially in the radical regions of Islam around the world."

As for the president's decision to escalate the level of troops in Afghanistan and to potentially begin withdrawal in 2011, Cheney said the plan was "better than withdrawal now" but still vindicates Al Qaeda strategy that "if you kill enough Americans, you can change American policy." Senior Obama administration officials have repeatedly insisted the 2011 goal is not a deadline for the war and that the U.S. wants to start transferring responsibilities to Afghan forces at that time.

The former vice president also repeated his previous assertion that he thinks Mr. Obama is a "more radical'' Democrat than he first appeared to be. Cheney gave similar criticisms of the president during an interview with Politico as well as in earlier interviews.