In just the past two months, Cheney has called President Obama "radical" and deemed the decision to hold the trials for alleged Sept. 11 conspirators in New York a "huge mistake"; said the president is showing "weakness" to adversaries of the United States; and said Mr. Obama's bow to Japan's Emperor Akihito was "fundamentally harmful" to the country.
Cheney, who earlier in the year held a speech hammering Mr. Obama on national security immediately following a major address on the issue by the president, also repeatedly contended that the administration was engaged in "dithering" during its prolonged consideration of the best way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Now the former vice president is attacking Mr. Obama in the wake of the Christmas day bombing attempt, suggesting his response reflects an attempt to pretend America is not engaged in a war.
"As I've watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war," Cheney said in a statement to Politico. "He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won't be at war. 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. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won't be at war."
Here's the rest of Cheney's statement:
"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. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, 'war on terror,' we won't be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren't, it makes us less safe. Why doesn't he want to admit we're at war? 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. President Obama's first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war."More coverage from CBSNews.com:
Yemen, North Africa: Terrorism's New Home
U.S. Intel Lapses Helped Abdulmutallab
Obama: "Systemic Failure" Allowed Attack
DeMint: Obama "Has Downplayed Terrorism"
Napolitano: We Will Fix The System
Roommate: Abdulmutallab Shunned Women
Abdulmutallab's Missing Months in Yemen
Bomber's Yemen Link Mires Gitmo Closure
Somalia: Plane Attack Attempted in Nov.
Abdulmutallab Had Passport, Dutch Say
TSA Still Vexed by Explosives Screening
Behind the Abdulmutallab Security Breach
Tracing Bomb Suspect's Journey to Detroit