Former Vice President Dick Cheney may have largely stayed under the radar during his time in the Bush administration, but he is not going softly into that good night, seemingly launching a one-man campaign to fight for his legacy and -- in his view -- the safety of the nation.
He took his case to the airwaves again Tuesday, and lashed out at the Obama team's decision to soon hand over 44 photos showing abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan to the American Civil Liberties Union as a judge had ordered. Cheney said releasing the photos would only make the country less safe.
"What I think is important is that there be some balance to what is being released. The fact of the matter is the administration appears to be committed to putting out information that sort of favors their point of view in terms of being opposed to, for example, enhanced interrogation techniques," Cheney said in a Fox News interview.
The photographs are part of a 2003 Freedom of Information Act court case by the ACLU for all information relating to the treatment of detainees. Courts had ruled in favor of releasing the photographs into public view even though Bush administration officials argued that releasing the photographs would violate the Geneva Conventions, which protect prisoners of war and detained civilians "against insults and public curiosity" and it would also violate U.S. obligations toward detainees and could even prompt outrage against the United States.
Cheney wants Obama to fight all the way to Supreme Court.
In recent weeks, the former vice president -- on what might be called a "President Obama is making us less safe" campaign -- has protested everything from Obama's release of the memos outlining harsh interrogation techniques that the United Nations considers to be torture to the president's more stringent rules on these techniques and his decision to close the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay.
According to Cheney, such interrogation techniques -- supported by him and former President Bush, and discontinued by Obama -- in many cases help yield valuable information, and he doesn't consider the techniques to be torture.
The former vice president is so sure that he has taken the unusual step of seeking to de-classify memos that he said would validate his arguments.
While Cheney has not stated directly whether he believes the United States is in for another terrorist attack, he did imply Obama's policies were weakening the country's defense.
"I think that we are stripping ourselves of some of the capabilities that we used in order to block, if you will, or disrupt activities by al Qaeda that would have led to additional attacks. I think that's an important debate to have," Cheney said on Fox.
"I don't think we should just roll over when the new administration says -- accuses of us committing torture, which we did not, or somehow violating the law, which we did not. I think you need to stand up and respond to that, and that's what I've done," he said.