President Obama and Dick Cheney's War of Words Stirs National Debate

Cheney -- as he has argued vehemently in recent months -- said the Bush administration's strategy was successful.

"You can look at the facts and conclude that the comprehensive strategy has worked, and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as ever," he argued.

"Critics of our policies are given to lecturing on the theme of being consistent with American values, but no moral value held dear by the American people obliges public servants to sacrifice innocent lives to spare a captured terrorist from unpleasant things. And when an entire population is targeted by a terror network, nothing is more consistent with American values than to stop them," Cheney said, offering a starkly opposing view to that of the president.

Obama gave a professorial explanation on why his administration needed to reverse the Bush Administration policies that "established an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable."

Obama Lays Out Reasons for Ending Enhanced Interrogations

In a speech that ran nearly 50 minutes, Obama laid out his case for ending so-called enhanced interrogation methods, closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and moving detainees currently held there. He stressed that he inherited these complex legal and ethical questions from the previous administration.

"We are cleaning up something that is -- quite simply -- a mess; a misguided experiment that has left in its wake a flood of legal challenges that my administration is forced to deal with on a constant basis, and that consumes the time of government officials whose time should be spent on better protecting our country," he said.

Cheney took a shot at the president's decision to shut down the detainee center.

"I think the president will find upon reflection that to bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the United States would be cause for great danger and regret in the years to come," he argued.

The Congress this week rejected $80 million from the war funding bill to help pay to shutter the detainee center. Some Democrats argue that the president needs to show them a more comprehensive plan on how his administration plans to shut down the facility, and what they will do about the more than 200 prisoners housed there.

Obama argued yesterday that Guantanamo Bay's existence has in fact created more terrorists rather than help American national security.

He added that the toughest issue facing his administration, and the one that is causing him headaches from Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, concerns the detainees at Guantanamo who cannot be prosecuted but also cannot be released because of the threat they pose.

The president did not lay out a specific plan for these terror suspects but said there must be "clear, defensible and lawful standards for those who fall in this category."

"We must have fair procedures so that we don't make mistakes. We must have a thorough process of periodic review, so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified," he said.

Opposing Philosophies

Some Republicans are capitalizing on Democratic lawmakers' hesitance to go along with the White House's plan to shutter Guantanamo Bay's detainee center.

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