Cheney’s Campaign Against President Obama’s National Security Policies

By Caitlin Taylor

May 13, 2009 8:56am

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.

Cheney has taken the lead in assailing President Obama’s national security measures and defending his own administration’s policies on the treatment of detainees, among other issues.

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 (ACLU), as ordered by a judge. 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 views 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 ÔÇťagainst insults and public curiosity" and it would also violate U.S. obligations towards detainees and could even prompt outrage against the U.S.

Cheney wants President 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 considered by the United Nations to be torture to the president’s more stringent rules on these techniques and his decision to close the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay.

– jpt

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