Former Vice President Dick Cheney praised President Obama’s authorization of a drone strike in Yemen last week –the strike that killed al-Qaida propagandist and leader Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen.
“Well, I think it was a very good strike. I think it was justified,” Cheney said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” defending the president from critics who raised questions about the extrajudicial killing of a U.S. citizen. “I think it is a very effective use of our drone technology.”
Cheney did say, however, that the president ought to apologize for comments he made in a 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt, some of which Cheney thought defamed the Bush administration.
“The thing I am waiting for is for the administration to go back and correct something they said two years ago when they criticized us for — quote — ‘overreacting to the events of 9/11,’” Cheney said. “They in effect said we had walked away from our ideals, or [were] taking policy contrary to our ideals when we had enhanced interrogation techniques. They have clearly moved in the direction of taking robust action when they feel it is justified. In this case, it was. But I think they need to go back and reconsider what the president said in Cairo.”
Cheney got specific, slamming Obama for suggesting the Bush administration engaged in “torture.”
“He said in his Cairo [speech] for example that he had — quote — ‘banned torture,’” Cheney said. “We were never torturing anyone in the first place. He said that we walked away from our basic fundamental ideals. That simply wasn’t the case … I think the president ought to have that authority [to] order that kind of strike, even when it involves an American citizen or when there’s clear evidence that he’s part of al-Qaida and planning, cooperating and supporting attacks against the United States.”