Dick Cheney’s fight with Bush

Was Cheney’s anti-Obama terrorism speech really aimed at Obama’s predecessor?

President Obama’s terrorism speech Thursday “was on the future,” said John Dickerson in Slate, on how to build a sustainable post-9/11 national security policy. Dick Cheney’s speech focused on the past, on how he and President Bush kept us safe from another attack. But Cheney was also, perhaps, refighting “the battles he lost in the last two years of the Bush administration.”

If anyone is attacking Bush, it's Obama, said Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard. No other president has “gone to such lengths to attack his White House predecessor.” It must be “embarrassing” for Obama that his “most prominent critic” was Bush’s No. 2. Especially since when Cheney says it was “unwise in the extreme” for Obama to abandon waterboarding, the Bush record backs him up.

Obama didn’t end waterboarding, Bush’s CIA did, over Cheney’s strong objections, said David Brooks in The New York Times. That’s why Cheney is really “attacking the Bush administration”—after his three post-9/11 “golden years,” he started losing national security fights to Condoleezza Rice. Obama’s merely polishing up the “Bush-Rice” policies.

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