Washington, Feb.5 (ANI): Former US Vice President Dick Cheney has warned that there is a "high probability" that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration's policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.
In an interview Tuesday with Politico, Cheney asserted that President Obama will either backtrack on his stated intentions to end Bush administration policies or put the country at risk in ways more severe than most Americans.
"When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry," Cheney said.
Protecting the country's security is "a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business," he said.
"These are evil people. And we're not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek."
Citing intelligence reports, Cheney said at least 61 of the inmates who were released from Guantanamo during the Bush administration - "that's about 11 or 12 percent" - have "gone back into the business of being terrorists."
The 200 or so inmates still there, he claimed, are "the hard core" whose "recidivism rate would be much higher."
But he said he worried that "instead of sitting down and carefully evaluating the policies," Obama officials are unwisely following "campaign rhetoric" and preparing to release terrorism suspects or afford them legal protections granted to more conventional defendants in crime cases.
The choice, he alleged, reflects a naive mindset among the new team in Washington.
"The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected. Sometimes, that requires us to take actions that generate controversy. I'm not at all sure that that's what the Obama administration believes," Cheney said.
In the interview, Cheney revealed no doubts about his own course - and many about the new administration's.
"If it hadn't been for what we did - with respect to the terrorist surveillance program, or enhanced interrogation techniques for high-value detainees, the Patriot Act, and so forth - then we would have been attacked again," he said.
"Those policies we put in place, in my opinion, were absolutely crucial to getting us through the last seven-plus years without a major-casualty attack on the U.S." (ANI)