No one can make the U.S. look quite so vulnerable to imminent terrorist evisceration—and President Barack Obama so culpable for whatever-is-about-to-happen—as former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cheney's latest, out today, comes in an interview with Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard in which he declares the current state of U.S. security vis a vis Islamic terrorism as "more threatening than the period before 9/11" and concludes that "9/11 will turn out to be not nearly as bad as the next mass casualty attack against the United States."
That's more provocative, though not all that different, from when he said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in June that he's worried for a dozen years now that "there will be another 9/11 attack and that the next time it will be with weapons much deadlier than airline tickets and box cutters.”
While headlines about the Islamic State terrorist group given Cheney new material to work with, he's preached the need for American troops in the Middle East and predicted an eventual, epic U.S. attack for more than a decade. Here are some of his most memorable warnings.
2001: 'There will be more attacks'
During a speech to Republican Governors Association: “The enemy has shown the capacity to inflict great damage on the United States, and the only safe way for us to proceed is to assume there will be more attacks. In this conflict, for the first time in our history, we will probably suffer more casualties here at home than will our troops overseas."
2002: Hussein 'is actively pursuing nuclear weapons'
Interview with CNN about Sadam Hussein: “This is a man of great evil, as the president said. And he is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time, and we think that's cause for concern for us and for everybody in the region.”
2004: 'We'll get hit again'
Election-year town hall in Des Moines: “It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today on November 2nd we make the right choice, 'cause if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that'll be devastating from the standpoint of the United States.”
2007: Deploying the double negative
Interview with CNN: “If you had asked, shortly after 9/11, what the odds were that we could go better than five years without another attack on the homeland, I don't think anybody would have been willing to take that bet.”
Remarks at a reception for Sen. Jeff Sessions: "The fact that we have succeeded in stopping another attack on the homeland does not mean our country will not be hit in the future."
2009: 'A high probability' of a nuclear or biological attack
Interview with Politico: “I think in some respects, the biggest threat hasn’t changed. The biggest threat has been, since before 9/11, has been that you get a 9/11 type event where the terrorist are armed with something much more dangerous than an airline ticket and box cutter. They’re equipped with a nuclear weapon or biological agent of some kind. That’s the ultimate threat. It hasn’t happened yet, obviously, but if I were to categorize worries or concerns that you have when you deal in this area, the potential of an al-Qaeda organization or al-Qaeda group to get their hands on that kind of weapon and deploy it in the middle of one of our own cities. That’s the one that would involve the deaths of perhaps hundreds of thousands of people. And it’s the one you have to spend a helluva lot of a time guarding against. … I think there’s a high probably of such an attempt. Whether or not they can pull it off depends on whether or not we keep in place policies that have allowed us to defeat all further attempts, since 9/11, to launch mass-casualty attacks against the United States.”
2011: "The next 9/11"
Interview with MSNBC: “We believed then, and I believe today that one of the biggest threats we face was a terrorist organization equipped with weapons of mass destruction, that the next 9/11 might be a group of terrorists not with airline tickets and box cutters, but with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind.”
2014: 'I think there will be another attack'
Interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt: "I think there will be another attack. And next time, I think it’s likely to be far deadlier than the last one. You can just imagine what would happen if somebody could smuggle a nuclear device, put it in a shipping container, and drive it down the Beltway outside of Washington, D.C."
Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: “Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America.”
Speech to American Enterprise Institute on the eve of Sept. 11th anniversary:The U.S. must “get back on offense in the war on terror” after Obama has sent “regular messages of retreat, withdrawal and indifference ... Al-Qaeda is not diminished, nor is the tide of war receding. Wishing doesn’t make it so.’’