News & Politics

Dick Cheney a Big Fan of Obama's Drone Program

The comments from former Vice President Cheney came in an interview with CBS News’ Charlie Rose.

Cheney on Meet the Press

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is back in the news again. While he bashed President Obama’s picks for his cabinet, he also praised Obama’s campaign of drone warfare.

The comments came in an interview with CBS News’ Charlie Rose. “I think it’s a good program and I don’t disagree with the basic policy that the Obama administration is pursuing now in those regards,” said Cheney, in reference to the drone program, according to The Hill. “When we hire the president of the United States he gets to live in a big house, makes all that money, he’s getting paid to make difficult, difficult decisions.”

The comments are a striking indication of just how much the Obama administration has followed the Bush administration’s tact on the global “war on terror.” While Obama has disavowed torture, he has doubled down on many of Bush-era policies, including on drones, secrecy, prisoners overseas and more.

Cheney also added that he supported the administration’s right to kill the American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. “He was clearly part of al Qaeda,” said Cheney. The killing of al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, has come under fire from many because he was never tried in court and was simply placed on an assassination list with no oversight. President Obama’s Justice Department has crafted legal reasoning to justify the assassination of Americans, but civil liberties experts have strongly criticized the “white paper” on killing U.S. citizens.

Cheney’s comments come as more attention is being paid to the Obama administration’s institutionalization of the Bush administration’s permanent war footing. Yesterday, the New York Times ran a story on how Obama “finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country’s core values in the name of security.”

“In broad terms, the conversation generated by the confirmation hearing of John O. Brennan, his nominee for C.I.A. director, underscored the degree to which Mr. Obama has embraced some of Mr. Bush’s approach to counterterrorism, right down to a secret legal memo authorizing presidential action unfettered by outside forces,” the Times noted.

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.