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Cheney urges vigilance: "We're still at war"

May 02, 2011|By James Oliphant
(Laura Walsh/AP )

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Americans have "got to stay on our guard. We're still at war."

Interviewed on Fox News Channel, Cheney, who, as part of the George W. Bush administration, launched the effort to capture Osama bin Laden in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack, saidthe nation remains at risk in the wake of the Al Qaeda mastermind's death.

“It’s very important that we not let down our vigilance. Everybody I’m sure feels very good about having succeeded in the hunt for bin Laden, but we must not forget that Al Qaeda is still out there, still a big organization who will want to use Bin Laden’s death as an excuse to launch more attacks," Cheney said. "So we’ve got to stay on our guard. We’re still at war.”

Cheney said he first heard the news Sunday evening when it was announced by President Obama, and called it a "good day for the United States of America."

"I think we all are delighted to see after all this time and effort, 10 years, that it’s produced a result that Bin Laden is dead,” he said.

He also used the occasion to deliver a slight rebuke of critics who claimed that "enchanced interrogation techniques" used by the Bush administration was unnecessary. U.S. officials have cited some of the intelligence gained in those interrogations as helping to track down Bin Laden in Pakistan.

“I just don’t know enough at this point to be able to speak authoritatively and I would assume that the enhanced interrogation program we put in place produced some of the results that led to Bin Laden’s ultimate capture," Cheney said.

"We need to keep in place those policies that made it possible for us to succeed in this case," he said.

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