Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday criticized Congress for voting to limit U.S. phone surveillance last week, saying the NSA program "might have been able to prevent 9/11."
Appearing Sunday on "The Cats Roundtable"
on AM 970 in New York, Cheney said now is not the time to be "weakening the tools intelligence people have to effectively combat terrorists."
Cheney told host John Catsimatidis that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is running for president, was wrong to lead the fight against NSA program.
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"It’s an important program. It’s a good program," Cheney said, saying it will now be harder to intercept calls made by terrorists. "I think a lot of what’s been going on there is frankly all politics."
The possibility of further mass casualties attacks like 9/11 "is very real," Cheney said.
"I’m fearful that we’ve gotten far enough away now after 14 years, far enough away from 9/11, that too many people out there have forgotten what happened and what it’s like when it does happen," Cheney said. "This is the danger that next time they’ll have something deadlier than airline tickets and box cutters when they launch an attack."
A spokesman for Paul, contacted by BuzzFeed
, said, "Sen. Rand Paul agrees with former Vice President Cheney that we must always remain vigilant to the real threat of radical Islamic jihadism, but Sen. Paul, like most Americans, does not believe we should continue the NSA’s illegal and expensive bulk collection program which has not led to a single terror conviction or foiled any plots."
Cheney also said that President Barack Obama has handcuffed the military in its fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
Cheney said he has been told that as many as 75 percent of American aircraft are returning to base without dropping any ordnance on ISIS targets because they are having trouble getting the intelligence to be able to find the targets.
"So it's not a very effective military operation at this point," he said, blaming in large part the limits he said Obama has placed on the U.S. military.
"I think he doesn’t want to be there," Cheney said. "But it’s half a loaf. It’s pinpricks … I think Obama, well, I’ve tried for a long time, John, to understand what makes him tick. And, frankly, I don’t know."
Cheney called the situation in Iraq "a circus. And it’s not getting any better."
He also said former President Bill Clinton and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should be investigated for their role in foreign donations to their family foundation, among their other issues, says former Vice President Dick Cheney.
"I'm surprised that there isn’t more opposition to her inside the Democratic Party," Cheney said "I think the stuff the Clintons
have been getting away with in terms of the foundation and money and multi-hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollar speeches, and all the rest of that – I think there are serious problems there that need to be investigated. If I were a Democratic voter, I’d be looking for other talent."
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