Vice President Joe Biden appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday to respond to some of his predecessor’s recent criticism of President Barack Obama. At least four times, Biden stressed that Dick Cheney was trying to “rewrite history”. “He either is misinformed or he is misinforming.”
Contesting President Obama’s alleged “softness” on terror, Biden claimed that the Christmas Day Bomber “was treated the exact way that [Dick Cheney] suggested that the Shoe Bomber was treated. Absolutely the same way.”
Granting a terrorist the “privilege” of the American criminal justice system is a much more effective way to get him behind bars, said Biden. “Under the Bush Administration there were three trials in military courts. Two of those people are now walking the streets.” Yet of the three hundred or so terrorists convicted in civilian courts — “Prosecuted under the last administration” — none has seen the light of day.
“What about the general proposition that the president according to former Vice President Cheney doesn’t consider America to be at war” with terrorists? Biden reminded host David Gregory that the president stated very explicitly in his State of the Union address that, “We’re at war with Al Qaeda” and that the administration is “pursuing that war with a vigor like it’s never been seen before.” Al Qaeda, according to Biden, is “on the run.”
“Dick Cheney’s a fine fellow,” said Biden. “He’s entitled to his own opinion. He’s not entitled to rewrite history. He’s not entitled to his own facts.” According to the vice president, “There has never been as much emphasis and resources brought against Al Qaeda” and “the success rate exceeds anything that occurred in the last administration.” While he didn’t mean to impugn their effort, “It’s simply not true that the president of the United States is not prosecuting the war against Al Qaeda with a vigor that’s never been seen before. It’s real. It’s deep. It’s successful.”