WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Dick Cheney blasted Vice President Biden’s assertion that another 9/11-style attack is unlikely. In an exclusive interview on ABC's “This Week,” he called Biden’s view “dead wrong.”
“I think, in fact, the situation with respect to Al Qaeda, to say, you know, that was big attack we had on 9/11 but it’s not likely again – I just think that’s just dead wrong,” Cheney said.
“I think the biggest strategic threat the United States faces today is the possibility of another 9/11 with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind. And I think Al Qaeda is out there – even as we meet – trying to do that,” Cheney said to ABC’s Jonathan Karl.
Biden told CNN's Larry King on Wednesday that “The idea of there being a massive attack in the United States like 9/11 is unlikely, in my view.”
“But if you see what's happening, particularly with al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula, they have decided to move in the direction of much more small bore but devastatingly frightening attacks,” Biden added.
Cheney also said he disagreed with the Bush administration's release of prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention center and with the decision to subject terrorists to criminal courts, the Associated Press reported.
Cheney said he opposed the Bush administration decision to charge shoe bomber Richard Reid in criminal court rather than declare him an enemy combatant and hold him in military custody.
Obama administration officials have responded to Republican-led criticism of their handling of terrorism suspects in part by pointing to similar actions by the administration of Republican President George W. Bush, according to the AP.
Cheney added that there was a major disagreement in the Bush administration about how to bring suspected terrorists to justice.
There was a "major shoot-out" in the Bush White House between the Justice Department and "the rest of us" about whether suspects should be charged in federal courts or sent to military tribunals, Cheney said.
He says that dispute was "never thoroughly resolved."
Cheney said he believe that professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will eventually face trial in a military court.
President Barack Obama is reconsidering what to do with Mohammed after New York City officials and some in Congress have come out strongly against trying him in federal court in Manhattan.
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