WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he hopes CIA chief Leon Panetta was misquoted in comments that Cheney appears to be wishing for another attack on the United States, reports said.
The Central Intelligence Agency also scrambled to clarify that Panetta "does not believe the former vice president wants an attack," after The New Yorker magazine's report released on Sunday.
"I think he smells some blood in the water on the national security issue," Panetta told magazine for its June 22 edition.
"It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that's dangerous politics."
Cheney, in a brief retort U.S. media carried on Monday, said: "I hope my old friend Leon was misquoted.
"The important thing is whether or not the Obama administration will continue the policies that have kept us safe for the last eight years," Cheney said.
Paul Gimigliano of the CIA Office of Public Affairs told AFP that Panetta "does not believe the former vice president wants an attack. He did not say that.
"He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama's security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone's motives."
Last Month, Cheney blasted the new president's ban on rough interrogations as "recklessness cloaked as righteousness" and called his reversal of Bush-era anti-terror efforts "unwise in the extreme."
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