Former vice president Dick Cheney has again gone after the Democratic administration that succeeded that of the Republican president he served, George W. Bush.
Obama, Cheney told Politico in a statement, is "trying to pretend we are not at war" with terrorists.
Cheney took particular issue with the way the Obama team has responded to the failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up a passenger jet as it approached Detroit. His statement reads, in part:
"As I've watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won't be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won't be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won't be at war."
Update at 8 a.m., Dec. 31. A White House response:
At the official White House blog, spokesman Dan Pfeiffer says that Cheney and other such critics are playing "the same old Washington blame game." He writes that:
President Obama doesn't need to beat his chest to prove it, and -- unlike the last Administration -- we are not at war with a tactic ("terrorism"), we at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered.