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GOP Attacks On Obama's Terrorism Policy (SLIDESHOW)

First Posted: 10/03/2011 7:29 pm Updated: 12/03/2011 4:12 am

A couple days after President Obama announced that he had ordered the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who had become a leading propagandist for Al Qaeda in Yemen, he received congratulations from an unlikely place.

"I think it was a very good strike. I think it was justified," former Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

"I'm waiting for the administration to go back and correct something they said two years ago when they criticized us for 'overreacting' to the events of 9/11," Cheney added.

Cheney's right about one thing: two and a half years after he took office, and with the extrajudicial killings of two wanted terrorists -- al-Awlaki in September, Osama bin Laden in May -- it's increasingly evident that Obama's counterterrorism policies share far more with those of Bush and Cheney than they differ from them.

But it's hard to say who should find this militarized form of counterterrorism more frustrating: the progressives who elected Obama hoping for a new approach to national security, or the Republicans who have lost a convenient punching bag.

Indeed, just two years ago, Cheney was accusing a newly sworn-in Obama of "dismantling" Bush-era counterterrorism policies, and of being "more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist" than protecting Americans. Whoops.

Below, a slideshow of some of the greatest hits from GOP officials back when a reasonable person could still believe Obama was "soft" on terrorism -- beginning, of course, with Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney
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Dick Cheney spent much of the first months of Obama's term bashing the new president over his presumed approach on terrorism. Here are two of his early critical -- and critically overstated -- attacks:

When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry.

-- February 2009, Politico

We've seen a lot of decisions made, especially in this administration with respect to the War on Terror, which is no longer a War on Terror, it's an overseas contingency operation.

This whole question of detainees is extraordinarily important. The terrorist surveillance program is important. We were challenged in very fundamental ways after 9/11. The nation was threatened, we lost 3,000 people that day.

The biggest task we had as an administration was to make certain that that never happened again, and do everything we could to prevent those kinds of attacks. We put in place certain policies to do that.

The Obama administration campaigned against those policies. And they're now in the process of dismantling some of them.


--May 2009, Fox News

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