WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama's national security advisor James Jones rejected ex-vice president Dick Cheney's claim that dismantling Bush-era anti-terror policies had made Americans less safe.
"In my view, I firmly believe that the United States is not only safe but it will be more secure and the American people are increasingly safer because of the president's leadership that he has displayed consistently over the last four months, both at home and abroad," Jones said.
"He has said clearly and unequivocally that we are at war with terroism and terrorism can take many facets," Jones said at the meeting of the Atlantic Council in Washington in the first major speech since taking his new job.
Jones said Obama had enhanced security with his decision to close the Guantanamo Bay war-on-terror camp, with his new strategy of fighting extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan and in his plan to end the war in Iraq.
Jones also cited Obama's outreach to the Muslim world, including next week's major address in Egypt, renewal of US alliances abroad and his plan to tackle threats as diverse as Iran's nuclear program, climate change and his forthcoming cybersecurity initiative.
The national security advisor did not mention Cheney by name, but his remarks were a clear rejection of the rhetoric of the former vice president, who has mounted a stinging attack on Obama's national security policies.
MSNBC's David Shuster talked with Democratic strategist Peter Mirijanian and Republican strategist K.T. McFarland about Cheney's ongoing comments.
AFP has more details here.
(with wire reports)
This video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast May 28, 2009.