Gen. David Petraeus was on CNN Sunday a little while ago, and was asked about Cheney's recent claim that Obama has made America less safe:
[Interviewer] ... Are the American people less safe because of this new administration, as Vice President Cheney said?
[Petraeus] Well, I wouldn't necessarily agree with that, John. HuffPo; my transcript of the video
Petraues made it clear he was talking about torture by then talking about American values, and how we have to honor them, and how those values do not include torture. Torture is "a line that can't be crossed," Petraeus continued.
One could well ask why a currently serving flag officer is making public statements about American military policy, but Petraeus did walk a fine line here. He didn't openly criticize his previous civilian bosses (though it should be noted that Cheney was not, Constitutionally speaking, in the chain of command - not that Cheney ever paid any attention to that).
Cheney, of course, has argued that the techniques Obama has now forbidden as contrary to our values were necessary to our safety:
Vice President Dick Cheney denied the United States uses torture but said interrogation practices used on terror suspects have been "remarkably successful."
In an interview with ABC News, Cheney said waterboarding was appropriate in the interrogation of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, accused of masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. UPI 15 Dec 2008
Waterboarding is torture, of course, as the new Attorney General has acknowledged. (What Holder plans to do about past torture is another story, but I digress.)
Cheney has been getting no respect from Congressional Republicans for his sniping at Obama:
Congressional Republicans are telling Dick Cheney to go back to his undisclosed location and leave them alone to rebuild the Republican Party without his input.
Displeased with the former vice-president's recent media appearances, Republican lawmakers say he's hurting GOP efforts to reinvent itself after back-to-back electoral drubbings.
The veep, who showed a penchant for secrecy during eight years in the White House,has popped up in media interviews to defend the Bush-Cheney record while suggesting that the country is not as safe under President Obama. The Hill 23 Mar 09
Now General Petraeus has, in his own way, told Cheney to stuff it.
Both Petraeus and Cheney are heroes to the wingnut crowd. Should be fun to watch their heads spin now that one of them has punked the other.