The former U.S. vice-president is accusing President Barack Obama of making the country less safe.

Dick Cheney said in a Cable News Network interview Sunday he thinks it's a bad idea to ban waterboarding, close the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba and stop labelling detainees as enemy combatants.

Cheney said those controversial moves by the administration of George W. Bush helped stop a long list of attacks against the United States.

Many people have called the programs unconstitutional, but when Cheney was asked if he thought Obama has made Americans less safe by cancelling them, he replied, "I do."

"I think those programs were absolutely essential to the success we enjoyed of being able to collect the intelligence that let us defeat all further attempts to launch attacks against the United States since 9/11," he said.

"I think that's a great success story. It was done legally. It was done in accordance with our constitutional practices and principles," he said. "President Obama campaigned against it all across the country. And now he is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack."

Cheney said specific attacks were stopped, but added he could not talk about them because the intelligence gathered through the anti-terror programs remains classified.