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Cheney talks up Keystone pipeline in Toronto

  |   Oct. 31, 2013 at 11:40 PM
TORONTO, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Protesters gathered outside as former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney spoke in Toronto Thursday, calling him a war criminal.

Cheney addressed the Toronto Global Forum hosted by the International Economic Forum of the Americas. He spoke on energy policy and national security, saying President Obama's failure to move quickly on the Keystone XL pipeline is "totally foolish policy," the Toronto Star reported.

Before Cheney's arrival, Lawyers Against the War, a group based in Canada, asked the Toronto police chief to arrest him as a war criminal, Canada.com reported. Protesters outside made the same point.

"It is a shame he is here," James Campbell told the Star. "Canada is aiding and abetting all of Dick Cheney's crimes by letting him speak here."

Cheney was clearly aware of his reputation.

"I'm going to put back on my Darth Vader mask that I used to be accused of wearing when I was vice president because of my concern about terrorism and the possible use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists. I used to believe that was a major threat. I still believe it is a major threat today and, if anything, it is worse today than it was on 9/11," he told the business leaders at the forum.

Cheney also said al-Qaida appears to be on an upswing under Obama.

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