Snowden gets 'highest honor' from Cheney
June 17th, 2013
02:11 PM ET
1 year ago

Snowden gets 'highest honor' from Cheney

(CNN) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday called Edward Snowden a "traitor."

One day later, Snowden–the man who leaked information about the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs–said he felt honored.

"This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead," Snowden purportedly wrote in a public, online chat Monday hosted by the Guardian newspaper.

"Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American," he added.

In the discussion, he answered questions on why he revealed the National Secret Agency's classified programs.

Since revealing his identity a little more than a week ago, Snowden has become a controversial figure–celebrated by some, reviled by others.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning indicates that 52% of the public disapproves of Edward Snowden's actions, with 44% saying they approve of the leaks by the former government contractor who worked for the National Security Agency.

Republican Rep. Peter King said last week he was a "defector" who's endangering U.S. national security.

Cheney described Snowden as a "traitor" on "Fox News Sunday" saying his actions were "one of the worst occasions in my memory of somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national security interests of the U.S."

Asked if Cheney thought Snowden was spying for China, he said he was "deeply suspicious."

"It's not a place you would ordinarily want to go if you're interested in freedom, liberty and so forth, so it raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did that," he said.

Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong, said in the web chat that he chose the spot because it allowed him the "cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained."

Reacting to accusations of spying, Snowden said it was "smear" he had "anticipated."

"Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now," he wrote.

Snowden went on to say that the "more panicked talk we hear from people like (Cheney), (Sen. Dianne) Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are."

"If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school," he said.

Cheney maintained Sunday that the top secret surveillance operations set in place during the George W. Bush administration were good programs and help prevent terrorist attacks.


Filed under: Dick Cheney • NSA
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Wake up People!

    This guy should be tried and gassed for treason.

    June 17, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. pinostabaum

    proud to be in the 44%

    June 17, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    No one gives a crap what the WAR CRIMINAL Cheney has to say. Cheney should also be branded as a TRAITOR for outing a CIA operative. Now this is definitely the pot calling the kettle black.

    June 17, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. it must be said

    Well, Snowden has accomplished something no other politician has been about to accomplish. He has brought many on the left and right together to agree he is a traitor. And they said it couldn't be done!

    June 17, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Wilson

    There are proper protocalls to follow if there is wrong doing. He broke the law, and the oath he took. He has committed treason.

    June 17, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Bill from GA

    Snowden is honored to be called a traitor by Cheney.

    Since many of us consider Cheney a traitor for exposing a CIA agent, that puts Snowden in the same group as Cheney.

    Two peas in a pod?

    And BOTH should be prosecuted.

    June 17, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    Cheney the sob should be tried for treason first.

    June 17, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "It's not a place you would ordinarily want to go if you're interested in freedom, liberty and so forth, so it raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did that," he said.
    -----------------------
    Cheney is talking about Snowden running to China. I agree. He cut and ran like a coward. A true patriot would have stayed here and continued to fight on the front line, instead of running away with secrets and hiding behind enemy lines.

    June 17, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    I guess the heartless traitor forgot about Pollard. He's right up there too but I'm sure Cheney is OK with him

    June 17, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Steveo

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    No one gives a crap what the WAR CRIMINAL Cheney has to say. Cheney should also be branded as a TRAITOR for outing a CIA operative. Now this is definitely the pot calling the kettle black.
    ---------------------
    You realize Richard Armitage, not Cheney outed Plame, right?

    June 17, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. anonymous

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    No one gives a crap what the WAR CRIMINAL Cheney has to say.
    ---

    Obama has kiiled many using drones. Many consider him a war criminal as well.

    June 17, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    Valerie Plane & 8 Vietnam War Draft Deferments. I wouldn't worry too much about what Cheney called me.

    June 17, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. jinx9to88

    Cheney, Cheney, Cheney can you even say this with a straight face.

    June 17, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Norma jean

    If anyone would give this man a pat on the back....it would be Cheney who, himself, is a dishonorable,sneaky person who has no business anywhere near the running of a country. Cheneys background which is now out in the open should have put him behind bars...this is not someone who should even be acknowledged in print ever again. As for Snowden.....He has made his bed and it may turn out to be the end of his public life forever. He CANNOT be trusted any time any where!!!
    !!

    June 17, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Drednot

    –Cheney is talking about Snowden running to China. I agree. He cut and ran like a coward. A true patriot would have stayed here and continued to fight on the front line, instead of running away with secrets and hiding behind enemy lines.--
    -------------------------------------------------–
    You mean held incommunicado in solitary confinement for years like Bradley Manning? Heh, who would sign up for that?

    June 17, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. thatgrlinaz

    This guy should shut the hell up. He know MAYBE 1/4 of the reality of trying to keep a country safe. Stay in China. You're stupid enough to believe there are real human rights there then ypou deserve what you'll no doubt get. Don't come crying to the US Embassy when you figure out the truth about the so called rights and freedoms you think exist in Hong Kong and China. You are a traitor but mostly you are a coward! It's NOT all about you either.

    June 17, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. lolo428

    This man is a traitor and was paid off by someone. It is really strange that he put out the secrets and was able to get out of the country. Some one assisted him. This is what we need to focus on also. Whoever hired him needs to be investigatd as well. Something does not smell right with this entire scenario period.

    June 17, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Dave in Arizona

    The NSA should be abolished.
    And Snowden should be tried for treason.

    People are mistaken if they think there's a good guy here. There's an overzealous security agency and a person who did the necessary evil of exposing what it does. That's WHY people like Snowden become heroes to the common person: they do something wrong for a greater good. But it's still wrong.

    June 17, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It isn't clear what he did to reform the system or let those in power know that this is not clearly a good and reasonable program. Why didn't he go to member of either the House or Senate Intelligence committees behind closed doors with immunity deal in place. Wasn't there more he could have done from the inside?

    June 17, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. emskadittle

    you know cheney would have injected the poison himself if he had released the information when he was in office

    June 17, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Snowden is a traitor just like Bradley M.

    June 17, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    You realize Richard Armitage, not Cheney outed Plame, right?
    -----------------------------------
    Under orders from the war criminal himself.

    June 17, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Drednot wrote:

    You mean held incommunicado in solitary confinement for years like Bradley Manning? Heh, who would sign up for that?
    -------------------–
    It's been done many times, both here and abroad, by heroes. One of the most well known is named Nelson Mandela.

    June 17, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Hey Stevo. Plame's information was secret. Regardless of Armatage or whoever else MIGHT have outed her, Cheney CERTAINLY outed her for political retribution. Bringing up Armatage is moot from from a legal standpoint. Your hero Cheney remains a TRAITOR.

    And it IS interesting that one whose behavior puts him CLEARLY under the traitor label would deign to think he is then qualified to speak on someone else's questionable behavior.

    The utter gall and lack of higher level thought processes makes one wonder if Cheney could still be biologically labeled a 'human'.

    June 17, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The twisted logic of the Guns Over People tea potty. Snooki Palin and ADolph Cheney are their heroes.

    June 17, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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