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. Guess

    Cheney, the devil is so proud. you served him well

    June 17, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. just sayin

    Dave in Arizona
    The NSA should be abolished.
    -----–

    wrong! the nsa needs to go back to doing what it was supposed to do, spy on our enemies and not us!

    June 17, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. NamePATRICK

    Cheney that Liar! should be in jail for fake Iraq war that wasted soo many American lives. no Wmd's he just wanted their oil. put Rove and Bush in jail as well! Bunch of incompetent idiots!

    June 17, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Cheney that Liar! should be in jail for fake Iraq war that wasted soo many American lives. no Wmd's he just wanted their oil. put Rove and Bush in jail as well! Bunch of incompetent idiots!

    June 17, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Guess

    Anyone who would stick a mic in front of cheney is a traitor, he lost his right to speak on behalf of the people when he sent your kids to die, snowden will get his, china will use him up and feed him to the wolves, what about cheney, much worse, yet not only is he still alive, he is allowed to speak to the public, well those stupid enough to watch fox anyway

    June 17, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Dave in Arizona wrote:

    .....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.
    ---------------------–
    Snowden is a hero to the neo-Libertarians. The rest of the hero worshippers are the misinformed, who ride along simply because their favorite politician has expressed faux outrage over the NSA program.

    June 17, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. usn-ret

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

    Really ? He was probably flunking American History because he thought Benedict Arnold was a Hero ! :(

    June 17, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. BillC

    The publishers of the leak ie equally guilty! Why not go after them as well?

    June 17, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    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.
    --------------
    You've got it backwards. First, he fled to Hong Kong, then he began telling secrets. Yes, he has assistance from somewhere, most likely from someone on the ground in Hong Kong, which is now under Chinese control.

    June 17, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    Steveo
    " You realize Richard Armitage, not Cheney outed Plame, right? "

    When anyone under Obama is involved in a right-wing, made-up scandal, the blame automatically goes to Obama, until absolutely, without a doubt proven otherwise. And then the righties ignore the proof and blame Obama anyway.

    Cheney's direct underling gets convicted, Cheney tries to get him pardoned, but Cheney gets NO BLAME.

    Kinda a double standard.

    June 17, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. rob

    From CNN:
    "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."

    Absolutely true and 99% of the same programs assailed by the left have been continued under President Obama including drastically increasing Drone strikes and targeted killings.

    All the hysterical rantings at the Bush admin and Cheney from the Democrats and even now condoned by the media (the intention of the article) was complete and utter politics nothing more.

    June 17, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Guess

    Cheney is a joke, a very bad joke

    June 17, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    Dave in Arizona
    The NSA should be abolished.
    -––

    wrong! the nsa needs to go back to doing what it was supposed to do, spy on our enemies and not us!
    ****************************
    Where was your outrage over this BEFORE Snowden? Neatly compartmentalized away, I presume.

    June 17, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Takes one to know one, deadeye dick!

    June 17, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Steveo

    @Bill from GA

    Steveo
    " You realize Richard Armitage, not Cheney outed Plame, right? "

    When anyone under Obama is involved in a right-wing, made-up scandal, the blame automatically goes to Obama, until absolutely, without a doubt proven otherwise. And then the righties ignore the proof and blame Obama anyway.

    Cheney's direct underling gets convicted, Cheney tries to get him pardoned, but Cheney gets NO BLAME.

    Kinda a double standard.
    ---------
    Feel free to blame Cheney if you want. I am saying the outing was from Armitage and not Cheney as was posted.
    Right wing made up scandal? So your saying:
    Benghazi was made up by the GOP and all the families had ALL the info they need?
    The AP story was made up by the GOP or did not happen?
    The IRS story was made up by the GOP or did not happen?

    June 17, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    Cheney should be calling the justices of the Supreme Court traitors........they have opened the door to a foreign power, having a major impact on U.S. elections.

    June 17, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Guess

    Public life, as in he will do major time for this eventually,

    June 17, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    wrong! the nsa needs to go back to doing what it was supposed to do, spy on our enemies and not us!
    ----------------
    And what should the NSA do when it realizes that we have been infiltrated and have enemies in our midst. Ignore what is happening domestically? That sort of policy is what in part led to 9/11.

    No doubt they used this database during that Boston bombing investigation and subsequent suspect chase. Finding a judge, filing papers, getting a response, getting it to the phone company, getting the CORRECT response from the phone company the first time, just takes too long. And, what if your first look at the data reveals more stuff you need to look at RIGHT NOW, but you have to through the whole warrant process to make another request for more data.

    June 17, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Jill-IN

    I rarely agree with Cheney but he is right about Snowden. Why should this immature, undereducated, full of himself, 29 year old singly be the one who decides what security and secrets are of national security importance. To hear all the rantings of the past few days, one would think the US never had top secret security surveillance until the past 10 years. How utterly naïve. Put it another way, how safe and strong do you think the US would be if it did not have National Security programs in place.

    June 17, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. jboh

    He went to China for free speech? Does he know what the Chinese will do to him to get the info he claims to have about PRISM? As to Cheney, a total waste of a perfectly good heart.

    June 17, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Walrus Mustache

    Dick Cheney has absolutely no credibility as a citizen or a human being. This man is responsible for thousands of deaths in the name of corporate profit. Cheney and Bush are the biggest war criminals I can think of.

    June 17, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Name William Ridgeway

    So our government feels threatened by someone telling the truth? What a joke the US government has become! Go Snowden Go!

    June 17, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Walrus Mustache

    Snowden is a hero. The tea party is a terrorist organization. Cheney is the lowest form of life on earth. Lets keep our facts straight here.

    June 17, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Steveo

    @Walrus Mustache
    Snowden is a hero. The tea party is a terrorist organization. Cheney is the lowest form of life on earthLets keep our facts straight here.
    -----------
    Why ask someone to do something your'e not willing to do?

    June 17, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Watch the Guns Over People tea potty produce Stand with Snowden signs now.

    June 17, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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