Snowden gets 'highest honor' from Cheney
June 17th, 2013
02:11 PM ET
9 years 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. Bill from GA


    I'm Saying:

    Benghazi – Until we are told why Ambassador was in Benghazi, a hotbed of terrorist militias, we can't judge why he didn't have protection. A squad, or whatever, of Marines does not help when engaged in clandestine activities. He was NOT setting up a consulate; his last meeting was with Turkish officials; and lately (read the NEWS) the Libyan Military has been massacred in Benghazi.

    June 17, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Ol' Yeller

    A War Criminal supporting a treasonous traitor and it gets an article in the 'liberal' media?!?! Must be a slooow news day... CNN usually lets these stories get picked up by the foreign run press... FOX

    June 17, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Bill from GA


    I'm Saying:
    The AP story: It is the job of our government to investigate leaks of Government information not yet disseminated to the public. The Republicans were pushing for that, until the Obama administration actually did it.

    The IRS story: It is the job of the IRS to determine the legality of groups claiming special tax status, and the IRS often takes shortcuts. An example is that for a number of years, if your home-based business claimed the home-office deduction, you were more likely to be more closely examined. When so many right wing groups sprung up after Obama took office, the IRS chose to look into their political involvement. If they were over-reaching, well duh!!; the IRS has long been suspected of being over-reaching. It only became a problem when they looked into right-wing groups.

    June 17, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Bill from GA

    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
    Very well said Bill from GA.

    June 17, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    There both traitors ,cheney who makes his money off of dead heros and the other loser who gives our secrets to China , both gop morons and the garbage of America !!!!!!

    June 17, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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