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  • Jul 22, 2014
  • Updated: 10:25pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 2:12am

Cheney is a true threat to freedom

Former US vice-president Dick Cheney has called Edward Snowden a traitor and a Chinese spy on Fox News channel. I don't know if he is right or not. But you could argue that both men have exposed the darkest side of the American government and the dangers it poses to its own citizens and the rest of the world.

If Snowden is a traitor, an excellent case can be made that Cheney is a war criminal who should be tried in The Hague.

With the exception of George W. Bush, no other official was more responsible in the last US administration for sanctioning, through the use of dubious and undisclosed legal opinions, kidnapping, coerced confessions, extrajudicial detention, torture and other systematic violations of civil liberties and human rights. All these were done in the name of US national security and the war on terror, in violation of long-standing laws, traditions and principles that have defined the US since its founding.

If you think Guantanamo is a black dot on America's human rights record, Cheney was the man who thought it was too open and accountable. He preferred the numerous black sites kept under the radar in countries friendly to the US that were used to keep high-value terror suspects, a legal black hole in which they had no rights or protection.

For five years after September 11, 2001, Bush and Cheney concocted a doctrine for unchecked presidential powers during wartime - bear in mind that the war on terror was open-ended - that would circumvent domestic laws and international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions for the protection of prisoners of war. Only a Supreme Court ruling in 2006 restored some checks and balances. US investigative reporter Jane Mayer writes in her book The Dark Side that in response to the court ruling, Cheney successfully lobbied Congress to introduce a new law that provided for retroactive immunity as he was well-aware that he and other administration officials could face charges of war crimes.

For a man like Cheney, pervasive surveillance of US citizens and foreigners - exposed by Snowden - was a given. Here is a man who was truly a threat to the cause of freedom everywhere and one who refuses to shut up even in retirement.

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the sun also rises
fully agree with Alex Lo that this old fool named Cheney just had nothing logical to utter but nonsense at this critical moment ---their former CIA operative,Mr.Snowden is hiding in the territory ---to accuse him of being a Chinese spy but without any concrete convincing evidence at all. I wonder why this retired former hawkish vice-president of Bush administration could not have his mouth sealed instead of saying something illogical enough to irritate Snowden to hold a webchat through The Guardian to express himself and answer questions from supporters all over the world which further embarrass the Obama administration and disgrace the NSA once again and the image of America of course !
blue
Cheney isn't an old fool. He's a dangerous psychopath.
whymak
No, a sociopath. Pschopath doesn't have the political skills to evade draft 4 times, elected into the House, appointed defense secretary and elected vice president.
dadada
beautiful!

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