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Edward Snowden

US former vice president Cheney calls Snowden a 'traitor'

Former second-in-command defends US surveillance programmes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 June, 2013, 11:09am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 June, 2013, 6:04pm

Former vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday defended recently revealed US spy programmes, saying they were needed to prevent attacks and calling the man who leaked details about them a “traitor.”

Cheney had played a key role in former president George W. Bush’s administration when it developed and approved the National Security Agency surveillance tactics in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“The reason we got into it was because we’ve been attacked - and (a) worse attack than Pearl Harbor,” he told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

The worry, he added, was that future attackers would turn to “deadlier weapons than ever before” - including nuclear and biological arms.

“When you consider somebody smuggling a nuclear device into the United States, it becomes very important to gather intelligence on your enemies and stop that attack before it ever gets launched,” he said.

Asked about critics of the programmes, Cheney countered: “The allegation is out there that somehow we’ve got all this personal information on Aunt Fanny or Chris Wallace or whoever it might be and reported through it,” he said.

“Not true, that’s not the way it works.”

Cheney said he understood people’s concern about the secrecy of the programs, but added that disclosing sources and methods means “you’re revealing it to your targets, to your adversaries, to the enemy.”

In that vein, the former second in command called Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former government contractor who exposed the widespread spying and has gone underground in Hong Kong, a “traitor.”

“I think he has committed crimes in effect by violating agreements given the position he had,” he said.

“I think it’s 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 United States.”

Cheney also had some choice words for President Barack Obama.

“I don’t pay a lot of attention, frankly, to what Barack Obama says ...I’m obviously not a fan of the incumbent president,” he said.

“I don’t think he has credibility.”


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This article is now closed to comments

Well ****, let's put it that way: we are not a fan of you either and we all hoped you would have learned to shut your mouth by now!
This is the same **** Cheney who was widely believed in the US to have 'leaked' the identity of an US undercover intelligence officer (Valerie Plame) through his chief of staff, Scooter Libby as a political reprisal for her husband disclosing information that contradicted the Cheney-Bush Iraq war justification. Libby was subsequently indicted in 2005 and found guilty in 2007 of felonies related to the incident (perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice.) He was subsequently pardoned by U.S. President Bush commuted his 30-month prison sentence but other punishments remained. The action of Libby (and Cheney if Libby acted on his commands) directly endangered the life of Plame and those associated with her.
****, just die already
Carioca no Coracao
glad to hear from Mr. Vader, aka "anakin skywalker", aka "**** cheney". "you don't know the power of the dark side" (Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
hard times !
Does this old guy named Cheney's words carry any credibiltiy ? probably not at all ! He accused leaker-hero,Mr.Snowden as a traitor who betrayed the trust placed on him by revealing classified information concerning so-called national security interests of America but he avoided saying that the cyberspying acts had violated the privacy of the public of the world (including we Hongkongers) and harm the internet security of many computer users all around the world,of course all the Americans as well.Maybe this old guy is decent enough not to be fear of his private life being monitored or spied on ---he just doesn't care his phone calls and e-mailed being bugged or wire-tapped.How great he looks indeed !


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