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Friday, September 30, 2016

Former vice president Dick Cheney called the kettle black on Fox News Sunday, ripping into NSA leaker Edward Snowden for betraying the United States.

“I think he’s a traitor,” Cheney said of Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked classified information on government surveillance programs and is now said to be hiding out in Hong Kong. “I think he has committed crimes in effect by violating agreements given the position he had.”

If anyone should know about that, it’s Cheney, a man who could be arrested for war crimes practically anywhere in the world except here and the UK. “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,” he continued, seemingly unaware of both the hyperbole and the irony.

Cheney is “suspicious because he went to China. That’s not a place where you would ordinarily want to go if you are interested in freedom, liberty and so forth.” he said. And then, suggesting that Snowden may indeed have been spying for the Chinese all this time, Darth Cheney hinted darkly, “It raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this.”

Video is below, courtesy of Crooks and Liars:

  • Pingback: WATCH: Cheney Says Snowden Not Only A Traitor, But Maybe Even Spying For China | PROGRESSIVE VOICES()

  • He also claimed Hillary Clinton was an alien from another planet and vehemently demanded that the US put considerable funds into finding a cure for altzheimers…and pancakes too.

  • FredAppell

    What is the point of this article. As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with Cheney, (man that left a bad taste in my mouth) but he’s right. This article shouldn’t be about Cheney, we already know what he’s guilty of but Snowden is guilty of treason by every definition. It doesn’t matter how each of us feels about the NSA CIA or any other agencies, that’s whole other topic for another time. I wonder how long this has been going on for, it seems to me as if he might have done some planning ahead. I wonder how he was able to arrange his escape so quickly. There are too many questions and he isn’t talking.
    In my view, I can’t trust anything Snowden say’s.

    • sleepvark

      To quote a Dickensian character from Bleak House, sometimes the law is a ass. The quickest route to tyranny is to create and vigorously enforce stupid laws, like the 55mph speed limit, the drug laws, and the (idiot) patriot act.
      Come on guys, look at the constitution and see what the definition of treason is. It has long been held that treason is a crime that can only be committed during time of war. And this pusillanimous war on terror does not qualify in any way, no matter how scared and fearful some of you super patriots might be. If our laws and our government are getting a bit out of line, it is a citizen’s duty to expose the problems to the light of day.
      I don’t know who said it first, but government really should fear the people, and not the other way around.
      All this secrecy is silly. It does not make us look good, nor does it make me proud to be an American.

      • FredAppell

        I don’t disagree with you your points, before I continue I would first like to clarify that I am not a super patriot. I don’t even like the term and I am one of those people who roles their eyes at so called patriots. As I stated in my post, though Cheney is a major hypocrite, I refuse to exonerate Snowden. I stated that no matter how each of us feels about information gathering on civilians and other countries including our own allies, his actions could have very dangerous consequences for all of us. I am certainly not afraid of terrorist but how do we know that Snowden isn’t
        using the information for personal gain. By the way, I have no problem with secrets as long as it doesn’t affect us as citizens. On the other hand, I can agree that all this secrecy doesn’t make us look good, in fact, it may be an impediment to world peace if that is what you are eluding to.

        • Sand_Cat

          You seem like a reasonable guy. Have you read Sissela Bok’s two books, LYING and SECRETS? Her position – as I recall it – is that the keeping of secrets should be presumed to be wrong – especially in a country where the citizenry are expected to consider their leaders’ performance and vote accordingly – and that the burden of proof that it is necessary should be steep and completely on the side of those who want the secrets. I don’t recall a time in my entire life when other than the opposite was the prevailing attitude, and I believe there have been a very substantial number of cases when “security” was simply used as a cover for misconduct and incompetence. I suspect we have seen only a fraction of the cases where this is so, and in most of those cases the perpetrators and their apologists shouted “foul” and “traitor” and worse about the person or persons who are the only reason we heard of any such cases. Who went to prison for outing Valery Plame? The only person who even went on trial was obviously a scapegoat covering for Cheney and his accomplices in the press.
          The government leaks classified material all the time when it serves their [usually political] needs or desires. I think the rest of us need someone on our side, and for the risks and the condemnation as well as the legal penalties, I hope those who expose hidden evils in our government are well-compensated in some fashion.

          • RobertCHastings

            You have done well, grasshopper. A single candle is all that is needed to light the dark.

          • FredAppell

            I try to be reasonable when I can but I can’t shake the feeling that this guy didn’t blow the whistle for some personal gain. I need to hear more about the case before I change my mind about Snowden. For instance, did he expose the secrets for profit or did he do it with a sense of moral conviction, we don’t know, he does, but can you be certain that he agrees with you politically or is he simply a tool to bring down the current administration? These are all questions I need answered, we all do. Before I go any further i’ll answer your first question, no but I wrote the name down of the author so I could research her material so thank you for that. I’m a bit humbled most times because I don’t have any higher education. I got my high school

            diploma, hit the ground running and never looked back. I was in my mid 30’s when I realized that I cared about anything beyond my little narrow minded view of the world. As a consequence, there is still so much for me to learn. Right now, I am of the opinion that our government will never be pure and moral enough to refrain from the things they do. Someday I may change that opinion, i’m sure of it. Honesty and humility doesn’t come naturally for most people, we generally get the government that most reflects who we are, a microcosm of us, sad but true. Perhaps we don’t deserve the government we are advocating for, not yet anyway, we all have some growing to do first.

            I agree with what you said about us needing someone on our side, but that person would have to be of impeccable character for the obvious reasons. Is it Snowden? Maybe, i’m not ready to embrace him yet but I am open minded.

          • Sand_Cat

            Seems to me you have wisdom and fair-mindedness beyond most of us with higher education. Hats off. Hope you’re wrong about the personal gain, but one has to take what can be gleaned from these actions, regardless of Snowden’s motivation.

          • FredAppell

            You’re right, the message is more important than the messenger. I forget that sometimes. Thanks for the compliment.

        • RobertCHastings

          Sounds like you may be seeing the light, my friend. IF is a very big word in the English language, and the last several presidents have established its usage in capital letters. IF Snowden, indeed, did what he was accused of doing (and we have no way of discerning that until he is brought to trial and the evidence is shown, unless, of course, you believe everything Nancy Grace has to say), and IF his actions will actually case measurable harm to this country, then he should receive the punishment of a traitor. However, bear in mind, that “IF” is a very big world.

          • FredAppell

            You guys are really making me think on this one. I have been going back and forth ever since this afternoon. I guess my feelings are more mixed than I anticipated. You mentioned wikileaks in your other reply to me, I didn’t condone what Asange
            did but maybe I didn’t fully understand what actually transpired. Read my reply to Sand_Cat, it explains some things about me that is pertinent to this discussion. I’m just trying to sort it all out.

          • RobertCHastings

            Introspection is a worthy objective in and of itself.

          • FredAppell

            Thank you but it also makes me appear that I don’t have conviction. Of course, appearing as a fool is worse, so I would rather be wrong, acknowledge it and change than to continue to be wrong in the face of evidence to the contrary.

          • RobertCHastings

            Other people have said it far more eloquently than I can. Over the past few years many intelligent and noble people have examined their public positions in politics and decided that their party’s positions were untenable based upon the reasons for which they had originally joined their party. A case in point is Joe Lieberman, who dropped his Democratic party affiliation to become an Independent, and Sen.(?) Jeffords from CT(?)who switched rom Republican to Democrat. Both of these men changed their minds based upon how they viewed their relationship with their party and the values it represented. Olympia Snowe from Maine is leaving the Senate and the Democratic former governor of North Carolina, Beverly Perdue, both are leaving politics because it is entirely too partisan and contentious, a condition not reflective of the reasons for which they entered public life in the first place. Even Ted Kennedy SUPPORTED Bush’s No Child Left Behind educational bill because he thought it was a good start, only to later publicly withdraw his support because of failures within the bill.
            In some cases (ie. Mitt Romney) an individual changes his views to suit the political climate and to garner votes. In other cases, a principled individual will refuse to change his mind because he knows that his course is the correct one, regardless of the political repercussions, such as Obama’s continued support for the closing of Gitmo, or Socrates’ refusal to change his stance even though it meant his death.
            A principled adherence to basic, supportable values is never seen as weakness, nor is a well-thought out change of course when principles dictate change.

    • David L. Allison

      Release on the extent of the spying, the secrecy and the access of low level contract employees to all of the “secrecy” demonstrates, if nothing else, that the only people likely being kept in the dark were American citizens, not foreign spys and governments. Does anyone really think that the information that the two highest profile leakers have released in the last couple of years was really not already known by Russia, China and their allies? This witch hunt against the leakers is just one more scam to make Americans think that we are being somehow protected by the multibillion dollar military/industrial/intelligence/lobbying complex. Cheney’s attacks fit nicely into these attacks defending the corporations and politicians making enormous sums from war spending while attacking little guys who are trying to tell the truth.

      • FredAppell

        O.k., you have given me something to think about. You are a perfect example of why I post here. I am flexible enough to admit that I don’t always see all the possible angles of events. I have allowed myself
        to become comfortable with the notion that government is not out to harm us. It never dawned on me that the secrets that were exposed were possibly already known by other countries. As much as it pains me to say this, I wasn’t actually bothered by the idea of our government collecting information and keeping secrets. I justified it in my mind believing it to be a necessary evil. Call it denial if you would like. I got so sick of all the attacks on Obama that I refused to listen to anything that may make him look worse than he already does.
        Incidentally, I hear that we are now going to send military aid to the Syrian rebels. Apparently, it hasn’t officially been announced exactly what that entails yet but the speculation is that it will include weapons.
        Your comment about the military industrial complex reminded me of that.
        When I first heard about it this morning, the only thought that came to mind is how this decision is going to help the weapons manufacturer’s.

    • RobertCHastings

      Before we convict him, in absentia, what did he do that was not done by wikileaks? He released some sensitive materials that have embarrassed our government, material that I am sure we will never know about precisely because of its sensitive nature. And the government will, therefore, try him before a military tribunal, where the bar of proof is set very low compared to civilian courts, and where the defendant, like those at Guantanamo (where he will probably wind up) are not even allowed to go on hunger strikes. IF Snowden did what he is accused of doing and his sins were as egregious as our government wants us to believe, then he should be brought to the continental US and tried in our vaunted justice system, to show the world that we stand by our convictions.

  • Budjob

    Traitor?I submit that most of congress are traitors.They have abandoned the working man and woman.They have permitted the destruction of our industrial base and sent our jobs to a communist country.They have waged repressive and regressive war on women.They have eroded our civil liberties and desecrated our constitution.They continue to permit corporations such as Wal-Mart to assault decent standards of living VIA substandard wages and benefits.And,Dick Cheney and many like him are the people most responsible for the deterioration of our once great country.Traitors??!! You bet they are.

    • David L. Allison

      Please add the TransPacificPartnership agreement allowing corporations and foreign governments to override US laws and regulations on labor, internet access, environment and other health and safety matters and remove the right of Americans to defend their rights in the U.S. court system and instead force citizens and states to defend themselves against transnational corporations in “mediation” boards approved of by the corporations themselves. Also add the U.S. State Department working directly with foreign governments to force the purchase of Monsanto/Bayer GMO grains, herbicides and pesticides even as farmers in the U.S. and around the world are demanding freedom from the corporate control of their food.

    • RobertCHastings

      Have you read “The Democracy Project” by David Graeber? I think you would find it just up your alley. He was one of the organizers of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and a journalist to boot. He can validate pretty much everything you have said.

    • Fern Woodfork

      Cheney Ass Should Be In Prison Who Give A Damn What He Have To Say And G. W. Bush Should Be His Cell Mate!!!!

  • FT66

    It doesn’t matter whom this guy was spying for, whichever country he did it for or none. What matters is, he has broken the law, betrayed his country, pretended to be the trusted worker while he wasn’t. He should be apprehended, brought back home and face the music.

  • Dominick Vila

    I disagree with Cheney on almost every issue he supports, but I agree with him on this one. We must remain vigilant, the Department of Homeland Security has improved our intelligence gathering capabilities and helped reduce the incidence of terrorist attacks at home and abroad since it was created, and contrary to what the “haters” and idealists want us to believe, the actions being taken by the National Security Agency are not only legal (think Patriot Act), but necessary. The Booz Allen and Hamilton “accountant” that disclosed sensitive information to a foreign newspaper for maximum exposure, ostensibly, to discredit the United States, should be prosecuted and, if found guilty, should spend the rest of his life in jail for treason.

    • David L. Allison

      The United States is not “at war” so Snowden cannot be charged with and convicted of treason. The proscecutors are scrambling to find a legitimate charge that constitutes more than a misdemeanor for what he did. The fact that an action is a violation of a law that is, as applied, likely unconstitutional, not likely to be criminal. It is time to repeal the Patriot act, end our secret army in the NSA/CIA/Corporate combine and to end our secret wars around the world. They were wrong when Reagan did it and it is wrong today.

      • Dominick Vila

        After being discharged from the U.S. Army as a result of a training accident, Snowden worked briefly for the CIA on IT Security. He was hired by Booz Allen and Hamilton about 3 months before releasing classified information to the media.
        Snowden had a high security clearance and had access to information critical to the security of the United States. Making that information public, without proper authorization, is a crime and in my opinion, an act of treason. He didn’t do it because he was concerned about our constitutional rights, he did it to damage our credibility as a champion of freedom and democracy.
        No country, especially a world leader hated by radicals worldwide, can afford to allow government employees – and contractors – release sensitive information to the public. The charade that is going on at home about the NSA listening to our conversations and keeping tabs on grandma is absurd. The goal is to minimize the probability of terrorist attacks at home and against our interests abroad. Idealism is fine, but not when it compromises our security.

        • Sand_Cat

          Maybe you should think a bit more about why the United States is a “world leader” in being hated by so-called “radicals.”

          • Dominick Vila

            I lived overseas for 30 years, and I am fully aware of why we are hated. It ranges from an obtuse foreign policy, to corporate abuses, arrogance, a sense of entitlement that convince us of a subliminal right to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, cultural intolerance, and the conviction that the world is against us among other reasons.
            That being said, this is my country, this is where my family lives, and I support anything that will keep us safe.
            Those who killed 3,000 human beings that did nothing to them are radicals and criminals. If they did not like the fact that we built bases near Mecca and Medina, did not approve of our unconditional support to Israel, our cozy relationship with the House of Saud, our attempts to influence cultural changes that are offensive to them, or any other reason, they had other ways to voice their displeasure besides committing murder. So, yes, I believe they are radicals.

          • RobertCHastings

            Dominick, those who killed 3,000 (mostly) Americans at the World Trade Center were no heroes, but they DID use the only political tool available to them to bring the world’s attention to the issues you so eloquently state in your first paragraph. While terror on such a grand scale as 9/11 was overkill and enraged the entire world, including the Middle East, it did send a message.

          • Sand_Cat

            Thank you.

        • RobertCHastings

          What happened to the guy who released the “Pentagon Papers”?
          The purpose of this is to find scapegoats at a low level who can be blamed for leaking sensitive materials, that have probably already been leaked by some legislator. If the government cannot control what they so disingenuously refer to as “leaks”, they should get out of the business. What if “leaks” were not actually leaks, after all?

        • omgamike

          I normally agree with your comments Dominick, but here I do not. I believe it was Winston Churchill who said that when you give up freedom for security, you end up with neither. Our rights, guaranteed under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, are slowly but steadily, being eroded in the name of enhancing our security. Fire him, take away his clearance, charge him with a misdemeanor. All of that I could agree to. But not treason. Our country has done things far worse than what Snowden has done. We still are. Our house is entirely made of glass and, as a result, we should not be throwing stones at anyone for educating the American people on what is happening to their rights. The real crime is in the apathy our population seems to exhibit at slowly losing their individual rights and freedomes.

          • Sand_Cat

            I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. But Churchill had a way with words, too. I agree with your post.

        • Robert P. Robertson

          Not to mention that Snowden had signed and pledged to an oath to not reveal any information that he would handle under his employ as a IT contractor. That is criminal under the provisions of National Security and that is what he will be charged with.

      • RobertCHastings

        Just like the “wikileaks”. In both cases nothing more was released than some embarrassing truths about the US and our dealings with friends and allies. We should realize the fact that pretty much everyone is doing it, and those who are benefiting from it are escaping censure or penalty. We should be happy that someone INSIDE the government exposed us for the duplicitous pricks we really are.

    • RobertCHastings

      I think it is a bit of a stretch for Cheney to call ANYONE a traitor. I don’t want to bring up the old kettle calling the pot black simile, but – I’m just saying. Having Cheney call him a traitor is tantamount to his being declared a national hero. I mean, the right could have found someone else to accuse him.

  • Robert P. Robertson

    Cheney is like a serial-murderer or an arsonist who always goes back to the scene of his crime to gloat or re-live his horror. Snowden is an amateur compared to Cheney. Snowden sold out from a false sense of patriotism. Cheney sold out for trillions.

    • Sand_Cat

      Don’t think Snowden’s “sense of patriotism” was false.

      • Robert P. Robertson

        You’re right, Sand_Cat, Snowden’s a traitor too. A traitor is a traitor, no matter how big or small. A baby snake would poison you just as quickly as a full grown one. My bad. Thanks.

        • Sand_Cat

          Isn’t quite the conclusion I made; think your comparison with Cheney was spot-on, though.

        • GrannyKits

          I read and see both sides of feelings regarding Snowden yet haven’t seen anything concrete as to what he has revealed. He himself said he could have accessed certain information, but did he show that he really DID do that? Is everyone just worried that he actually might have information to reveal? What worries me the most is that all these “contractors” have access to everyone’s information.

          • Robert P. Robertson

            GrannyKits, Snowden worked for the CIA and NSA as a contractor. When he stole that privileged documentation and made it public, he violated his oath of National Security. Treason is not only turning against one’s own country, its aiding and abetting the enemy of one’s country. All the enemies of America has to do is to turn on the evening news, open up a newspaper, or watch Farts News for sensitive, classified information. Snowden violated the trust of his country. None of us has an idea of how sensitive that documentation is or what it entailed. Unless we are a nation of 500mil secret agents, what do we as productive, tax paying citizens have to worry about? I would worry if I were a terrorist, domestic terrorist, criminal, or spy, but a regular American citizen isn’t, are we? This is a distraction from what we really need to be focused on: Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bag obstructionism of the American economy; the attacks at SS, social aide programs, education, and health care. There is nothing that im[portant in your life, mine, or anyone else’s that needs to be surveyed by the NSA. The paranoia, fear, and hatred instilled in many people by Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags has many of us feeling we need to turn against the very agency that we pay from our own tax dollars to protect us from our true enemies.

          • GrannyKits

            I do agree with Most of what you say, my only concern was that I had not seen it stated anywhere, with any semblance of authority , what documents Snowden is supposed to have made public. All I have seen and heard is that he supposedly has done this. I am glad that this subject (The surveillance of everyone) has come up and is being looked at and discussed though. I can see where all the secret surveillance (pretty much rubber-stamped okay by the FISA Court) could , possibly, be the start a “1984-type” slippery slope. I’m not afraid for myself or my family per se, but where will it all end? I believe the discussion is very healthy.

  • JDavidS

    Why in Gods’ name does anybody give “Darth” Cheney any ink anymore?The man’s a walking asshole.

  • midway54

    This scoundrel, hero of the plutocrats and redneck yahoo admirers, needs to get away from the public eye and keep track of his increasing wealth thanks to his ongoing profits he receives for the continuing wars which he always supported, as long as others were doing the fighting and the dying and sustaining the very serious injuries. Add to this the part he played, along with his like-minded buddies, in deceiving the Country into supporting the Iraq war by confirming the mythical presence of weapons of mass destruction and the need to remove Saddam Hussein. His accusations about treason and disloyalty against others could very well describe his own contemptible and unforgivable activity during his miserable terms as vice president.

  • Peter Brown

    Dick, you have theright to remain silent, anything you do or say can and will be held against you in an international war crimes court of law. We recognize that you are an expert in selling out your country to the highest bidder, but apart from that, shut up.

    • RobertCHastings

      Henry Kissinger is still considered a war criminal in some areas around the world, and people like Dick Cheney are part of the reason W never signed onto the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court. People who perpetrate atrocities in the name of whomever they will MUST be treated as the criminals they are.

  • ThomasBonsell

    Cheney is somewhat of an expert about “somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national security interests of the United States…”

    This is he guy who led he outing of CIA operative Valeie Plame forpoliticalpurposes.

    • Sand_Cat

      People like Dick Cheney are the reason Snowden released the stuff.
      And they always say the person did some damage to the “security” of the United States, which usually means that the lawless people who hide behind the word were embarrassed (usually rightfully so).

      • RobertCHastings

        Do you honestly believe Cheney is embarrassed? Come on, now, the guy who outed a covert agent, the guy who shot a friend in the face with birdshot and blamed it on the guy he shot, the guy who took a perfectly good heart from someone who could have used it? Give me a break. There are certain personality and character traits that are necessary for an individual to feel embarrassment, and Cheney has none of them.

        • Sand_Cat

          Yes, I probably have said so myself at various times here that the Bush Administration was incapable of embarrassment. What I was trying to get at was that maybe – I know this is hopelessly naive – the voters might catch on and actually punish the perpetrators, constituting an “embarrassment” of sorts (the most important kind). Obviously, we’re a long way from that, but that was more what I had in mind. If we are ever to get there, one thing that has to happen is that the condemnation of such revelations should come from us (or me, if you don’t agree) only when it’s clear that 1) The motives were in fact unworthy, and 2) they really did damage the real and legitimate security of the United States. My point was mainly that people like Cheney and others go on about the damage done regardless, and when they do, I remember the line from THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR: “I certainly hope so.”

          • RobertCHastings

            There is much our government would prefer that we not know, and much of that is material we are entitled to know in order that we can make good decisions as informed citizens. Paying attention is perhaps the most important thing we can do as citizens, not because our government is trying to deceive us, but because entities that have entirely too much sway are trying to deceive us.
            I think it was Will Rogers who said something to the effect that if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Romney used this idea in describing how his sons were trying to snow him. It has been born out by the incessant chattering of conservative nabobs about how Obama is such a bad person resulting in Obama’s falling popularity, although ALL the scandals the they have opened up against him have been readily defused.

          • RobertCHastings

            I get it. Snowden, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and many others have over the past few decades “leaked” classified information that many have claimed was detrimental to our security and our standing in the world. It looks to me like the mere fact that we are spying on our allies and documenting our insulting remarks about foreign leaders is, in itself, detrimental to our standing. People who keep secrets believe they have something to hide, and it looks like some of the secrets we keep are not worthy of being “classified”.

    • RobertCHastings

      A little reminder as to REAL history is always welcomed, instead of conservative revisionism.

  • RobertCHastings

    I will say this for Cheney, he still has a set of cahones, doesn’t he? Calling ANYONE else a traitor is a stretch for him. He shouldn’t be standing up in the middle of the theater yelling “fire”, he just might draw attention to himself.