Dick Cheney helped mislead the country into invading Iraq and has been convicted of war crimes, but he thinks Edward Snowden is a traitor.
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked former VP Cheney what he thought of Edward Snowden. Cheney said, “I think he is a traitor. I think he has committed crimes that violate agreements given the position he had. He was contractor employed, but obviously granted top secret clearance, and this is one of the worst occasions in my memory of someone with access to top secret information doing enormous damage to the national security of the United States.”
Wallace and Cheney then speculated on whether or not Snowden was spying for the Chinese. Cheney did say that he was deeply suspicious that Snowden was a spy, “because he went to China. It’s not ordinarily a place you want to go if you’re interested in freedom, liberty, and so forth.”
What the former vice president left out of the conversation was that Snowden would have never had access to classified information without the explosion of the private contractor intelligence industry after the Patriot Act was passed. Without the Patriot Act, Edward Snowden may not have been in position to access classified information.
Cheney was part of an administration that fabricated intelligence in order to mislead the country into invading Iraq, so I don’t think he has any room to be tossing the traitor word around.
The former vice president’s capacity for hypocrisy is astounding. Ultimately Edward Snowden is responsible for his own actions, but the policies of Bush/Cheney administration opened the door for this to happen.
The word traitor is being thrown around almost as often as the term whistle blower, but I am not comfortable with either description. The facts are that Snowden is a leaker, who definitely committed crimes. If Edward Snowden did pass intelligence to the Chinese, he is a traitor and a spy. (Interestingly, if Snowden did or does pass information to the Chinese, what does that make Glenn Greenwald?)
Snowden’s decision to flee to Chinese controlled Hong Kong was an odd one, but it could also be the byproduct of being a high school dropout who may not be that smart.
The former vice president is in no position to call anybody a traitor, but if anyone knows treasonous behavior it is certainly Dick Cheney.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association