Cheney v. Snowden

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    CONTEXT: Former Vice President Dick Cheney, proving definitively that trials are a pointless waste of time and resources, came up from his pit full of freshly-harvested child hearts yesterday to announce on Fox News that he’d found NSA whistleblower Eric Snowden to be guilty of treason. Snowden, to his credit, then took to the internet to point out that Cheney’s assessment shouldn’t mean anything to anyone, given that it was his lies that took us to war, costing tens of thousands their lives.

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      17 Comments

      1. anonymous
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Snowden also did an AMA on Reddit yesterday, as someone here noted on another thread.

      2. Eel
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        I’d love to see the two of them go into the Thunderdome together.

      3. Mr. Y
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        What Snowden should have is demonstrated the scope and power of these government eavesdropping systems by recording every correspondence made by Cheney over the past five years and making it public to the American people. That would have been incredible.

      4. Elliott
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Maybe Mr. Snowden isn’t completely out of the system yet. Maybe he left himself a backdoor. It’s unlikely, but can you imagine how he’d turn the nation on its ear if he started releasing Cheney’s phone calls? There would be a squadron of drones in flight to Hong Kong within one minute of the first recording going live.

      5. 734
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        One of the best takes on this that I’ve seen so far.

        Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you “Scumbag Obama”:

        http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3uw9qj/

      6. Meta
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        From the Atlantic:

        USA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden’s leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts.

        Thomas Drake, William Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe each protested the NSA in their own rights. “For years, the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from U.S. citizens,” the newspaper reports. “They had spent decades in the top ranks of the agency, designing and managing the very data collection systems they say have been turned against Americans. When they became convinced that fundamental constitutional rights were being violated, they complained first to their superiors, then to federal investigators, congressional oversight committees and, finally, to the news media.”

        In other words, they blew the whistle in the way Snowden’s critics suggest he should have done. Their method didn’t get through to the members of Congress who are saying, in the wake of the Snowden leak, that they had no idea what was going on. But they are nonetheless owed thanks.

        And among them, they’ve now said all of the following:

        His disclosures did not cause grave damage to national security.

        What Snowden discovered is “material evidence of an institutional crime.”

        As a system administrator, Snowden “could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure — because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed. So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That’s why he said, I think, ‘I can even target the president or a judge.’ If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that’s right. As a super-user, he could do that.”

        “The idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth.”

        Congressional overseers “have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing.”

        Lawmakers “don’t really don’t understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don’t understand.”

        Asked what Edward Snowden should expect to happen to him, one of the men, William Binney, answered, “first tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed.” Interesting that this is what a whistleblower thinks the U.S. government will do to a citizen. The abuse of Bradley Manning worked.

        “There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It’s a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered.”

        The fact that former NSA employees have said these things doesn’t automatically make them true. All have reason to identify with Snowden (though one thinks he may have crossed a line by talking about surveillance on China). What this interview does mean is that some of Snowden’s allegations seem even more credible than they did when he was the only one making them.

        Read more:
        http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/3-former-nsa-employees-praise-edward-snowden-corroborate-key-claims/276964/

      7. SparkleMotion
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Just FYI, Dianne Feinstein said the same thing about him.

      8. alan2102
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        re Feinstein: What else would you expect — from a Democrat?

      9. alan2102
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        On a lighter, cheerier note: Is it possible that it might be the progressive, peace-loving Democratic Obama administration that leads the world into a nightmarish armageddon-like nuclear conflagration? Yes, it IS possible.

        http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/06/17/washington-is-insane-paul-craig-roberts/
        Washington Is Insane — Paul Craig Roberts
        June 17, 2013
        [snip]
        What the neocon nazis, the bush/obama regime, and the presstitute media have made clear is that Washington is going to push its agenda of world hegemony to the point of starting World War III, which, of course, means the end of life on earth. Russia and China, either one of which can destroy the United States, have learned that the US government is a liar and cannot be trusted. The Libyan “no-fly” policy to which Russia and China agreed turned out to be a NATO air attack on the Libyan army so that the CIA-sponsored mercenaries could prevail. Russia and China, having learned their lesson, are protesting Washington’s assault on Syria that Washington pretends is a “civil war.” If Syria falls, Russia and China know that Iran is next. Iran is Russia’s underbelly, and for China Iran is 20% of its energy imports. Both Russian and Chinese governments know that after Iran falls, they are next. There is no other explanation for Washington surrounding Russia with missile bases and surrounding China with naval and air bases. Both Russia and China are now preparing for the war that they see as inevitable. Washington’s crazed, demented drive for world hegemony is bringing unsuspecting Americans up against two countries with hydrogen bombs whose combined population is five times the US population. In such a conflict everyone dies. Considering the utterly insane government ruling in Washington, if human life exists in 2020, it will be a miracle. All the worry about future Medicare and Social Security deficits is meaningless. There will be no one here to collect the benefits.

      10. STD
        Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Bill Ayers is calling for Obama to be tried for war crimes for the acts of “terrorism” that he’s initiated.

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/06/18/bill_ayers_obama_should_be_put_on_trial_for_war_crimes.html

      11. Ellsberg for ACLU
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        The message below is from Daniel Ellsberg, the well-known whistleblower and lifelong advocate for freedom who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” 40 years ago, exposing the U.S. government’s devastating strategy during the Vietnam War.

        Tell the president to push for the repeal of the spying laws.

        Dear Friends,

        There has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material—and I include the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago.

        Americans and the world recently learned that the U.S. government has been indiscriminately spying on us. And I’ve seen firsthand how the consequences of that kind of government abuse threaten our most fundamental liberties.

        So when the government insists that its massive surveillance programs are legal—that procedures were followed and safeguards put in place—let me be clear about what they really mean: secret courts immune to scrutiny, secret briefings to a handful of legislators, and an executive branch claiming more and more unchecked powers.

        Now thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the truth. Among other things, Snowden’s revelations have allowed the ACLU to bring a lawsuit challenging the NSA’s phone call dragnet as an abuse of statutory power and a violation of 1st and 4th amendment rights.

        But I want to say to you that this is not a time for lawyers alone—this is a historic development that hits all of us directly, here at home, and this may be our last chance to rein in the surveillance state.

        Over 30,000 ACLU supporters have already spoken out against these spying programs. Help me swell those numbers to demonstrate the true scale of American opposition.

        Tell President Obama that he must take a stand for the repeal of Section 215 of the Patriot Act and Section 702 of FISA today.

        These surveillance laws create a society predicated on the belief that all of us may be subjected to unconstitutional search and seizure in the name of “security.”

        The technical capabilities are in place. With the flip of the switch or another major attack, we may find ourselves in a dangerous situation in which average citizens, along with Congresspersons, journalists and their sources, even judges, are watched around the clock and are afraid to dissent. The core fixtures of our democracy—the right to protest, the right to live freely in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness without government intrusion—could be weakened beyond repair.

        I remain afraid of this reality, but we cannot hesitate to address it. I believe we now have the information and inspiration we need to stand up before it’s too late to turn back.

        Join me in calling for the repeal of the surveillance state provisions of the Patriot Act and FISA today.

        Over 200 years ago, in the pre-digital dawn of this great nation, the founders of America never fathomed the kinds of surveillance powers that have now been turned against Americans—nor would they ever have granted to a spy agency the vast, sweeping powers we’ve learned of recently.

        Now, thanks to the public revelation of these spying programs, several pieces of legislation are moving in Congress to address the danger of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. If they are to have a chance, we must rise up and call for change.

        Demand that our government stop spying on us.

        This week, I am a proud American moved from a place of pessimism to one of possibility. Join me in taking action to hold the government accountable for their abuses.

        Let’s stand together in the days ahead,
        Daniel Ellsberg on behalf of ACLU Action

        Sign the Petition:
        https://www.aclu.org/secure/stop-spying

      12. MrMikesHardCoreSot
        Posted June 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        Dick Cheney is a draft-dodging chicken hawk coward. It is a sad testament to the state of fascist propaganda that masquerades as news, that brings out a treasonous coward like Dick Cheney as a credible source of information. When it came time, 5 times deferred, for Dick Cheney to defend his country from the the “red menace” in Vietnam, he had “other priorities”. How can anyone take this treasonous clown Cheney seriously?, let alone the jabbering goofball of a fascist clown interviewing him. All I see from the mainstream media is fascist propaganda. Cheney hijacked the energy policy of this country for the benefit of Halliburton and Exxon/Mobil during his reign as vice president. He is a traitor to the people of this country. Hopefully justice will prevail and eliminate this traitor from civilized society.

      13. Meta
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Snowden’s revelations could lead to trials against bankers and people guilty of war crimes.

        There have been serious crimes over the last ten years – particularly since 9/11 when the war on terror started – in Afghanistan, Iraq, in places like Yemen, Pakistan where many people were murdered through the use of drones and hellfire missiles completely illegally by mainly three countries – Israel, the US and the UK. But this is what people don’t necessarily understand: there will be information that Edward Snowden has that can actually bring some of these people to trial. That’s why the West is so afraid. If Britain was serious about any kind of real justice, we would be able invite him to London and say, “Yes, you can tell all your secrets or stories to people here in Britain, you’ll be safe here.”

        Read more:
        http://rt.com/op-edge/snowden-nsa-crime-gchq-136/

      14. Sparklemotion
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Hell, Kerry came out and said Snowden is “dangerous”. He must mean to Obama’s reputation.

      15. Meta
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        “Snowden’s Employer, Booz Allen, the World’s Most Profitable Spy Organization”

        From Bloomburg:

        A typical contractor employee costs $207,000 a year, while a government counterpart costs $125,000, including benefits and pension… Rich contractor salaries create a classic public-private revolving door. They pull people from government intelligence, deplete the ranks, and put more experience and knowledge in the private sector, which makes contractors even more vital to the government.

        Read more:
        http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-20/booz-allen-the-worlds-most-profitable-spy-organization#p1

      16. Meta
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        Something for the “Other People We Should Be Going After Instead of Snowden” file.

        Thanks to a mountain of evidence gathered for a pair of major lawsuits by the San Diego-based law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, documents that for the most part have never been seen by the general public, we now know that the nation’s two top ratings companies, Moody’s and S&P, have for many years been shameless tools for the banks, willing to give just about anything a high rating in exchange for cash.

        Read more:
        http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-last-mystery-of-the-financial-crisis-154447818.html?page=all

      17. GH
        Posted August 1, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Russia is giving him amnesty for a year. If I were him, I’d be worried. If he’s got laptops with him that contain information, they want them, and will stop at nothing. And Putin has a Superbowl ring that kills.

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