National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden on Monday called it an “honour” that former Vice President Dick Cheney referred to him as a “traitor.”
In a livechat on the website of The Guardian, Associated Press reporter Kimberly Dozier asked Snowden to respond to U.S. officials calling him a “traitor” and accusing him of “treason.” Multiple members of Congress have labelled him as such, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), as well as House Speaker John Boehner.
Cheney echoed their sentiments on “Fox News Sunday.”
“It’s important to bear in mind I’m being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney,” Snowden wrote in response. “This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead.
“Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honour you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and [Rep. Peter] King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.”
Cheney vehemently defended the NSA’s surveillance methods on Sunday, attacking Snowden for undermining the nation’s national security.
“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 said.
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