Dick Cheney Defends NSA Surveillance...Again

Dick Cheney came out of the woodwork today to defend warrantless NSA surveillance.

The former No. 2 in the Bush administration defended the NSA's ability to monitor phone and email data, and labeled as a "traitor" the analyst who has admitted to having leaked details about the classified program.

He's concerned Edward Snowden will become a Chinese spy. Same old Cheney. Defending our rights under the Constitution was never his strong suit.

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    It's always interesting (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 06:24:53 PM EST
    to hear war criminals opining about other people's behavior.

    Quite the guy (none / 0) (#23)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:45:29 AM EST

    Quite the guy, defending Obama administration practice and policy.  All the more so considering the War on Terror is over.



    Not really (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:20:36 PM EST
    He has to defend it, ... or admit it was wrong when he and Bush started it.

    No idea what "War on Terror is over" is supposed to mean.


    War on terror is over (none / 0) (#26)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:14:04 AM EST
    That is the reported position of the Obama administration.

    Link 1

    Link 2

    Link 3

    Link 4



    Semantic games (none / 0) (#27)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:00:55 AM EST
    They're simply calling it something else.

    But I understand the wingnuts are quite upset by this.


    I'm sure the bulk of the (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 06:57:36 PM EST
    Fox news viewing audience was multi-orgasmic listening to Dick Cheney, but, seriously - who the hell is Cheney to call anyone else a traitor?

    "Came out of the woodwork," indeed...like the cockroach he is.


    That's rich... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:31:29 AM EST
    coming from Mr. Undisclosed Location.

    Snowden may have reneged on a non-disclosure agreement and/or secrecy laws, in defense of the Constitution...Cheney reneged on the Constitution.  Who is the traitor is right.  


    I saw part of it.. (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 11:53:48 AM EST
    But fainted due to the multi-orgasm strain...after all, I am over 75...


    But seriously, the conversation was about telephone numbers and the fact that they are public information, not about "telcon conversations" and Internet websites...

    Everywhere I turn I find some Talking Head or politician babbling without being specific. No wonder the public is confused.

    In the meantime, I remember this about what was going on back in Bush's day:

    Surveillance of telephones/emails/data of people OUTSIDE the US. The Demos made a big deal out of it because some calls might be switched via a "Gateway" switch inside the US. A call from Germany to Mexico may be switched in a Gateway switch in NYC to a number in Argentina.

    IF a number of a person inside the US was suspected of being a terrorist, say a number in Detroit is found on a terrorist's cell phone killed in Iraq, the NSA/FBI had up to 48 hours in which they could:

    a.    Do surveillance on the US number

    b.    Go to the FISA court and get a search warrant

    All of this was to SPECIFIC numbers. I know of no mass data collection such as we have now.

    Also, a 2011 review of the Obama administration's handling of public records requests under the Freedom of Information Act noted the many positive words from the president and his people about striving for a culture of disclosure. But the review came to this jarring conclusion when actions were measured against words: "Most indicators of openness have not even returned to the average for the Bush years, a period known for secrecy." The report was by OMB Watch, now called the Center for Effective Government.



    The ifrastructure necessary... (none / 0) (#21)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 10:58:28 PM EST
    ...for what they're doing now wasn't only installed after Obama's first inaguration.

    And Obama keeps on building (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 09:27:27 AM EST
    No one should be concerned about (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by scribe on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 08:35:04 PM EST
    Snowden becoming a Chinese spy.  The Chinese have already hacked any defense contractor who might have had any information worth taking, hoovered it up, and left logic bombs in the contractors' networks.

    What ol' Deadeye is really worried about is the remainder of the >1000 slides Snowden is alleged to have taken, which will probably lay a trail of breadcrumbs right to Deadeye's lair.  Given the brouhaha that a mere dozen or so slides have set off so far, we can only imagine what other upheavals will come if/when the rest of those slides come out.  

    The NSA claims not only the ability (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 08:37:28 PM EST
    but also the authority to listen to any phone call and to intercept any email of any American it chooses, according to Congressman Nadler.  And to have delegated that authority to low-level analysts. When Snowden was quoted as having said that, I assumed he had misspoken, that he couldn't mean what he said. I am flabbergasted. Any exercise of such claimed authority, it seems to me, would rather clearly violate both the Fourth Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    Peter, I agree (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 10:08:11 PM EST
    and am also shocked, even though nothing much surprises me any more about the Government.

    But reading the CNET article where it was first reported, it seems Nadler has backtracked a bit and also is not talking about the PRISM program.

    I was going to write yesterday that all this posturing by Congress that they're upset over this sounds bogus. Only 47 of 100 Senators showed up for the briefing. The rest wanted to leave early for a long Father's Day weekend.


    If Nadler is backtracking, (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 10:36:18 PM EST
    that would not in any way suggest that he did not speak the truth at first.

    Emptywheel Breaks it Down (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:37:50 AM EST
    But what has never been answered -- except perhaps in an off-hand comment in a debate defeating language that would actually prevent what everyone says is already prevented -- is whether the government can, um, "collect" the content of Americans who communicate with those who are, um, "targeted."

    I'm not saying I have the answer to that question -- though it is a concern that has been raised for years by the very same people who have been vindicated in their warnings about Section 215. But let's be very clear what Clapper did here. He completely redefined Nadler's comment, then divorced that redefined comment from the context of Section 215, and then threw the Orwellian term "target" at it to make it go away.

    He could have denied Nadler's more general assertions. That, he did not do.  



    Or that he isn't speaking the truth now (none / 0) (#15)
    by christinep on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:46:52 AM EST
    Depends upon what one might want to believe, I suppose.

    I guess that's possible (none / 0) (#18)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 04:32:28 PM EST
    Just not equally likely.

    One of the tacks taken by those seeking to (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 09:09:00 PM EST
    undermine Snowden's revelations is the assertion that storing those phone calls, content, metadata, etc., is untenable technically and financially.  They also claim that such a dataset would be too vast to search, etc., blah blah blah.

    The CNET article in which Nadler's remarks surfaced contains the following expert contradiction of that assertion.

    Brewster Kahle, a computer engineer who founded the Internet Archive, has vast experience storing large amounts of data. He created a spreadsheet this week estimating that the cost to store all domestic phone calls a year in cloud storage for data-mining purposes would be about $27 million per year, not counting the cost of extra security for a top-secret program and security clearances for the people involved.

    As for the too vast to search claim, Google disproved that years ago.


    Is Kahle talking about... (none / 0) (#19)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 10:17:37 PM EST
    ...storing all of the meta-data associated with a telephone conversation (start and stop times, phone number on each end, locations, names of account owners, etc), or does he mean all of that and the actual audio (run through analog to digital conversion) as well?

    Because once you start storing the audio (and especially if you grab pictures and videos off of cell phones as well), then, as Ev Dirksen said, sooner or later you're talking real money.


    And how does this go seen "legally"... (none / 0) (#13)
    by heidelja on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:52:53 AM EST
    Maybe, (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 10:19:09 PM EST
    there are some subtleties that I'm missing, but it seems to me that the former vice-president, the war criminal, is on the same page as the current president.

    Not exactly the change we might have had the audacity to hope for.

    Very bipartisan of him. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Edger on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:56:05 PM EST
    At least somebody's got obama's back.

    Like Cheney (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Edger on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:35:30 AM EST
    The nuts running the NSA and obama are now living in quaking terror that they won't be able to continue terrorizing people.

    "We are now faced with a situation that, because this information has been made public, we run the risk of losing these collection capabilities," said Robert S. Litt, general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "
    Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the head of the NSA, told the committee that the programs had helped prevent "potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11."

    -- Officials: Surveillance programs foiled more than 50 terrorist plots

    To paraphrase an old saying, "Terrorist, foil thyself."

    The conservative (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 06:43:22 PM EST
    hero speaks out.

    Hero is right... (none / 0) (#20)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 10:19:38 PM EST
    ...you think just anybody would have had the guts to keep going after the first deferment or two to do what it takes to get to 5?

    Applying appropriate words... (none / 0) (#12)
    by heidelja on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:42:31 AM EST
    ...from one identically aligned are those of the nutcase @oreillyfactor...
    "there's going to be crazy people who deny reality"!


    Hoisted on his own petard (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 03:52:39 PM EST
    Speaking of Cheney... (none / 0) (#22)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 11:02:35 PM EST
    ...I just saw a picture of Jeb Bush where he seems to be in the first stages of mastering that smirk.

    I have a sinking feeling that 2016 is going to be "vote for the dynasty candidate or vote for the dynasty candidate".