Asked during a live chat on The Guardian’s website to respond to U.S. officials who have called him a traitor, Edward Snowden, the self-proclaimed source of recently leaked top secret National Security Agency documents, said he considers it an honor to be called a traitor by the likes of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“[I]t’s important to bear in mind I’m being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney,” Snowden wrote. “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 honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and 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.”
Snowden also said that journalists need to “ask a specific question: since these programs began operation shortly after September 11th, how many terrorist attacks were prevented SOLELY by information derived from this suspicionless surveillance that could not be gained via any other source? Then ask how many individual communications were ingested to acheive that, and ask yourself if it was worth it.”
“Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we’ve been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it,” Snowden wrote.