On Monday, National Security Agency surveillance leaker Edward Snowden blasted former Vice President Dick Cheney while claiming that the government’s blanket surveillance has achieved little in terms of stopping terrorism. “It’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.”
He also lashed out at concerns that the NSA surveillance program’s shutdown would provide a safer world for terrorists. “Journalists should 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 achieve 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.”
As for contentions that the surveillance program has stopped terrorists in the past, Snowden sneered at them. “US officials say this every time there’s a public discussion that could limit their authority,” he said.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).