Darth Cheney resurfaced for an appearance on Fox News Sunday today where he laughed off concerns that American citizens' privacy may be invaded by NSA surveillance sweeping up metadata about phone calls and internet searches.
There is no need for concern since after all, voters have chosen the people authorizing the spying, so we should trust them.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Cheney laughed off questions about why federal surveillance of phone records need be kept secret, suggesting that since the people who authorize the program are elected by voters, voters should simply trust their judgment.
CHRIS WALLACE: What does all of this have to be kept so secret? The terrorists clearly assume we’re trying to intercept their phone calls and intercept their e-mails. Why not let the American public know the outlines, the general program. Obviously, not sources and methods… so we as Americans can debate it?So much irony and fail here, where to even begin. What if your President wasn't actually elected by you, but rather installed by the Supreme Court some of whose member were installed by the new 'President's' father?
CHENEY: [Laughing] I have problems with respect to that concern. I understand people’s concern about it, but an intelligence program that does reveal sources and methods, which in fact is what your’e talking about, is significantly less effective because you’re not just revealing it to the American people, you’re revealing it to your targets, to your adversaries, to the energy…
WALLACE: So what right do you think the American people have to know what government is doing?
CHENEY: Well, they get to vote for senior officials, like the President of the United States, or like the senior officials in Congress. And you have to have some trust in them.
And how does someone who himself told 48 lies leading up to the Iraq War, and was part of an Administration that told 935 demonstrably false statements leading up to that war, have the nerve to tell people to trust the government?
And as Think Progress points out:
While Americans do elect the President and Vice President, only a small fraction of voters select who will be in Congressional leadership. Cheney’s suggestion that voters should trust them because they elected them sets up a substantial catch-22 — if voters can’t know what their elected officials are doing on matters of privacy and national security, they cannot know whether they are earning their trust.The entire transcript from Fox's Sunday program is here if you care to read the whole thing and can stand going there.
Of interest also but not in the clip was Cheney's reaction when he was asked about President Obama's statement that Obama and his staff 'scrubbed' the previous administration's surveillance policies. This was what the President said about Cheney's policies:
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I came in with a healthy skepticism about these programs. My team evaluated them. We scrubbed them thoroughly. We actually expanded some of the oversight, increased some of the safeguards.Cheney nearly had another heart attack refuting the very idea that he would grant Obama the time of day by actually listening to a word he has ever said. Notice the 'ph's' in the transcript, that is him blustering about having no idea what the President has ever said.
WALLACE: How much has President Obama scrubbed what you guys gave him?In his performance, Cheney also dismissed Edward Snowden as a traitor and possible Chinese spy (why else would he go to Hong Kong), and said the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented if the US had the NSA spying architecture that it does now. Never mind, that everyone was already trying to tell Bush that bin Laden was about to strike the USA - he would have listened to one more report?
CHENEY: I can't -- I don't know. Obviously I've not been in the loop on classified information since I left the White House.
WALLACE: What I'm asking is what do you make of the president suggesting, well, I had to scrub up what these guys left me?
CHENEY: I don't pay a lot of attention, frankly, to what Barack Obama says. I find a lot of it's in its (ph) various (ph) forms -- for example, IRS, Benghazi -- not credible. I'm obviously not a fan of the incumbent president. I don't know what he did to the program. The program obviously from what's now been released is still in operation. I think it's good that it is in operation. I think it has, in fact, saved lives and kept us free from other attacks.
Yeah, now I really feel reassured.