Dick Cheney praises NSA surveillance program

The former Vice President also called Edward Snowden a "traitor," and President Obama "not credible"

Published June 16, 2013 4:37PM (EDT)

Dick Cheney was unfazed by revelations about the NSA's broad phone surveillance program, saying in an interview on Fox News Sunday that if the technology was available at the time, "we might well have been able to prevent 9/11."

"As everybody who's been associated with the program's said, if we had had this before 9/11, when there were two terrorists in San Diego, two hijackers, had been able to use that program, that capability, against that target, we might well have been able to prevent 9/11,"  Cheney said. He continued with a pointed criticism of President Obama. "I find a lot of it is, in other areas — the IRS, Benghazi — not credible. I'm obviously not a fan of the incumbent president."

Asked about Edward Snowden, who leaked information about the NSA program to the press, Cheney called him a "traitor."

"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," he said.


By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Dick Cheney Edward Snowden George W. Bush Nsa Surveillance