‘Neocon’ Liz Cheney taken to the woodshed after slamming potential Trump pardon for Edward Snowden

Rep. Liz Cheney was ripped online for her opposition to a potential presidential pardon for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked highly sensitive documents exposing mass domestic surveillance by the U.S. intelligence community during the Obama administration.

“Edward Snowden is a traitor. He is responsible for the largest and most damaging release of classified info in US history. He handed over US secrets to Russian and Chinese intelligence putting our troops and our nation at risk. Pardoning him would be unconscionable,” Cheney wrote on Twitter Sunday evening.

In June 2013, Snowden — then a 29-year-old contractor for the NSA — revealed to reporter Glenn Greenwald, then with The Guardian, details of the agency’s PRISM program, a mass surveillance system that was capable of tracking anyone, including Americans in positions of power up to the president.

At the time Snowden said, “The U.S. government will say I aided our enemies,” but he told Greenwald that, while he had the opportunity to reveal all kinds of other sensitive information to foreign governments — such as names of deep NSA assets, locations of CIA stations, etc. — that was never his objective.

Snowden fled the U.S. and was able to gain asylum in Russia. Federal prosecutors have charged him with theft of government property.

In August, President Donald Trump responded to a reporter’s question about pardoning Snowden.

“It seems to be a split decision. There are many people who think that he should be somehow treated differently and other people think he did very bad things,” the president said.

Responding to Cheney, Greenwald referred to the Wyoming Republican as a “neocon” and a “liar.”

“Of course…The neocon ally of US liberals speaks up. @Liz_Cheney is an abject liar. She says Snowden ‘handed over US secrets to Russian and Chinese intelligence’ because she comes from a family of liars & her career rests solely on her father, one of this century’s worst liars,” Greenwald began, referencing former defense secretary and vice president, Dick Cheney.

“If the people most desperate for you not to be pardoned are the professional liars of CIA, the criminal domestic spies of NSA, and bloodthirsty neocon warmongers and monsters like the Cheney Family, that’s a pretty good sign that you’ve served justice and deserve a pardon.”

Earlier, he wrote, “If Trump follows through on a pardon of @Snowden, it’d be a huge victory against CIA/FBI/NSA abuses. Everyone from @RandPaul, @MattGaetz & @TulsiGabbard to @ACLU, @BernieSanders & @NYTimes have advocated this. The only ones angry would be Brennan, Clapper, Comey & Susan Rice.”

He also addressed what he believes would be President Trump’s motivation for pardoning Snowden.

“For those who still can’t comprehend why Trump twice said he was strongly considering a pardon of Snowden, it’s because — as he’s [sic] explains — he feels personally aggrieved by the precise abuses of power that Snowden risked his liberty to expose,” Greenwald wrote.

“The only people who would be angered by a pardon of Snowden would be the Deep State operatives who have spent years buried in the security state agencies and thus believe they have the right to abuse its powers — the abuses Snowden revealed & denounced,” he added in a tweet from Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, who responded critically to Trump saying that he would consider a Snowden pardon.

Eventually, Cheney blocked Greenwald, but others responded as well.

In his interview with Greenwald seven years ago, Snowden discussed what concerned him most about becoming a whistleblower.

“The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People will see in the media all of these disclosures. They’ll know the lengths that the government is going to grant themselves powers unilaterally to create greater control over American society and global society. But they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things to force their representatives to actually take a stand in their interests,” he said.

The former NSA contractor added: “And the months ahead, the years ahead it’s only going to get worse until eventually there will be a time where policies will change because the only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance state are policy.”

Jon Dougherty

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