Paul Joseph Watson
June 25, 2013
Congress insisted it be kept in the dark on the NSA surveillance programs recently revealed by Edward Snowden, according to Dick Cheney, who approached lawmakers with an invitation for them to provide more oversight back in 2004 but was told, “absolutely not”.
Speaking at a Washington think tank on U.S.-Korean affairs, the former Vice-President bragged about his involvement in setting up NSA programs shortly after 9/11 that snooped on email and phone records.
Cheney also revealed that when he approached Congressional leaders about whether they wished to provide oversight for the program three years after it began, they were “unanimous” that it should continue.
“I said, ‘Do you think we ought to come back to the Congress in order to get more formal authorization?’ and they said, ‘Absolutely not.’ Everybody, Republican and Democrat, said, ‘Don’t come back up here, it will leak’,” Cheney said.
Cheney’s claim that Snowden’s revelations have caused significant damage to US national security has been rejected by other top security experts, who assert that terrorists already assume their communications are under surveillance and are therefore unaffected by the information released by the whistleblower.
“The argument that this sweeping search must be kept secret from the terrorists is laughable. Terrorists already assume this sort of thing is being done. Only law-abiding American citizens were blissfully ignorant of what their government was doing,” said top counter-terrorism czar under Presidents Clinton and Bush – Richard Clarke.
The former head of the NSA’s global digital data gathering program, William Binney, also highlighted how mass NSA surveillance did nothing to prevent terrorism.