Dick Cheney Lies: Claims Not A Single Case Of NSA Abusing Its Authority

from the that's,-um,-not-true dept

At the bottom of a Mother Jones article covering a "behind-closed-doors talk" by former Vice President Dick Cheney -- in which he talked up (to applause) the idea of bombing Iran and whined that President Obama was too weak in the Middle East -- the authors mention that actually much of his speech was devoted to defending the NSA. Apparently, he did this by flat out lying.
There is the belief, he said, "that we have created in the National Security Agency this monster bureaucracy that's reading everybody's mail, listening to everybody's phone calls, infringing upon our civil liberties and civil rights. Hogwash." He claimed that there has not been a single case of NSA abusing its authority.
Well, except an internal NSA audit that was reported on months ago actually found that the NSA abused its authority thousands of times per year. And, really, a big part of the complaints aren't necessarily that the NSA abused its authority, but that even if they didn't "abuse their authority" that the ability to collect all this information was legal in the first place. Meanwhile, we also know that there are also a bunch of cases where the NSA has admitted analysts willfully abused their powers. And, while the NSA claims that it's caught all of those involved, a large percentage of them involved "self-reporting," which suggests many cases of abuse slipped under the radar. And, of course, there were many other known abuses as well, including many years in which the NSA flat-out ignored the FISA court's rules on handling metadata, allowing it to be shared widely, despite rules and promises not to do so.

This also ignores the fact that both a federal judge and the federal government's privacy and civil liberties oversight board (PCLOB) found the program unconstitutional and illegal. Yes, others have found that the program is legitimate, but to ignore the still open-ended question as to the legitimacy of the program to argue that there's been "no abuse" of authority is ridiculous. Hell, even the famed rubber stamping FISA court came close to shutting down the program and elsewhere discussed how the so-called privacy protections within the program was "so frequently and systematically violated" as to mean that they have "never functioned effectively."

I don't know about how Dick Cheney defines "abuse their authority," but it seems like there's fairly strong evidence of pretty widespread abuse -- much of it taking place while Cheney was in power. Of course, since his definition of "abuse" seems to be "doing something that Dick Cheney personally doesn't like," then, I guess he'd be correct. But, given the rather clear -- and flat-out admitted -- cases of abuse, combined with significant claims that the entire program is abusive -- it would appear that Cheney is simply lying.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 7:47am

    Abuse

    For Dick Cheney abuse is when the little people don't lay down and take it, like they are supposed to.

     

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    GiveThemTheDick[Cheney], Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 7:48am

    Why

    Is anyone giving this man a platform anymore? We know he was also wrong/lied re: torture, Iraq and god knows what else...

     

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    JohnG (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 7:52am

    Dick Cheney lies? Hasn't this already been established?

     

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      ethorad (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 12:05pm

      He's telling the truth!

      He claimed that there has not been a single case of NSA abusing its authority.

      He's right you know. There hasn't been a single case, there's been loads of them!

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Dick Cheney lied? How is this news?

     

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    Anonymously Anonymous Scaredy Cat, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:01am

    The Law Is Relative

    The law, like beauty, is in eye of the beholder. When laws make no sense to someone, they are typically ignored, undermined, and socially non-binding. I'm not agreeing with the former VP but from his point of view, it's perfectly legal when the utmost responsibility is not to an individual or "people" as a whole long term; it's in the here and now because the threats (in his mind) are real and in keeping with the Federal Government's mission - something they were allowed to do by law.

    I disagree with the assertion that their mandate or the "laws" they've been granted are constitutional but that's my perspective.

    I find this argument similar to one that is shared here on intellectual property. Many have argued that the law is not relevant compared to modern technology, business models, etc. and some who hold that believe willingly "break the law" or abuse it in some cases to further their goals - which they believe are just in some way.

    The shades of grey are darker for some; less so for others no matter how wrong the other "side" feels they are.

     

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    Trevor, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:09am

    Remember

    Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face, and the GUY WHO GOT SHOT apologized to him.

    Maybe he wants us to apologize to the NSA for making them have to dig for our information?

     

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    Gyffes, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:12am

    It's a compulsion

    He can't help it. Dick Cheney lies when asked if he's wearing socks. Or if it's Tuesday. Just don't ask him about it, he's touchy about it.

    S'why he shot that lawyer in the face.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:18am

    April fools was yesterday, Richard.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:25am

    Rename the title of the article:

    Dick Cheney opens mouth, lies fall out.

     

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      Trevor, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:12am

      Re: Rename the title of the article:

      To reference the Eminem x Rihanna advertisement on the side of this article that I see:

      "These damn [lies] are falling Out of [his] pants pocket [he] can't stop it!"

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:26am

    James Clapper Lied

    Dick Chaney is old news. Where is Mother Jones' coverage of the Obama Administration destroying the Bill of Rights?!

    James Clapper admitted that NSA searched content without warrant.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/01/nsa-surveillance-loophole-americans-data

     

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    BitterReality (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:42am

    What else could be expected?

    Psychopaths can always be depended on to defend and protect fellow psychopaths.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:49am

    Hasn't he been prosecuted for war crimes yet?
    Oh, wait...George W Bush is still in his 4th term keeping all the government criminals (such as torturing CIA-guys) out of jail.

     

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    Pixelation, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 8:49am

    How do we know Dick Cheney is lying?

    ...His mouth is open.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:10am

    LOVEINT

    He claimed that there has not been a single case of NSA abusing its authority.
    Because using government spy networks to peep on your ex-girlfriend isn't abuse.
    (Maybe he thinks it isn't abuse because he does it himself?)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:26am

      Re: LOVEINT

      But, see, that's not the NSA abusing its authority, because the NSA didn't authorize that. That was just some people who happened to work for the NSA abusing their authority. Totally different thing.

      At least, that's the excuse I would give.

       

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      MadAsASnake (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 12:03pm

      Re: LOVEINT

      I thought they classified LOVEINT in such a way that it was not considered abuse. I assume therefore that these cases are considered "successful". I guess they need something to claim as a success...

       

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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:16am

    Dick "The Fucking Leech" Cheney lied? The sun is warm, the sky is blue and grass is green. Move along now.

     

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    saulgoode (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:19am

    George W's greatest accomplishment as president was not dying while Dick was the VP.

     

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    ronfingers (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:21am

    I know most of you will disagree that the big issue here is Cheney but Whether or not Cheney was lying, this is another example of Mother Jones violating the privacy of an individual and then writing a story about what he supposedly said. I hate killing support for websites especially since Techdirt provides such good sources. Bye

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:39am

      Re:

      Whether or not Cheney was lying, this is another example of Mother Jones violating the privacy of an individual...

      I'm not sure this was a really privacy violation myself. Although the speech wasn't open to the press or the general public, it was still statements he himself made in a public speech.


      ...and then writing a story about what he supposedly said.

      At this point there is nothing "supposed" about it since there is an actual audio copy of the speech.

       

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      Pragmatic, Apr 7th, 2014 @ 5:59am

      Re:

      @ ronfingers, isn't that what the NSA does? Sorry, buddy, but shouting "Squirrel!" doesn't pass the smell test. Cheney lies. MJ reports it. Yes, they're a liberal outfit but they're on our side, for the most part.

      Had Fox done this, what would you say?

       

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    Just Another Anonymous Troll, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:30am

    Dear Dick Cheney:
    If you are going to drop already discredited turds of wisdom on the American people, I strongly recommend painting them white so they at least look like pearls.
    Totally insincerely,
    JAAT

     

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      Just Another Anonymous Troll, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      Oops, trying to influence the government. I think that makes me a terrorist now. So, um, death to America?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re:

        Jaat 4m where??

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm trying to tell them to stop lying through their teeth, so I guess that counts. Then again, the NSA must think we're all terrorists anyway, that's their justification for spying on us.

           

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:37am

    And Here Comes The Dick....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 9:55am

    Defense Fund?

    I would not personally attack Cheney or his like, but I would be very much interested in donating to the defense fund of anyone who would.

    We cant all be the front line fighters, but we can make sure they have all the backup $$ they need for their attorneys.

    I will celebrate the day he has his final heart attack.

     

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    etrimby, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 11:03am

    Dick Cheney Lies...

    That's like saying water is wet.

     

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    aaron, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 11:12am

    easy rebuttal

    The same folks who say the NSA hasn't abused any powers are those who are saying Snowden abused his power. It's a self-defeating argument. It is intellectually consistent to say Snowden is a whistleblower and the NSA is abusive, but it's conmplete nonsense to say the NSA always operates ethically, but a NSA contractor is a traitor.

     

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      Just Another Anonymous Troll, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 11:18am

      Re: easy rebuttal

      Yay! Logic bomb! Oops, I said bomb and I already admitted I was a terrorist for trying to tell the government to stop lying through their teeth. I expect a visit from some men in black any time now...

       

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    jimb (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 11:16am

    In other news, the sun rose in the east today...

     

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    John85851 (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 1:10pm

    Why is this news?

    Does anyone really expect Cheney to come out and say the NSA was doing bad things? Of course he's going to defend them.

    Like other posters are saying, why are we still giving him attention?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 1:17pm

    Lets see, it was April Fools yesterday. This is the guy who figured terrorists were going to stop his pacemaker and had a resignation letter all ready... just in case. This is the same guy who shots a lawyer and then strangely and mysteriously, the lawyer apologizes for getting shot? What is wrong with this picture I haven't a clue.

    Imagine, Dick Cheney could lie? Oh, the horror of imagining such an event. /s

     

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    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 10:20pm

    This is a spokesman?

    Your actions are defended by spokesman Dick Cheney? Scraping the old bottom there!

    Who's your next spokesman? Donald Trump? Bob from Bob's Fine Used Cars?

     

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    Robert, Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 3:39am

    The lie is really rather sneaky. The NSA did not abuse their authority those that gave them the Authority abuse the constitution, abused the the law.
    "BUT", and there is a big ole "BUTT" there, to obey an illegal order is a crime, the NSA were illegally given the authority to commit crimes, however as ignorance of the law is no excuse and is was a crime to obey those orders, then the NSA by law as individuals committed crimes and each and every one of those individuals who committed crimes against the constitution and, obeyed illegal orders, they should be individually investigated and prosecuted from the top down, starting with Uncle Tom Obama the choom gang coward.

     

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    Zonker, Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 4:08pm

    I'd prefer to keep Dick out of my current affairs.

     

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