WASHINGTON, D.C.--In an interview with Fox News Sunday, former Vice President Dick Cheney accused N.S.A. whistleblower Edward Snowden of doing enormous damage to the nation, an assertion which the elder statesman found reconcilable with the fact that he once leaked a C.I.A. officer's name to the press because her husband had criticized the Bush administration.
Cheney, who in 2003 authorized the leak of Valerie Plame's undercover status, effectively ending her intelligence career, claimed that the 29-year-old Snowden had done incredible harm to the United States' defense industry. Cheney did not elaborate on whether exposing the identity of an undercover agent in charge of a covert program countering nuclear proliferation in Iraq and Iran also harmed American national security.
In addition to accusing Snowden of being a Chinese spy, the man guilty of numerous Constitutional and international statutes violations also asserted that Snowden had "committed crimes" for which he should be punished, though the former Vice President was noticeably reticent about whether he himself deserved punishment for exposing an intelligence officer's cover in order to undermine a political opponent.
Cheney concluded the interview saying that if Snowden truly was a patriot, he would have focused his energies towards more productive activities, like rendering innocent people to foreign countries to be tortured.