President Obama, Sean Hannity and many others may be changing their position on the NSA’s data mining programs out of political necessity or partisan convenience, but Dick Cheney is not. In an interview with Chris Wallace, he said he’s just fine with what the NSA is doing:
CHRIS WALLACE: What does all of this have to be kept so secret? The terrorists clearly assume we’re trying to intercept their phone calls and intercept their e-mails. Why not let the American public know the outlines, the general program. Obviously, not sources and methods… so we as Americans can debate it?
CHENEY: [Laughing] I have problems with respect to that concern. I understand people’s concern about it, but an intelligence program that does reveal sources and methods, which in fact is what your’e talking about, is significantly less effective because you’re not just revealing it to the American people, you’re revealing it to your targets, to your adversaries, to the energy…
WALLACE: So what right do you think the American people have to know what government is doing?
CHENEY: Well, they get to vote for senior officials, like the President of the United States, or like the senior officials in Congress. And you have to have some trust in them.
He’s wrong, of course, but at least he’s being intellectually honest about it. He was in favor of expanding executive power beyond all previous limits — and the constitution be damned — but he’s in favor of it no matter which party holds the White House.