After Claiming USA Freedom Would Be A Boon To ISIS, Ex-NSA Director Now Mocks How Weak USA Freedom Is

from the funny-how-that-works dept

We’ve written enough about former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden that you should already know to take what he says with a large grain of salt. He will say basically anything to further his argument, no matter how false or disingenuous. He doesn’t appear to care. He’s admitted that September 11th gave him permission to reinterpret the 4th Amendment. He’s claimed that terrorist attacks that weren’t prevented were proof for why the NSA should keep collecting metadata. He lied about whether he and others lied about the CIA’s torture program. He claimed that the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s exec summary of the CIA torture report would be the tipping point for terrorists attacking us (how’d that work out?). He’s argued that no one who thinks Ed Snowden is a whistleblower should be allowed to work in government. He claimed that Senator Feinstein was too emotional about the CIA torture program to judge it effectively. And on and on and on.

And then there’s this. Last fall, we wrote about a WSJ op-ed that Hayden co-wrote with former Attorney General Mike Mukasey, completely ripping apart the USA Freedom Act. The headline was:

NSA Reform That Only ISIS Could Love

It claimed that the USA Freedom Act would “hobble the gathering of electronic intelligence” and predicted gloom and doom as a result:

For starters, the bill ends the National Security Agency?s bulk collection of what is called telephone metadata. This includes the date, time, duration and telephone numbers for all calls, but not their content or the identity of the caller or called, and is information already held by telephone companies. The bill would substitute a cumbersome and untried process that would require the NSA, when it seeks to check on which telephone numbers have called or been called by a number reasonably associated with terrorist activity, to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court, and then scurry to each of the nation?s telephone-service providers to comb through the information that remains in their hands rather than in the NSA?s.

Nothing in the bill requires the telephone companies to preserve the metadata for any prescribed period. Current Federal Communications Commission regulations impose an 18-month retention requirement, but administrative regulations are subject to change. It isn?t hard to envision companies that wish to offer subscribers the attraction of rapid destruction of these records, or a complaisant bureaucracy that lets them do it.

The bill?s imposition of the warrant requirement on the NSA would be more burdensome than what any assistant U.S. attorney must do to get metadata in a routine criminal case, which is simply to aver that the information is needed in connection with a criminal investigation?period.

He points to the rise of ISIS and says that “the last thing” that Congress should be doing is pushing “a major new bill exquisitely crafted to hobble the gathering of electronic intelligence.”

Of course, we all know that was hogwash, but as if to underline that point, let’s see what the very same Michael Hayden has to say after the USA Freedom Act passed and became law. Now, all of a sudden, he thinks the bill is so weak that it’s an opportunity to mock privacy advocates because this was “all” that they could get:

If somebody would come up to me and say ?Look, Hayden, here?s the thing: This Snowden thing is going to be a nightmare for you guys for about two years. And when we get all done with it, what you?re going to be required to do is that little 215 program about American telephony metadata ? and by the way, you can still have access to it, but you got to go to the court and get access to it from the companies, rather than keep it to yourself? ? I go: ?And this is it after two years? Cool!?

He’s actually right about that second point — which is why we’ve been saying repeatedly that USA Freedom needs to only be a starting point for real reform. However, given that Hayden’s position on the bill flipped entirely within a period of eight months, it should emphasize that whenever you see Hayden fearmongering, it’s bullshit. He’s just doing that as a cynical political ploy to help the surveillance state get or keep its surveillance powers.

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Comments on “After Claiming USA Freedom Would Be A Boon To ISIS, Ex-NSA Director Now Mocks How Weak USA Freedom Is”

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David says:

Let's check it off:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

The United States constitute themselves in the form of their Constitution, laying down the powers of government and explicit Civil Rights that the government is to protect and not infringe upon.

Hayden is one of those who openly defy their oath on the Constitution, levying War against the United States as constituted by their Founders from inside, adhering to their Enemies and giving them Aid and Comfort.

Let’s hang Snowden in effigy. He commands less scary goons. It may do nothing to stop the treason, but at least we won’t be hearing about it.

Too bad Hayden continues openly mocking the U.S.A. for its inability to deal with its actual enemies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

And George and Barack have the receipts to prove it.

As a quick test to see where Mr Hayden’s allegiance truly lies, if he sides with ISIS after a family dispute his wife looks like this

If he’s a good proper American boy (loyal to the USA, true red,white and blue) after a family dispute his bank account looks like this

Of course that’s not a truly infallible test…

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I really don’t see why everyone’s so worried about ISIS. They may talk big, but all of their “great victories” have consisted of the forces defending the cities they’re attacking being utter cowards who run away from ISIS forces that they could easily crush. They’ve gone and proclaimed a new Caliphate, which is likely to be exactly as well-received in the Middle East as the UK Prime Minister proclaiming the re-establishment of the British Empire would be here or in India. And most of the people they’re fighting against are people who hate us anyway!

If our enemies want to fight our enemies… why not just get out of their way, stand back and let them? Overblown scaremongering notwithstanding, ISIS has never actually attacked us or done anything to hurt us the way Al Qaeda did. So why are we so concerned about them again?

Hans says:


For two years Hayden has been telling us how vitally important Section 215 and the rest are. That we’d all perish without them (and him). And now that his wings have been clipped, he says effectively “Oh that? We didn’t really need it, big deal.” I believe the man is a psychopath.

He’s like your big brother insisting that he should get the last of the ice cream, but when Mom shows up and says he’s had more and you deserve it, he says “I didn’t want it anyway”.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

From his Wikipedia page…
“He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy co-founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.”

Huh… perhaps maybe he is putting financial interests ahead of the good of the people.

Just keep spinning any old piece of crap to stay a talking head they always interview and scaremonger to get more money. Perhaps we should start considering expanding domestic terrorism to include those who make statements designed to incite fear & make them profit… but then most of Congress would be gone… where do I sign to approve this?

Personanongrata says:

Yes Men Make Tyranny Possible

Micheal Hayden, Mike Mukasey and all of the other pliably supine heel-clicking oath abdicating lickspittles found infesting what remains of the once was republic are treasonous turd stains.

If there is any justice left within the once was republic these traitors would be hauled into court to answer for their crimes. Instead they are allowed hide in broad daylight behind executive privilege, national security and courts beholden to anything but the US Constitution.

Anonymous Coward says:

> “Nothing in the bill requires the telephone companies to preserve the metadata for any prescribed period.”

… True

> “Current Federal Communications Commission regulations impose an 18-month retention requirement, but administrative regulations are subject to change.”

… so are laws.

> (implied) “OMG, if we rely on the FCC to force the phone companies to keep these records, we’re doomed! DOOMED I say!”

… may I suggest a decaffeinated brand?

Anonymous Coward says:

“USA Freedom” Act, is a horse and pony show that’s being hosted by mass surveillance state supporters. At this point it’s almost better to just let laws expire “sun set” and not replace them with anything.

That’s how little faith I have in Congress to pass any real surveillance reform. I have even less faith in the Executive Branch which oversees the NSA, FBI, DOJ, CIA and probably the US Marshalls too. Zero faith for any reform coming out of that branch.

Edossa Kenea says:

Maanewii mi’uri sewii ?
Minee Amaraa yimesilaallii
Amarighaa tenaagarii hulluu Amaraa tenaagarii ayidelemii libeellii.
Galla’uu newuu weyisii leellaa
Tseree bi’erii ye’onewuu yemixisii yebiherii kellaa.
Manewuu yezemenuu sewuu
Zemeninni yaweqewuu
Manewuu mi’urii sewuu
Xintochuni abatochi yalinaqewuu
Bemi’urii asabuu netsanetuni yedegefewuu
Kezemeni garii abiroo hiwotinii yawejewuu
Negeroochini bemuluu beyefirijawuu yeleyewuu
Melikamuuni innaa goji’uni yaweqewuu
yerasuu wusanee betsinuu aquamuu yatsenawuu
Nefasii wedee nefesewuu abiroo yalinefesewuu.
Isuu newuu tsinuu aletii
Lexiqimi yemayilewexii nurowunii yemiyaqomi betigatii.
Inatii agerunii asalifoo yemayisexii bewazaa
yetemerammeree onoo yemexeqee yali’onee qerezaa
Lerasuu yesassaa
Nuurooni yalibetenee ke’ulumii yaberee yewedeqewuuni yaanesaa.
Kewedeqewuu garii rasuuni yaberee
Nebisuuni yegeberee
Isuu newuu jeginaa hulumii yaweqee.
Nuroo yalikedawuu
Xeniqiqqoo yaweqewuu
Fitsumii ye’onewuu
Le’ullumii yesassawuu.
A federal government of an Oromiya! */

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