Former NSA Boss: This Leak Teaches The World That America Can't Keep Secrets

from the no,-actually,-the-opposite dept

We've been trying to understand why the NSA and its supporters are both trying to play down the seriousness of the leak, while also claiming that it's incredibly dangerous, and I think we may finally have an explanation from former NSA and CIA boss Michael Hayden, who has given the most bizarre explanation yet:
“It informs our adversaries. It puts American companies at risk internationally for simply complying with our laws,” said Mike Hayden, a former director of the NSA and a former director of the CIA. "It teaches practically everyone in the world—sources, liaison services—that America can’t keep secrets."
Actually, I think it teaches the exact opposite. It teaches everyone that the US does keep secrets -- massive, privacy-destroying secrets that certainly appear to be in conflict with the basic principles of the 4th Amendment. And, the idea that it puts American companies at risk for "simply complying with our laws" is ludicrous. If they were simply complying with our laws, then there would be no cause for concern when the details were revealed. Laws and compliance with laws shouldn't be a secret. The problem is that because the interpretation of the laws were mostly secret, most people did not believe that this level of surveillance was really happening. So, yes, it puts American companies at risk, but the reason is because of the broad overreach of our government and the intelligence community (including the time when Hayden was in charge of large sections of it).

Separately, that same report notes that within the NSA, people are freaking out:
The impact of the leak inside the NSA has been enormous. “There is complete freakout mode at the agency right now,” one former intelligence officer tells The Daily Beast.
If this was no big deal and just the revelation of a basic internal government computer system to deal with statutorily authorized data collection, then why would they be freaking out so much?

Filed Under: edward snowden, michael hayden, nsa, nsa leak, nsa surveillance, secrets

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  1. icon
    Jay (profile), 11 Jun 2013 @ 6:05am

    Partisanry activate!

    "It teaches practically everyone in the world—sources, liaison services—that America can’t keep secrets."

    There's a few contexts that need to be made here. Michael Hayden represents the richest people in the world. The CIA has long been used to depose democracy for the proliferation of American corporations. The NSA has worked to protect the richest members of society. So when he's talking about America, he's specifically talking about a small cabal of people that have what I should term a "shadow democracy". It's not a democracy where the public is served, it's one that only goes to the people with the most money to buy it. Most would call it crony capitalism, but there's plenty of synonymous words for it.

    Now let's put out there that American corporations have a lot of influence in the government. We're criticizing a government that isn't put there to protect the American public. We should be asking who it is protecting and why has it decided to do so in an undemocratic manner.

    No one that I know of would want the government spying on them. No one seriously thinks that the government should be able to snoop on everyone. Sure, we can use the buzzword of terrorist, just as Communist was the big one in the 50s and 60s or Reds in the 30s. But spying on ALL citizens in a large vacuum? Secret courts? Secret documents saying a person is guilty? No ability to defend oneself from unjust prosecution?

    Kafkaesque courts that deprive you of your life and liberties with vague guidelines?

    This is not how to run a society. We have a military-industrial-Congresso-complex that harms the rights of its citizens and forces through laws which protect certain Americans. Congress passes the laws, the military and CIA execute them, and the president signs off on them. That isn't a democracy. It's a dictatorship.

    I find it stunning that this is one thing that Democrats and Republicans agree on. This was dangerous to America. How? It's like everyone just totally forgot that the public they represent wouldn't want these impeachments on the Constitution.

    And people are letting them do it. There's a lot to be lost if this continues. People's freedoms and liberties should be far more important than false securities of people in very high positions of power.

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