Former NSA Boss Hayden Says Snowden Likely To Become An Alcoholic Because He's 'Troubled' And 'Morally Arrogant'

from the funny-you-should-say-that dept

The Washington Post's Andrea Peterson has some more incredible quotes from former NSA and CIA boss Michael Hayden, who seems to have a way of saying exactly the wrong thing if he's trying to reassure those who are worried about excessive government surveillance. First up, he continues to attack anyone who feels otherwise. The same guy who insisted that people who were concerned about NSA surveillance were shut-ins who couldn't get laid has apparently decided that he can determine Ed Snowden's mental makeup from afar, despite never having spoken to the guy. He can also predict his future:
Hayden predicted a bleak future for Snowden. Describing the former NSA contractor as a "defector," Hayden also called him "a troubled young man -- morally arrogant to a tremendous degree -- but a troubled young man."

Hayden further compared Snowden's prospects to those of defectors during the Cold War, saying, "I suspect he will end up like most of the rest of the defectors who went to the old Soviet Union: Isolated, bored, lonely, depressed -- and most of them ended up alcoholics."
Of course, Snowden didn't defect. He was more or less forced into Russia by the US pulling his passport. And we should look at who's throwing around claims of being "morally arrogant" here.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the talk, Hayden insisted that the intelligence community wanted to play within "the box" explaining what's legal, and said: "you're going to have to decide where the box is that you want your security services to work in." Of course, when Peterson questioned him on how the public could (a) understand where the box is today in order to have that debate and (b) suggest ways to move the box, Hayden didn't seem that interested:
When I asked how the public could tell security agencies where "the box" should be if they don't have the details of where it is now, Hayden responded, "In a perfect world I would brief the House and Senate intelligence committees and be done with it" because the more scrutiny surveillance programs receive the harder he believes it is to do their jobs.
At this point, you get the feeling Hayden must have started to wonder how Peterson could have possibly gotten out of her "internet shut-in" basement and braved the outside world to go see him speak.

Oh and then there's the bit where he insists that the public is actually fine with NSA snooping... just like they're fine with targeted killings. Except, what he really meant by "the public" was "American Presidents."
At one point, Hayden also compared NSA snooping programs to other controversial programs that he says have been accepted by the public. He pointed to targeted killing, which he says two presidents have now signed off on "with some degree of enthusiasm."
Note to Hayden from the internet shut-in community: having a President "enthusiastically" support his own ability to authorize spying on everyone and killing people overseas is, uh, somewhat different than suggesting the public supports it.

Filed Under: ed snowden, michael hayden


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2013 @ 7:09am

    The real quote

    Hayden has a bleak future. Describing NSA contractor Hayden "a troubled man -- morally arrogant to a tremendous degree -- but a troubled man."

    Hayden further compared prospects to those working for the NSA "I suspect they will end up like most of the rest of the NSA: Isolated, bored, lonely, depressed -- and most of them ended up alcoholics."

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.