This Clip Of Former NSA Boss Michael Hayden Calling Snowden A Traitor Is Brought To You By Microsoft
from the making-the-worst-of-your-advertising-dollars dept
Former NSA head Michael Hayden hasn't been shy about offering his opinion on the Snowden leaks. Not being in a position where his opinion might damage the government's reputation has certainly encouraged him to speak his mind. This has led to some truly bizarre assertions from the former spy-in-chief, including his belief that Snowden is headed down the path to alcoholism, his supporters are mainly internet shut-ins and that state secrecy is just like personal privacy and worthy of the same protections.
Over the weekend, Hayden appeared on Face the Nation, where he defended the NSA's activities and further derided Ed Snowden. [Full transcript here with a bundled autoplay video for no conceivable reason.] Hayden has apparently "upgraded" his views on Snowden (although, I'm more inclined to believe they've never changed) based on recent developments.
HAYDEN: Well, I used to say he was a defector, you know, and there's a history of defection -- actually, there's a history of defection to Moscow, and that he seems to be part of that stream. I'm now, kind of, drifting in the direction of perhaps more harsh language.Hayden's "drift" is based on a misconception that spread throughout most of the media in recent weeks.
GARRETT: Such as?
HAYDEN: Such as "traitor."
HAYDEN: Well, in the past two weeks, in open letters to the German and the Brazilian government, he has offered to reveal more American secrets to those governments in return for something -- and in return was for asylum. I think there's an English word that describes selling American secrets to another government, and I do think it's treason.Except that's not what Snowden actually said. That's just how it was portrayed, but Snowden never made a conditional offer. He was simply looking for permanent asylum and offering nothing in exchange -- just presenting the details of his current situation. The press took this and presented it as Snowden offering to help spy on the US or divulge secret documents in exchange for asylum. Hayden bought it. No doubt the NSA believes it as well. But Hayden cites this specifically as why he believes Snowden is a traitor -- and it's for something Snowden not only hasn't done, but for something he never even offered to do.
Making this ridiculous assertion even more ridiculous is the odd synergy of CBS and its sponsorship deals. The official CBS News Twitter account offered up a clip of Hayden calling Snowden a traitor as a "Face the Nation Moment" -- sponsored by none other than Microsoft.
But the way CBS pitches it, the message comes across as Microsoft supporting Hayden's claims that Snowden is a traitor. Unfortunate to be sure, but not entirely unbelievable.