Former CIA/NSA Boss Michael Hayden Admits Ed Snowden Was A Whistleblower
from the freudian-slip? dept
So it seems at least somewhat noteworthy that, in a moment of what appears to be accidental honesty, Hayden admitted that Snowden was really a whistleblower (spotted by Snowden legal advisor Jesselyn Radack).
"When Snowden blew the whistle on the 215 program... that's the metadata stuff, the phone bills up at Ft. Meade...."Of course, he goes on to insist that the program was clearly perfectly legal based on all of the supposed "oversight." He conveniently leaves out the fact that many of the details of the program were not actually known by those who did the approving. For example, he leaves out that the FISA Court's approvals did not involve a full judicial analysis of the program until after the Snowden revelations (7 years after the program started), and that the original approval was based on a twisted interpretation of an approval of a very different program. He leaves out that the approval in Congress was done with most of Congress not being told how broad the program was and that it captured phone records on just about every phone call. He leaves out that the evidence of abuse of the program or the lack of a working audit system to prevent abuse weren't widely known.
But, still, he does appear to be admitting that Snowden was, in fact, a whistleblower. Even if it's something of a Freudian slip, it's still telling. Furthermore, at the end of his statement, he does further admit that even those approvals across the branches of government is viewed by many in the public as "consent of the governors, not consent of the governed" and seems to at least acknowledge that this is a legitimate concern. I doubt we'll see Hayden coming around to the views of many of us concerning the gross abuses by the intelligence community (many of which happened under his watch), but these do seems like baby steps in the right direction.