Chairman of House Intelligence Committee responds “I can help you with that.”
Oct 3, 2013
The former head of the NSA and the CIA, Michael Hayden, told an audience at a cybersecurity conference today that he’d like to see whistleblower Edward Snowden placed on a US government targeted assassination list.
In comments that were intended as a joke, but that came off as anything but funny, Hayden told the Washington Post hosted crowd that rather than being on the shortlist for a European human rights award, Snowden should be on a kill list.
“I must admit, in my darker moment over the past several months, I’d also thought of nominating Mr. Snowden, but it was for a different list,” Hayden said during a panel discussion, according to Brendan Sasso of The Hill.
Sasso notes that the audience laughed, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who was also on the panel, responded, “I can help you with that.”
I think Rep Mike Rogers and Gen Michael Hayden just joked about putting Snowden on a kill list
— Brendan Sasso (@BrendanSasso) October 3, 2013
The conversation then turned specifically to the government’s use of targeted killings, with Hayden noting “Yes, we do targeted killings, and I certainly hope they make full use of the capacities of the National Security Agency when we do that.”
Hayden was responding to a question about a new project announced by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, delving into the NSA’s alleged role in assassinations.
“This is going to be really interesting because I have no idea what [Greenwald] is talking about,” Hayden is said to have added, with Mike Rogers chiming in , “Neither does he.”
While asserting that “We don’t do assassinations,” Hayden said that the government is within its rights to carry out “targeted killings against enemy combatants” during a time of war.
The comments prompted the following tweet from Glenn Greenwald:
Psychopath: former CIA & NSA Director https://t.co/Ja2x3a18mj
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 3, 2013
According to further reports, Hayden also floated a conspiracy theory that Snowden was likely engaged in a “sustained, long-term campaign” to take information from the NSA, with the contractor moving from job to job to gain more access.
Snowden wasn’t “suddenly offended by something he came across,” Hayden said.
Mike Rogers, added his own conspiracy theory, suggesting that Snowden had outside help accessing classified data.
When asked if Rogers believed there was “evidence that Snowden had help from another government,” the lawmaker responded “I didn’t say ‘evidence’ or ‘government,’ but that was pretty good.”
Describing Snowden’s activities as “the most brilliant espionage operation conducted against the United States in the history of the world,” Rogers added “We’re a little concerned there may have been more to this story than meets the eye.”
He further suggested that Snowden was in cahoots with China and Russia, saying that it was highly suspect that Snowden travelled first to Hong Kong, and then ended up “in the loving arms” of a Russian intelligence agent.
Hayden has previously made it known that he believes Snowden to be worse than any American “traitor” ever, including Benedict Arnold, for blowing the whistle on government spying. He has said that he does not see Snowden as a whistleblower because he has not “exposed any wrongdoing” by government.
Hayden has also described the former NSA contractor as a “morally arrogant defector” who will likely become an alcoholic.
It was Hayden who was overseeing warrantless wiretapping programs during his tenure at the NSA. Hayden, was the one in charge of spying on millions of Americans’ communications, relying on a truly twisted version of the law under the PATRIOT Act as cover for his actions.
Hayden was also the man who seriously argued that there was no mention of “probable cause” in the Fourth Amendment, insisting that only ‘reasonable search and seizure’ was required in violating the privacy of Americans.
Sorry, who is the “morally arrogant traitor” again?
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.