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Ex-NSA chief equates hacktivists who defend Snowden to terrorists

Published time: August 07, 2013 13:51
Edited time: August 07, 2013 18:44
Michael Hayden (Mark Wilson / Getty Images / AFP)

Michael Hayden (Mark Wilson / Getty Images / AFP)

Michael Hayden, the former head of CIA and NSA, hypothesized that a massive hacker attack on the US was possible from "sex-starved" activists like Anonymous in retaliation for any future prosecution of whistleblower Edward Snowden.

"If and when our government grabs Edward Snowden and brings him back here to the United States for trial, what does this group do?" the retired Air Force general asked in a speech to Washington group, the Bipartisan Policy Center, on Tuesday.

Hayden speculated that Snowden supporters would come after no one but the US government. However, he said that they would have a hard time attacking ‘dot-mils’, the well-protected military computer networks in the .mil internet domain.

"So if they can't create great harm to dot-mil, who are they going after?" he pondered, according to the Guardian. "Who for them are the World Trade Centers? The World Trade Centers, as they were for Al-Qaeda."

The general was referring to hackers and groups concerned with internet transparency, whom he lumped together as "nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven't talked to the opposite sex in five or six years."

Hayden didn’t elaborate on his ominous suggestion, and stated when asked what he expected from any "terrorist" attack that he was being "entirely speculative, not predictive."

"I'm just trying to illustrate that you've got a group of people out there who make demands, whose demands may not be satisfiable [sic], may not be rational, from other points of view, may not be the kinds of things that government can accommodate," Hayden said.

The comments spawned a backlash on Twitter.

Hayden headed the NSA between 1999 and 2005 before leaving for the CIA. Under him the agency with a mission to collect foreign intelligence began dragnet surveillance of domestic phone records and internet communications under the powers of the Patriot Act.

The practices were made public this year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently residing in Russia. Moscow granted him temporary asylum, rejecting US demands to hand him over for prosecution on espionage charges.

Comments (20)


Colleen Winthrop 08.08.2013 14:38

Michael Hayden is a member of the board of directors of The Jamestown Foundation and is therefore himself a terrorist or at the very least a supporter of terrorists. His wet dreams involve Russians being murdered by jihadists. A total psycho and nutjob.

So, if he (along with other psychos like John McCain, John Bolton, David Satter, and Michael Bogm) is on the opposite side of Russia on the Snowden issue it must be that Russia is doing the right thing.


Brian Madigan 08.08.2013 13:36

My initial response is to stoop to infantile behavior and ask if that old man knows how to use a computer, but it doesn't matter. The fact is, he and the practices he was responsible for (and that continue today) are under attack, not the United States. The hactivists are standing up for a man who stood up for the PEOPLE at the expense of these cave men who think they have carte blanche to choose what parts of the Constitution they want to abide by. I am a US Citizen and I am disgusted by what is going on and I am not the only one. We have movements gaining momentum on righting the wrongs in this nation.


gerard murphy 08.08.2013 12:38

Until the USA condemns Israel and Saudi Arabia,one for their bellicosity towards their neighbours and the other for their despotism,no other nation will ever trust them.The only reason nations have any truct with them is because they can purchase unlimited military hardware coupled by the fear of economic sanctions.Surely it is up to every citizen on planet earth to decide who is or isn't a terrorist and not decided by Whitehouse hawks.

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