Former NSA chief compares Snowden to terrorists
December 1st, 2013
11:42 AM ET
9 years ago

Former NSA chief compares Snowden to terrorists

Washington (CNN) - Former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden said Sunday that Edward Snowden, who has disclosed secrets about how the NSA surveils both at home and abroad, has created a "catastrophic" situation for American intelligence agencies.

"This is catastrophic for the safetay and security of the American nation, what this very narcissitic young man has done," Hayden told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."

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Multiple reports allege Snowden has created a "doomsday cache" of government secrets that would release to the public should he be incarcerated or harmed.

Hayden said he has "no reason to doubt" those reports, but added that the looming threat of future disclosures should not dissaude American agencies from pursuing Snowden. The retired general said abandoning the effort to bring Snowden to justice would be like "negotiating with terrorists."

Snowden has been in Moscow since June. In August, Russia granted him asylum for one year. He is wanted in the United States on espionage charges.

Filed under: Edward Snowden • Michael Hayden • NSA
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Whistleblower

    The NSA's logic is that everybody in the world, except NSA itself, has no right to privacy.
    Except of course that pretty much every nation in the world does this from the U.K. to Israel, from Russia to France. Get over it.
    This is exactly why the whole world need a serious discussion on privacy, and Snowden did a good job in trigger it.

    December 1, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Anonymouse

    Anonymous, you do realize William Binney and Thomas Drake have done EXACTLY that and were branded a traitor and nobody listened to them until Edward Snowden didn't follow the official channels and went directly to the media with it. (Google NSA Past Whistleblowers)

    Btw, he was in Hong Kong at first if your goldfish memory still remembers, no other country wanted to stand in the way of U.S. and offer him asylum except, guess who? A smirking Putin. (Google Edward Snowden)

    December 1, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Whistleblower

    He had other avenues to reveal what he knew without being a runaway, hiding out, traitor. Why didn't he just go
    to the media, Fox would have welcomed him with open arms. So, afraid of me? No way. But he is no hero
    in my book. Cowardly if you prefer that word.


    Then someday he will die with two shots in his head. Autopsy result: suicide. No foul play involved.

    December 1, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. JesusChristPeople

    NSA got in on better information than Google, Yahoo and Facebook combined, quite literally actually they combined it all into a Treasure Map. (Google NSA Treasure Map)

    Meanwhile don't whack it to gay pr0n and talk radical of the government. Indeed NSA is watching you fap (Google NSA, Porn)

    Anyways, this is what the NSA is fighting for, for the right to own yours and the world's most private information, and you sit here and berate the only man who risked his life to let you know.

    December 1, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Rick

    He's not a terrorist, he's a delusional kid with no basic education. What he is doing now is screwing up international relations between countries and making it harder for countries to work together on important issues such as terrorism and people smuggling. I find it hilarious that people worry about the NSA invading their privacy, when Google and all the other search engines SELL your search information to advertisers so that they know what you like. The conspiracy theorists of the world have shown themselves to be mental midgets and have no idea how the world actually works. The NSA doesn't care about you or me and people need to start realizing this. It collects all the data it can and then takes only the relevant data form that. If you number is associated with the number of a terrorist then you might have something to worry about but if it isn't, and more than likely it isn't, you have nothing to worry about. People today truly have no education.

    December 1, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. ladies first

    Sickening, You all have a lot to be desired. The world would be far better off with the likes of you. Buttt, i'm not telling you anything that you all don't already know am i?

    December 1, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Hero

    Because it worked so well for all the people who did go through the official channels.

    December 1, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Even if folks refuse to see it, he did us a service as a nation by revealing our morally questionable activities, only a matter of time before it happens in other nations as well. Don't really care though, hang the guy. and plant a chip in my neck for all I care, status quo isn't going to change because someones figurative porn stash was found.

    December 1, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Sylvana

    Snowden has the potential, through his egomaniacally irresponsible conduct, to bring the world into serious conflict. Anyone who supports this man should think very carefully about what sort of a world they want their families to exist in.
    In return for safe haven, the Russians have bought his silence. The only country in this world that has assured its secrets are safe are those who quickly and cunningly harboured him. You will never hear any Russian secrets. He has already done great damage to my country and whispers say there is more to come. He is putting good and decent lives at risk, and I wish an undercover agent would line him up – good and proper.

    December 1, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Sylvana

    The same opinion goes for Julian Assange. I hope he rots inside the Ecuadorian Embassy and if he puts one foot outside, finds himself doing life in Guantanamo Bay where he belongs.

    December 1, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Liz the First

    He's a traitor. needs to be sentenced to life in front of a firing squad! hope they get him and bring him to the justice he so richly deserves.

    December 1, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. yebed nunny

    Nobody said coalition politics was easy. Listen to the people, like you used to do!

    December 1, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. yebed nunny

    The number of people that support snowden is staggering. Just compare the average blog response across all related articles in the media industry. The media is not listening to the people on this issue, its obvious.

    December 1, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |

    The Guns Over People tea potty domestic terrorists dearly love him. They shutdown the people's government AND voted to destroy the full faith and credit of America.

    December 1, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. MtVernonCannibisFarms

    I"m not going to flatter Hayden by comparing him to Cromwell or Robespierre , or any other notable with finger prints on history

    When ever I see General Hayden , I think , so that's what do you get when you give a burgermeister a computer

    December 1, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  16. don in albuquerque

    @willgallison–Guess your feeling would maike you a traitor too.

    December 1, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. charleskafka2013

    it sucks to get caught,
    i got caught at shoplifting a donut at the age of 11.
    i know just how that chief feels.
    getting caught for me was a wake up call,
    i knew i was too stupid/incompetent to live life as an evil genus, and decided to be good for the rest of my life.
    lets see what conclusions hayden arrives at.

    December 1, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. Tom C

    You are the terrorists, Michael Hayden. It's youuuuu.

    December 1, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. don in albuquerque

    @will galison–Oh and be careful when you call other people names. You may have just pegged yourself.

    December 1, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  20. Jeff Frank (Ohio T Party) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Communist Takeover of America GOAL #20 Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions.

    Edward Snowden is a whistle blower, with a clean record. Edward Snowden is a national hero.

    December 1, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. S. B. Stein

    If Snowden really was concerned about NSA practices, then he should have gone to Congress. This leaking all the documents shows that he doesn't really care about the US and wants to see it fall. He should come back to the US to make his case in front of a court. There was no excuse for doing otherwise.

    December 1, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. Max

    I'm sure snowden voted for Obama

    December 1, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  23. oneSTARman

    ENEMY of the STATE
    We have a Great Deal more to Fear from the NSA and CIA and FBI and DHS
    and all the other SECRET POLICE that are Destroying the Precious Liberty and Freedom
    that was what made the United States something DIFFERENT from everything else before

    December 2, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  24. Name Uche Agonsi

    Snowden is blessing turned into ruin. He reminds me of South African Blade Runner, & makes me want to ask if some incapacitations are accompanied some evil spirits.

    December 2, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  25. Marie MD

    snowden IS a terrorist and if we can ever get him back here do they still shoot them?
    Anyone who complains about the NSA following our every move needs to give up facebook and twitter.
    Those two sites have caused more robberies and chaos than the NSA ever will.

    December 2, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
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