Former head of the NSA and the CIA, General Michael Hayden, has said he believes that Edward Snowden is worse than any American “traitor” ever, including Benedict Arnold, for blowing the whistle on government spying.
In an op ed piece for CNN, Hayden, who many would agree has a deranged view of the Fourth Amendment, compares Snowden to a host of other Americans who notoriously released secrets, then he makes the argument that he is worse than every one of them because he released more information.
“I know that we have had our share of spies… We have also had our share of leakers…” Hayden writes.
“Benedict Arnold was bent on betraying the garrison at West Point to the British during the Revolution. Klaus Fuchs and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg ferreted out nuclear secrets for the Russians. Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen identified American penetrations for ultimate execution by the Soviets.”
“But Snowden is in a class by himself.” Hayden asserts.
Hayden is arguing that Snowden is a traitor on a grander scale than the American who provided intelligence and defected to the British during the Revolutionary War, as well as the Americans who supplied Russia with nuclear secrets during the Cold War.
In Hayden’s warped mind, an American who exposed how the government is actively spying on it’s own citizens in secret is a worse traitor than an American who joined a foreign army to fight against the independence of the nation.
Hayden completely ignores the fact that Snowden has assured the media that foreign governments could not possibly access the data he has. The General states that he “would lose all respect for China’s Ministry of State Security and Russia’s FSB if they have not already fully harvested Snowden’s digital data trove.”
Hayden continues the assault on Snowden by stating that he will be to blame for “the undeniable economic punishment that will be inflicted on American businesses for simply complying with American law.” In other words, when corporations and businesses are more wary of working with companies like Facebook and Google, because of the demands placed on them to hand over information to the NSA, that is Snowden’s fault – not the NSA’s.
Moving on from trampling all over the Fourth Amendment, Hayden also suggests that the First should be scrapped, by advocating that Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Snowden story, should be treated as a “co-conspirator”.
“The Guardian newspaper’s Glenn Greenwald, far more deserving of the Justice Department’s characterization of a co-conspirator than Fox’s James Rosen ever was…” Hayden writes.
Greenwald hit back at Hayden immediately with the following tweet:
I’ve long thought Michael Hayden belongs in prison for implementing illegal warrantless eavesdropping at Americans
Greenwald is bang on the money. 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.