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Ex-NSA chief jokes about putting Edward Snowden on kill list

October 3, 2013 - Ben Klein
Former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden joked Thursday about putting NSA leaker Edward Snowden on a kill list during a cybersecurity conference.

According to The Hill, Hayden also noted that Snowden has been nominated for a European human rights award.

"I must admit, in my darker moments 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 on cybersecurity hosted by The Washington Post.

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."

Both officials argued that Snowden's leaks about the scope of the NSA's surveillance programs have done serious damage to U.S. national security.

Snowden, who has been charged with espionage, has been living in Russia since the country granted him asylum in August.

As the Associated Press reported earlier this week, Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of "Dirty Wars," said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States' government said Saturday they've teamed up to report on the National Security Agency's role in what one called a "U.S. assassination program."

The journalists provided no evidence of the purported U.S. program at the news conference, nor details of who it targeted.

"The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don't want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role in the U.S. assassination program," said Scahill, speaking to moviegoers in Rio de Janeiro, where the documentary based on his book made its Latin American debut at the Rio Film Festival.

"There are so many stories that are yet to be published that we hope will produce 'actionable intelligence,' or information that ordinary citizens across the world can use to try to fight for change, to try to confront those in power," said Scahill.

 
 

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