'CIA dilemma: Must hire millennials, very group that respects the Constitution’
The former head of the CIA Michael Hayden came up with an explanation for how thousands of secret documents ended up in the hands of WikiLeaks. The files were released this week, showing how the agency hacks smartphones and TVs. Michael Hayden says they may have been leaked by insiders, most likely young CIA recruits, from the generation known as millennials.
RT: Michael Hayden doubts whether millennials understand loyalty and secrecy. Why would he say that, do you think?
Ray McGovern: It is very painful to hear General Hayden say those things, because these millennials, or whoever it is that is leaking information, are loyal in a way that he has not been, to their only oath, the only oath we all take, and that is to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In an unprecedented situation, two of General Hayden’s predecessors as head of NSA said he did illegal things in wiretapping and monitoring Americans. That was Bobby Ray Inman, who was pretty much the creator of the NSA, and who worked on the laws that prohibit these things. He said, “I drafted the laws, I know what is in those laws, and it admits of no exceptions.” Bobby Ray Inman, after it was disclosed that General Hayden had done this at NSA said, “He clearly violated the law.” One more recent predecessor as NSA director was an Army General named William Odom, and Odom when he heard about Hayden, almost couldn’t control himself. He said, “Hayden should be court-martialed since he still on active duty, and he should be removed from office and so should George Bush who ordered him to do that.”
Here we have this same character… General Hayden accusing leakers of disloyalty. That is like the pot calling the kettle black because if anyone is guilty of not abiding by his oath to defend the Constitution, it is General Hayden himself. I have a little bit of difficulty refraining from being angry.
RT: If other people in the agency agree with him, what should they do now? Just recruit older people?
RM: The problem is they are caught between a rock and a hard place. They need the young people. The young people know how to do this stuff. That’s really important. It is really hard to weed out young people who will do this stuff without any respect for the Constitution or without any respect for privacy. To weed those out and only let old people like me, who don’t know anything about how to tap into these things. They cannot do this without the young people. And by hiring young people, it is really hard to say “this person will violate the Constitution, but this person won’t.”
One of the interesting things here is that when we gave Edward Snowden the award for Integrity in Intelligence that was in June of 2013. In July, we were at a hacker conference outside of Amsterdam, and we noted that we wanted to give this prize to Edward Snowden, but we had no way of getting there because he was at Sheremetyevo Airport and nobody knew how to get to him. Guess what? Those millennials, those hackers passed the hat around and collected enough money for the four of us – Colleen Rowley, Tom Drake, Jesselyn Radack and myself - all whistleblowers to go to Moscow and back, pay for our fares and a fairly decent hotel as well. That is how strong these people who know how to do this technology feel about the need for privacy to protect our Constitution.
RT: WikiLeaks says the file dump is just a small fraction of what they have on the CIA. What else do you expect to come out?
RM: I suppose they’ve led with their most volatile, but it is hard to say because WikiLeaks is very meticulous in going through all this, ordering it in such a way that it is searchable. So, God knows what else they have. But what this indicates really is that even though these illegal hackers are really good about offensive things and interfering and hacking in such a way that other services can be blamed, they are really bad, they are a bunch of hacks when it comes to defensive measures. Witness the fact that WikiLeaks has all this treasure trove of very condemnatory information.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.