Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee known for blowing the whistle on the agency's unconstitutional dragnet surveillance practices, should be put on the "kill list" used by the Obama administration to take out assumed enemies, former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden jived Thursday during a panel discussion on cybersecurity hosted by The Washington Post.
During a discussion of Snowden's recent nomination for a European human rights award, Hayden told the audience with tongue in cheek, "I must admit in my darker moment over the past several months, I'd also thought of nominating Mr. Snowden, but it was for a different list," much to the delight of the audience who laughed it off.
Getting in on the joke, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) added, "I can help you with that."
Directly following the exchange, journalist Brendan Sasso tweeted:
I think Rep Mike Rogers and Gen Michael Hayden just joked about putting Snowden on a kill list
— Brendan Sasso (@BrendanSasso) October 3, 2013
And journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has worked with Snowden on the NSA leaks, replied:
Psychopath: former CIA & NSA Director https://t.co/Ja2x3a18mj
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 3, 2013
In the same discussion Hayden also defended the government's use of targeted killings, e.g. drone strikes on unsuspecting targets around the world. Researchers have repeatedly shown that these attacks have resulted in countless deaths and casualties of innocent civilians.
"Yes, we do targeted killings, and I certainly hope they make full use of the capacities of the National Security Agency when we do that," Hayden said.
The subject came up in reference to a recent announcement that Greenwald and fellow investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill are working on a joint investigation on how the NSA has been involved in the wider overseas "assassination program" run by the Obama administration.