[There was a video here]
Back in 2013, former CIA and former NSA Director Michael Hayden made an ill-advised joke when he alluded to wanting to put Edward Snowden on a kill list. Now, in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, Hayden is finally clarifying hist stance—sort of.
Hayden is... less direct, spending a lot of time demurring and offering half answers to what should be a fairly simple of course not, I’m not a maniac.
Michael Hayden: “I didn’t say that.”
Mehdi Hasan: “You said he should be put on a list.”
Hayden: “...I was there in a panel in downtown Washington, and he was nominated for [an awards] list.”
Hasan: “And you said, ‘I could think of another list.’”
Hayden: “What I said was, ‘In my darker moments, I have thought about that.’”
Hasan: “So in your darker moments, you have thought about killing him?”
Hayden: “Well, because he has been tremendously destructive to American security.”
Hayden goes on to say that he’s “never supported assassinating Edward Snowden.” But apparently, even though he’s never officially supported Snowden’s assassination, a boy can still dream.
And does Hayden support executing Edward Snowden? “I probably don’t,” he says. Probably.
So does Michael Hayden want Snowden dead? He certainly doesn’t not want Snowden dead. Whether or not Hayden believes that Snowden belongs on either a birthday or Christmas-card list, as Hasan suggests, remains unclear.