Ex-National Security Agency (NSA) director Michael Hayden’s off-the-record interviews went public on Thursday after his conversation “on background” was overheard by former MoveOn.org director Tom Matzzie, Salon reported.
Matzzie began tweeting from an Amtrak Acela commuter train around 4:20 p.m., writing that Hayden was behind him “blabbing ‘on background as a former senior admin official'” to unidentified journalists, and that Hayden “sounded defensive.”
According to Matzzie, Hayden spent part of the interview “bragging about black sites” and reminding his interviewers to refer to him “as former senior admin” while allegedly “bashing” the current administration and discussing the agency’s surveillance activities against U.S. allies.
As Matzzie’s tweets began to gain attention on Twitter, he wrote, “I feel like I’m in the NSA. Except I’m in public,” and wondered if a phone ringing nearby meant someone was alerting Hayden — a theory that turned out to be correct.
Matzzie also added that Hayden “was a gentleman,” even though the two disagreed on the issue, and that Hayden left the train in Newark, New Jersey.
[Image: Former NSA head Michael Hayden, by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, via Flickr Creative Commons.]