According to former CIA Director Michael Hayden, it’s the millennials who are to blame for leaking government and intelligence secrets. That’s what he told the BBC in an interview about the recent WikiLeaks dump of sensitive CIA materials earlier this week.
“This seems to be an incredibly damaging leak,” he said, later blaming millennials for the dump. “We have to recruit from a certain demographic. I don’t mean to judge them at all, but this group of millennials and related groups simply have different understandings of the words loyalty, secrecy, and transparency than certainly my generation did.”
“Culturally, they have different instincts than people who made the decision to hire them,” he added, specifically citing Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks in 2013, and Chelsea Manning, who leaked classified information to WikiLeaks in 2010.
However, there were several high-profile whistleblowers who came before Snowden and Manning.
For instance, in 1971, Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers as an employee of the State Department. The documents revealed a U.S. government study of its involvement in the Vietnam War and detailed government decision-making in regards to the war.
Former FBI special agent Mark Felt aided Richard Nixon’s political collapse by working with Washington Post reporters as a secret informant on Watergate stories. He used the pseudonym “Deep Throat.”
While millennials may be more skeptical of widespread government surveillance, as reported by the Intercept, leaking government documents is a practice that dates back to a time before millennials.
Watch Hayden’s remarks below: