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Michael Hayden Rips WikiLeaks: 'Agent of the Russian Federation'

Image: Michael Hayden Rips WikiLeaks: 'Agent of the Russian Federation'
Michael Hayden (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 05:57 PM

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden Wednesday slammed WikiLeaks after Tuesday's release of classified agency documents — saying that "I'm now pretty close to the position that WikiLeaks is acting as an arm, as an agent of the Russian Federation."

"This is my making assumptions based upon what's happened over the past year and what WikiLeaks has been doing," Hayden, who also directed the NSA, told Jake Tapper on CNN in explaining his positon.

Hayden, a retired four-star Air Force general, admitted that he had no evidence to support his WikiLeaks assertion.

"They claim to be a transparency organization," he said. "I wish they would emphasize transparency in some of the world's autocratic nations rather than one of the world's great democracies."

WikiLeaks published nearly 9,000 documents Tuesday purporting to contain details of CIA hacking operations, including claims that the spy agency could record information from Apple, Google and Samsung smartphones and televisions.

Federal officials said they were investigating WikiLeaks' latest release, CNN reports.

Hayden told Tapper that he was suspicious of the latest WikiLeaks drop, in light of President Donald Trump's praise of the organization during the campaign, as well as his slams of the nation's intelligence community since winning the White House in November.

"I must confess that the thought occurred to me, but I would not suggest it is anything more than perhaps a potential hypothesis," he said. "That might be a thing you might want to look into as you go forward.

"I don't know that the Russians actually committed the theft. This may be what WikiLeaks said it was: an insider."

But Hayden said that he was concerned that the drop had given a "warning" to "legitimate foreign intelligence targets as to how we could come after them — and, frankly, the signatures that would suggest we are coming after them.

"I think every intelligence service on the planet worth its weight is now going through these documents with great care to see what it is they have, they do, that makes them vulnerable to this suite of tactics, techniques procedures and tools that have now been made public."

The latest release follows the publishing of hacked data by Chelsea Manning in 2010, Edward Snowden in 2013 — and the theft of classified information over nearly a decade by Harold Martin, who was charged with espionage last year.

Snowden and Martin were former NSA contractors.

"There's always been a counter-intelligence problem," Hayden told Tapper. "When I was the director of CIA or NSA, one of the things you take home with you every night is: 'I wonder if there is a mole inside my organization?'

"We have a long history of people breaking in.

"What's different now," he continued, "is that we're living in a world of big data. Everything is data.

"When espionage of this nature takes place, it takes place with big data — so we've got these massive leaks of Manning, of Snowden, and now what we see happening at CIA."

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Former CIA Director Michael Hayden Wednesday slammed WikiLeaks after Tuesday's release of classified agency documents — saying that "I'm now pretty close to the position that WikiLeaks is acting as an arm, as an agent of the Russian Federation."
michael hayden, wikileaks, russian, agents
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2017-57-08
Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 05:57 PM
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