Former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden was speaking off-the-record to reporters on an Amtrak train on Thursday afternoon when he was overheard by fellow passenger Tom Matzzie, a political activist.
Hayden, however, wasn’t really bothered about his private conversations being revealed to the world through social media, according to news reports.
Matzzie, a member of MoveOn.org, which is a liberal public policy advocacy group, was reportedly 7-8 feet away from Hayden on the commuter train.
The activist then live-tweeted the ex-spy chief’s off-the-record comments, which included statements on the controversial NSA scandal.
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Former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden on Acela behind me blabbing "on background as a former senior admin official" Sounds defensive.— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 24, 2013
Hayden was bragging about rendition and black sites a minute ago.— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 24, 2013
Michael Hayden on Acela giving reporters disparaging quotes about admin. "Remember, just refer as former senior admin" #exNSAneedsadayjob— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 24, 2013
Matzzie, who is also a Huffington Post blogger, seemed least concerned over the consequences of eavesdropping on the ex-NSA chief and even wanted to take a picture with the man.
I think I'm safe. Just passed Philly. No rendition yet. Do I have the balls to ask him for a photo? #haydenacela— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 24, 2013
And he did:
Hayden was informed on the train after a while that his conversations were being live-tweeted by a passenger.
According to The New York Magazine, Hayden behaved like a gentleman toward Matzzie and said, “So, would you like a real interview?”
Later, in an interview to HuffingtonPost, Hayden said Matzzie’s version of his statements were “not specifically accurate.”
Looks like the former NSA director just got a little taste of his own medicine.
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