Former Spy Chief Overheard Giving Off-the-Record Interview From Train

Tom McCarthy, reporting for The Guardian:

The former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden ended up on the wrong end of a surveillance stakeout on Thursday afternoon when, while riding a commuter train, he was overheard “disparaging” the Obama administration. The over-hearer was a private citizen — Tom Matzzie, an entrepreneur who previously worked for and John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Hayden was aboard an Acela train outside Philadelphia and talking by phone with a reporter when Matzzie, who was sitting nearby, recognized him. Matzzie heard Hayden insist to the reporter that he be quoted anonymously, as a “former senior administration official”.

Then Matzzie began live-tweeting as the nation’s former top spy badmouthed the Obama administration, apparently in connection with the revelation hours earlier that NSA had monitored the phone calls of at least 35 world leaders’ telephone lines.

It’s like a scene from a modern day sequel to Dr. Strangelove.

Thursday, 24 October 2013