Ex-CIA Director Calls For Snowden To Be “Hanged By His Neck Until He Is Dead”

R_James_Woolsey220px-Karl_Morgenschweis_prays_for_Franz_StrasserFormer CIA Director James Woolsey has one wish for the holidays: for Edward Snowden to be tried for treason and “hanged.” That was Woolsey’s response to the suggestion of amnesty for Snowden.Of course, the National Intelligence Director can commit perjury and CIA officials can lie to Congress without nary an investigation let alone prosecution. Intelligence officials can run a torture program in violation of treaties and international law without punishment. CIA officials can openly destroy evidence so that it cannot be used against them in a criminal case and continue in office without penalty. The CIA director can even reveal classified evidence to a filmmaker working on a pro-torture movie. All of that is perfectly correct, but Snowden must die.

Woolsey was appearing with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton when he proclaimed that Snowden “should be prosecuted for treason. If convicted by a jury of his peers, he should be hanged by his neck until he is dead.”

228px-Picture_of_Edward_SnowdenOf course, Woolsey’s attitude toward holding CIA officials accountable is a bit more generous. When Congress demanded repercussions after the Aldrich Ames disaster on Woolsey’s watch, he refused and said “[s]ome have clamored for heads to roll in order that we could say that heads have rolled. Sorry, that’s not my way.” No, your way is hang whistleblowers while shielding intelligence officials.

After the Snowden disclosures, Congress has pledged reforms. The White House has admitted abuses. Now a federal judge has declared the entire program to be unconstitutional. Yet, Woolsey wants Snowden dead. Welcome back to America’s Animal Farm.

126 thoughts on “Ex-CIA Director Calls For Snowden To Be “Hanged By His Neck Until He Is Dead””

  1. @Arthur Randolph Erb – Actually the point is Art that no TANGOS (Terrorists) use phones or internet any more. They abandoned that long ago once they started watching the news and the latest spy movies. Even throw-away (burners) are not safe to use any more. That’s why I keep preaching that the American IC (intel community) is looking at SOMEONE ELSE who is not so “towel-headed” (i.e. the usual suspects?). Some one who feels so secure in using phones and internet thinking they are immune to NSA/CIA/FBI etc. (ELINT/SIGINT) surveillance. That’s a very short list. I’ll let you use your imagination as to who that could be. I think General Alexander alludes to that in the video I posted above too.

    But believe me THEY don’t want to listen to you calling sex chat rooms, ordering pizza, talking to your wife about picking up milk, or some teenage air-head babbling about some really cool dude at school… maybe they do like listening to AY’s phone calls because he’s so darned paranoid. But yes I know the old saying about paranoia…

    Blowing smoke (out) – SOTB 😎

  2. @Arthur Randolph Erb – You can call me SOTB… We actually know each other from another forum… but anyway your preaching to the choir Art. I was well aware of Echelon many years ago during the COld War Period. It was used to spy on IVAN (USSR, CUBA, Et Al) and THE GANG OF 4 (Red China) not Joe Plumber (USA). Albeit, NSA allowed UK, AUS, ISRAEL, CANADA, etc to use Echelon to actually listen to Joe Plumber. That way NSA can have plausible denaibilty that THEY aren’t spying domestically.

    For instance, Australia has a Echelon station at Pine Gap. They listen to our voice traffic all the time. If they find anything they notify NSA to do follow-ups. But Ft Meade IS NOT listening to Joe Plumber. Yes they are pulling metadata from the LECs( service providers). Israel does it too from AMDOCS & COMSYS in Washington DC. Why I don’t know.

    AY thinks I blowing smoke but I’m not. NSA has NOT violated 4th Amendment and Judge Leon will learn that maybe today or next week. He wasn’t sure anyway. He’s the only judge to pull that bone-head maneuver and all of the privacy-nuts went “Yeah – see see?! I knew it!”

    Watch the video (puff-piece?) and see what General Alexander responds to all of the privacy nuts. This is an NON-ISSUE. I think their angst needs to be aimed at Israel and why are they spying on US. No reason for it. Go pound on Netanyaho and his henchman Tamir Pardo (MOSSAD chief). NSA is doing it to protect us from harm. Israel is doing it for what?

    What you said about Ussama Bin Laden is quite true. When CIA/USN Seal-Team 6 took his hooch at Abbotabad PK, they found the worldwide communication system he was using. It was so very low-tech but simply brilliant. There was no way for Echelon or Prism to track it.


    1. sotb I believe much of what you said as regards listening in to the actual conversations of US citizens or their e-mails. They use the massive tracking of numbers called to ID those whose conversations they DO want to listen to. Since they feel that they can not do that without a court order, they try to get around that by using surrogates such as you pointed out as the Aussies. Though plausible deniability is not a LEGAL defense when you contract a criminal act. That is only good for cover, not legal defenses and the NSA is still guilty of breaches of the law.

      I do think that we DO need the NSA since there are very real enemies who we do need to defend against. I cannot say the same for the CIA Directorate of Ops, nor for the massive illegalities of Hoover’s FBI. After WWI, the US Navy read virtually ALL telegrams that were transmitted overseas,even though that was totally illegal. It is too bad that there was not a Snowden in that office to let the light in. To the extent that the NSA has broken the law, as I think that in many cases they have, and Bush even admitted as much, there should be prosecutions, and those responsible held to account.

      The fundamental problem is how to balance the need for security from external threats with the Constitution and our liberties. That is a political problem and a legal one. Given the extremely poor record of such government agencies in even following the laws that exist, skepticism is MORE than justified. That you point out that people such as Clapper have a very fungible sense of truth and law gives no cause for confidence in either their sense of duty or patriotism. It reminds me of Gen Curtis LeMay on his own ordering USAF bombers to penetrate into the Soviet Union, and keeping it secret from even the Pentagon and the President. Such things cannot be allowed to happen, and those people such as Clapper need to spend some serious prison time. That will act as a deterrent to such people who think that they are above the law and are acting on a Napoleon complex. When they betray the law, they betray the USA and are just as much the traitors as they accuse Snowden of being.

      I am interested in how Al Qeda managed to avoid the electronic monitoring. The only thing I can think of might be the old time CW radio and key that is low tech. It is NO secret either since the bad guy obviously know about it, and I am sure that NSA has plugged that hole again.

  3. He’s a hero for me.

    Because he revealed to the OTHER powers that be; Russia, China, Germany, et al, that we are not their “friends.” And it is THOSE powers that CAN do something about who we have become.

    Perhaps hero is too strong a word, but he’s earned my respect.

    This is where things get interesting. What will THEY do about us?

  4. Let me reiterate: the NSA has NOT violated the Constitution (4th amendment?) How so – you may ask? Because illegal search & seizure of YOUR property has not occurred with “metadata” collection. The metadata property belongs to the SERVICE PROVIDER not YOU. The service provider FREELY (or voluntarily) gives the metadata to the NSA without a warrant and is not illegally search nor seized. So now the argument is to prove that the metadata is actually yours and not Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc. Good luck with that…

    Thanks to Snowden Russia, China, Hezbollah, Iran, etc. now knows NSA has this and will now avoid telephones and other forms of electronic communications that identify them. Yeah he’s a hero alright… but for who?


  5. @Mike Spindell – I don’t disagree with you about the Central Intelligence Agency (i.e. certain factions within it pointed out by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HW) during Iran Contra Hearings). I do not know what you speak of re: Woolsey’s hands being dirty during his tenure at CIA. I do know he could hardly ever get a meeting with POTUS Clinton. I don’t know why. I know he wouldn’t penalize CIA staff over Aldrich Ames debacle. Here is some stuff you can read up on him and his feelings on Snowden and how terrorists have been emboldened by Snowden’s revelations:


    I have difficulty with calling Snowden a hero when his own co-workers don’t agree. He didn’t really reveal anything noteworthy about your privacy rights being violated by NSA because they haven’t. Woolsey used to be the vice president of Snowden’s defense contractor employer (Booz Allen) and I can understand his angst. I do not agree with his comments about executing Snowden. Ed needs to stand trial for his violation of his NDA and maybe serve some jail time. He’s not helping USA with his revelations. He’s actually harming US – imo.


  6. @anonymously posted – All due respect to the former USN intelligence analyst Bamford but did you ACTUALLY watch the puff piece? Watch it first and point out to me where there was anything “exaggerated” as the phrase puff-piece indicates:


    Mr. Miller used to work for DNI and was ADir FBI which puts him in a distinct position to interview General Alexander. Somewhere in the middle of the piece he explains why he doesn’t “beat General Alexander up” like the way other 60 Minutes reporters might have done.

    Bamford was being a little too hard on 60 Minutes. I think Alexander answered all the questions you pro-Snowden people have about NSA ops and Snowden’s involvement. “Puff-piece” is a little misleading. Soft-ball questions yes but no exaggerations about NSA’s innocence about your privacy. Your not the target. Foreigners are. And FYI Merkel’s hands are arguably dirty and needs to be watched by NSA to ostensibly protect our security.

    Judge Leon is a moron not CBS. He says the NSA has not shown any success stories for their cyber-collecting techniques… HELLO McFLY! Since when did Leon get a TS Security Clearance? Let him obtain one and then re-think his ridiculous judgment recently.

  7. 12/16/2013 @ 8:30AM

    “An NSA Coworker Remembers The Real Edward Snowden: ‘A Genius Among Geniuses'”



    “Instead, there’s little mystery as to how Snowden gained his access: It was given to him.

    “That kid was a genius among geniuses,” says the NSA staffer. “NSA is full of smart people, but anybody who sat in a meeting with Ed will tell you he was in a class of his own…I’ve never seen anything like it.””

    In the recent CBS 60 Minutes piece below, the NSA spook Legett, who is tasked to work on the Snowden issue, the question was asked if Russia or China got to Snowden to get him to betray his country and if Snowden’s package is potentially the “keys to the kingdom” to foreign intelligence agencies… Legett was non-committal and basically said no comment… HMMMM… Legett says some people may die over this… STILL THINK SNOWDEN IS A HERO?


    Did anybody know Snowden was a high school drop out and illegally hacked into NSA to pass the NSA entrance exams?

    1. SOTB,

      With all due respect I deeply believe that the U.S. intelligence establishment is out of control and the general belief is that it is above the Constitution. Beyond that though I believe that not only is the Intelligence establishment incompetent, but that they have actually put our Country at risk. Therefore in my opinion Snowden is indeed a hero and the Agencies are traitors to our country, its people and the Constitution.

  9. @chris m – “Judge Richard Leon granted a preliminary injunction to Verizon customers Larry Klayman and Charles Strange, saying that they were suffering harm from having his records collected and that he had made a strong case that the NSA’s secret court orders, which require carriers to provide metadata on virtually all US phone calls, were likely to violate the fourth amendment.

    Judge Leon is arguably a NEOCON. He was appointed by NEOCONS. Therefore, he is setting the bar by making a really stupid judgment** against the NSA which will be struck down on appeal. However, is this just the “opening shot across the bow” for NECONS to try and stop more information being collected about them? As you say that information already collected and held by Snowden COULD be damaging to them. That’s of course if President Obama is willing to pursue this and have Eric Holder (USAG) set up prosecution (which I doubt).

    **I say “stupid judgment” as this does NOT violate the 4th Amendment as Verizon is the true OWNER of the Metadata (not the customers) in this case and they clearly volunteered to release it to NSA and was not illegally “searched & seized”. Also the audio content is also Verizon’s but the NSA is not collecting audio content from phone calls of US citizens. Foreign governments are though.

  10. …Of course, Woolsey’s attitude toward holding CIA officials accountable is a bit more generous. When Congress demanded repercussions after the Aldrich Ames disaster on Woolsey’s watch, he refused and said “[s]ome have clamored for heads to roll in order that we could say that heads have rolled. Sorry, that’s not my way.” No, your way is hang whistleblowers while shielding intelligence officials…

    Yeah Dr. Turley you should know (snicker)… 😉

  11. but what would happen if edward snowden
    showed that he actually had evidence (after all he worked at the NSA for years) which would be used to convict certain of the neocons
    of treason, and various other crimes

    that would be so drole

  12. I personally don’t have much respect for Mr. Woolsley after his disappointing public meeting he had with California citizens re: CIA illegal narcotics trafficking. He lied horribly.

    However, do not think everyone understands what Snowden did and what the NSA is REALLY doing. I mentioned earlier in another post that 60 Minutes was going to do a piece that would explain everything. Well here it is. Please watch the video below and read the script. Woolsley and Bolton are really FOS and Snowden doesn’t need to die.

    The NSA spook assigned to Snowden is open to amnesty for Snowden if he is willing to roll up his package and cease and desist and turn himself in. However General Alexander has not shared that feeling yet. Its all in the video below:


    1. “The NSA spook assigned to Snowden is open to amnesty for Snowden if he is “willing to roll up his package and cease and desist and turn himself in.”


      How about we allow Woolsey a deal for amnesty against treason and war crimes if he delineates all of the violations he’s committed and apologizes to us all for the tortures and murders committed under his direction? We’ll even let him keep his pension.

      1. sonofT, I see that you forgot that Bin Laden got off the phones LONG before Snowden revealed the massive surveillance ops of NSA. I have known for years about the fact that NSA listens in on all phone communications over the phones in the US, and any reasonably intelligent person, much less terrorists have known this for years as well. NSA does NOT just get the places, numbers and other data that the service providers own. You also forgot about the FACT that NSA listened into the private phone calls of allies, and opponents. THAT kind of thing applied to our citizens is NOT legal under any stretch of your fantasy worldview.

  13. Here’s what I dont understand. The administration and several others like Dick Cheney say Snowden is a traitor for aiding the enemy. Aiding the enemy….how??? By revealing that the US is spying on its OWN people??? How is that aiding terrorists?? If telling the American people that they are being spied on is “aiding the enemy”, well then it stands to reason that the US government considers the American people the enemy.

Comments are closed.