CURRENT GLOBAL POLITICAL SCENARIO

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Globally we face a multiple crisis of the economy, energy, food, and of the ecology of the planet. The world is slowly and gradually changing from a unipolar world to a multipolar world, where there are numerous centres of power. Even though it is a subtle process and the USA still holds a superior status, yet the process of change has already taken the first step.

Alternate centres of power have been developed in the world. The European Union, ASEAN- Association of South East Asian countries, SAARC- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, BRICS- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are the organizations, which are slowly and gradually gaining more and more political influence in the international scenario. Even US President Barack Obama said that, “The country he inherits will no longer be able to call the shots alone, as its power over an increasingly Multi-polar world begins to wane”.

Common international problems like environment issues, economic downfalls and terrorism also add to the fact of reducing gaps between the international issues thus giving them a common ground. Global governance and multilateralism would also strengthen the concept of a multipolar world. Hence it can be concluded that even though the world today is not completely multi polar, it is not completely unipolar either.

Natural resources, particularly in the form of clean water and food are ranking candidates to end up fighting over. The First World War was about land grabs. World War Two was about the hearts and minds of different ideologies. The Global security is a delicate balance and it may not take much for it to descend into a global war in a world of 7.5 billion human beings.

The important role that international peacekeeping forces play is maintaining international peace and stability. UN and regional peacekeeping is a strategic priority for the United States. These efforts made by the U.S. with the international community, is helping to save lives and prevent the escalation of conflict. Not only do the UN and regional peacekeeping operations help prevent countries and regions from sliding into chaos, but their very presence reduces the likelihood that military will be called upon

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Edge of Revolution: New Nickelback song features glimpse of PTI rally

Canadian rock band Nickelback released on Friday the full music video for its latest politically-themed single Edge of a Revolution, featuring a short clip of a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) rally among other protests.

Directed by ace song video director Wayne Isham, the video shows the band performing in a dark classroom as filmed images of protests with riot police and posters are projected on a screen behind the musicians.

The music video veteran — who has directed song videos for artistes like Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, KISS, Roxette and Britney Spears —at the end shows the uniformed school children on their feet, pushing over classroom furniture and scattering papers in the air chanting “we want change!”.

The brief clip from the PTI rally shows red and green party flags along with a poster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

 — Screengrab shows band playing in front of screen showing images from PTI rally
 Screengrab shows band playing in front of screen showing images from PTI rally

While the single was released on August 18 as part of the band’s upcoming album No Fixed Address, the full video was released Friday.

Nickelback will release its first album since 2011, reportedly titled No Fixed Address , this fall.

An excerpt of the song lyrics:

Hey, hey, just obey.

Your secret’s safe with the NSA

In God we trust or the CIA?

Standing on the edge of a revolution

(Chorus) No, we won’t give up, we won’t go away

‘Cause we’re not about to live in this mass delusion

No, we don’t wanna hear another word you say

‘Cause we know they’re all depending on mass confusion

No, we can’t turn back, we can’t turn away

‘Cause it’s time we all relied on the last solution

No, we won’t lay down and accept this fate

‘Cause we’re standing on the edge of a revolution

(Chorus ends) What do we want? We want the change

And how’re we gonna get there? Revolution

What do we want? We want the change

Standing on the edge of a revolution

With over 24 days into the PTI’s anti-government protest, these lyrics and the inclusion of the PTI rally clip in the music video seem to be an uncanny coincidence.

 

Techies vs. NSA: Encryption arms race escalates

SAN JOSE: Encrypted email, secure instant messaging and other privacy services are booming in the wake of the National Security Agency’s recently revealed surveillance programs. But the flood of new computer security services is of variable quality, and much of it, experts say, can bog down computers and isn’t likely to keep out spies.

In the end, the new geek wars -between tech industry programmers on the one side and government spooks, fraudsters and hacktivists on the other- may leave people’s PCs and businesses’ computer systems encrypted to the teeth but no better protected from hordes of savvy code crackers.

“Every time a situation like this erupts you’re going to have a frenzy of snake oil sellers who are going to throw their products into the street,” says Carson Sweet, CEO of San Francisco-based data storage security firm CloudPassage. “It’s quite a quandary for the consumer.”

Encryption isn’t meant to keep hackers out, but when it’s designed and implemented correctly, it alters the way messages look. Intruders who don’t have a decryption key see only gobbledygook.

A series of disclosures from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden this year has exposed sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs. The revelations are sparking fury and calls for better encryption from citizens and leaders in France, Germany, Spain and Brazil who were reportedly among those tapped. Both Google and Yahoo, whose data center communications lines were also reportedly tapped, have committed to boosting encryption and online security. Although there’s no indication Facebook was tapped, the social network is also upping its encryption systems.

“Yahoo has never given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency. Ever,” wrote Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in a Nov. 18 post on the company’s Tumblr blog announcing plans to encrypt all of its services by early next year.“There is nothing more important to us than protecting our users’ privacy.”

For those who want to take matters into their own hands, encryption software has been proliferating across the Internet since the Snowden revelations broke. Heml.is – Swedish for “secret” – is marketed as a secure messaging app for your phone. MailPile aims to combine a Gmail-like user friendly interface with a sometimes clunky technique known as public key encryption. Younited hopes to keep spies out of your cloud storage, and Pirate Browser aims to keep spies from seeing your search history. A host of other security-centered programs with names like Silent Circle, RedPhone, Threema, TextSecure, and Wickr all promise privacy.

Many of the people behind these programs are well known for pushing the boundaries of privacy and security online. Heml.is is being developed by Peter Sunde, co-founder of notorious file sharing website The Pirate Bay. Finland’s F-Secure, home of Internet security expert Mikko Hypponen, is behind Younited. Dreadlocked hacker hero Moxie Marlinspike is the brains behind RedPhone, while Phil Zimmerman, one of the biggest names in privacy, is trying to sell the world on Silent Circle. Even flamboyant file sharing kingpin Kim Dotcom is getting in on the secure messaging game with an encrypted email service.

The quality of these new programs and services is uneven, and a few have run into trouble. Nadim Kobeissi, developed encrypted instant messaging service Cryptocat in 2011 as an alternative to services such as Facebook chat and Skype. The Montreal-based programmer received glowing press for Cryptocat’s ease of use, but he suffered embarrassment earlier this year when researchers discovered an error in the program’s code, which may have exposed users’ communications. Kobeissi used the experience to argue that shiny new privacy apps need to be aggressively vetted before users can trust them.

“You need to be vigilant,” he says. “We’re two years old and we’re just starting to reach the kind of maturity I would want.”

Heml.is also encountered difficulties and angered users when its creators said they wouldn’t use open source – or publicly auditable – code. And Silent Circle abruptly dropped its encrypted email service in August, expressing concern that it could not keep the service safe from government intrusion.

“What we found is the encryption services range in quality,” says George Kurtz, CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based CrowdStrike, a big data, security technology company. “I feel safe using some built by people who know what they are doing , but others are Johnny-come-latelies who use a lot of buzzwords but may not be all that useful.”

Even so, private services report thousands of new users, and nonprofit, free encryption services say they have also see sharp upticks in downloads.

And for many users, encryption really isn’t enough to avoid the US government’s prying eyes.

Paris-based Bouygues Telecom told its data storage provider Pogoplug in San Francisco that it needs the data center moved out of the US to get out from under the provisions of US law. So this month, PogoPlug CEO Daniel Putterman is keeping Bouygues as a client by shipping a multi-million dollar data center, from cabinets to cables, from California to France.

“They want French law to apply, not US law,” says Putterman, who is also arranging a similar move for an Israeli client.

Bouygues spokesman Alexandre Andre doesn’t draw a direct connection with the Patriot Act, and says Bouygues’ arrangement with Pogoplug is driven by concerns over performance and privacy. Andre says Bouygues wants the data stored in France, but it was up to Pogoplug to decide whether this would be done on Bouygues’ own servers or Pogoplug’s.

“There is a general worry in France over data security, and storing data in France permits us to reassure our clients,” Andre says. The arrangement also helps improve the service’s performance, Andre says, another reason for the move.

For Pogoplug, business is booming – it’s garnered close to 1 million paid subscribers in its first year – and Putterman says the company is anxious to accommodate concerned clients. And this month, Pogoplug launched a $49 software package called Safeplug that prevents third parties, from the NSA to Google, from learning about a user’s location or browsing habits.

But many warn that encryption offers a false sense of security.

“The fundamental designers of cryptography are in an arms race right now, but there are a series of weaknesses and missing oversights that have nothing to do with encryption that leave people vulnerable,” says Patrick Peterson, CEO of Silicon Valley-based email security firm Agari. And many that do work, bog down or freeze computers, forcing “a trade-off between security and convenience,” he says.

In any case, most attacks don’t happen because some cybercriminal used complicated methods to gain entry into a network, he adds.

“Most attacks occur because someone made a mistake. With phishing emails, it just takes one person to unwittingly open an attachment or click on a malicious link, and from there, cybercriminals are able to get a foothold,” Peterson says.

In addition, experts agree that with enough time and money, any encryption can be broken. And already the NSA has bypassed -or altogether cracked- much of the digital encryption that businesses and everyday Web surfers use, according to reports based on Snowden’s disclosures. The reports describe how the NSA invested billions of dollars, starting in 2000, to make nearly everyone’s secrets available for government consumption.

Meanwhile, the US government’s computing power continues to grow. This fall, the NSA plans to open a $1.7 billion cyber-arsenal – a Utah data center filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of classified information, including data that awaits decryption.

LOST IDENTITY: NEW TALIBAN CHIEF AND FUTURE OF TTP

At last Tehrik e Taliban has confirmed about death of Baitullah Mahsud and about their new Amir. TTP announcement has also cleared the fog which was surrounding TTP and creating confusions and conspiracy theories about Taliban in fighting’s. But again I am confused that Instead of Omer Khattab, the newly appointed media face of TTP, Wali Ur Rehman and Hakeem Ullah Mahsud broke the news of the power sharing and selection of New Amir of TTP and Mahsuds.According to AP, Hakeem Ullah Mahsud and Wali Ur Rehman both Phoned AP Jointly and Announced that Baitullah Mahsud has died few days ago. He got Injured on 5th august drone attack and expired after 18 days due to injuries. They also announced that TTP Shura has Chosen Hakeem Ullah Mahsud as New Amir of Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan and Wali Ur Rehman as Amir of Mahsud Tribe and SWA agency.According to very reliable sources, there was a dispute amongst Taliban over the succession of Baitullah Mahsud. But due to intervention of elders and Al Qaied it never reached the point of armed confrontation between two key contenders. Taliban elders wanted to see Wali Ur Rehman as new Amir due to his education and his cool minded and Balance approach but , Hakeem Ullah who is Nephew of Baitullah Mahsud and Cousin of Qari Hussein( Some Sources believe QARI HUSSAIN IS IMPORTANT REPRESENTATIVE OF AL QAEDA IN TRIBAL AREAS) was supported by Al Qaeda and in the end Al Qaeda’s support played decisive role and Hakeem Ullah was chosen and Wali Ur Rehman forced to accept Leader Ship of Mahsuds and SWA. According to Reports Al Qaeda’s influence on selection of new Amir has also taken a toll. Two important allies of TTP in South Waziristan Agency have switched sides and have joined anti Hakeem Ullah side. These include Azmatullah Shaheen group and Awal Khan Bhitani group. Both Azmatullah Shaheen and Awal Khan were right hand people of Baitullah Mahsud but the way during the selection of New Amir they were treated they separated them selves from TTP and joined forces of Their tribesman Turkistan Bhitani.Hakeem ullah Mahsud is Nephew of Baitullah Mahsud and cousin of Qari Hussein (father of Suicide Bombings in Pakistan). His original Name is Jamsheid Mahsud who opted Zulifqar Mahsud as his name when he was made Spokes man of Taliban and latter opted Hakeem ullah Mahsud when became operational in charge of TTP in Khyber, Aurak zai and Kurram agencies Hakeem ullah is in early 30’ and is seen as emotional commander who some times can act very cheap. He is seen as anti Shia sectarian minded commander which may be due to him under the influence of Qari Hussein. According to express news, Hakeem Ullah Mahsud has not much into religion. He is more criminal then Taliban. Al Qaeda’s support to him is largely due to his hate for Shia’s and his ability to plan and exhibit military genius in operations. Hakeem ullah’s support Base is not in SWA, His actual support comes from Aurak Zai agency and Kurram. Hakeem ullah is a cruel ruthless man and it’s expected that his policy will focus on anti Shia activities and crimes like robbery, drug trafficking etc. Sectarian violence will increase in Pakistan, especially in NWFP.Hakeem Ullah has wowed to take revenge of Drone Attack which killed his uncle Baitullah Mahsud. He may create some troubles for Americans . I dont think he will launch operations in Afghanistan area. I think Al Qaeda don’t have interest in Afghanistan any more and is trying to concentrate in Pakistan that is why Hakeem ullah’s concentration( he has full support of AL Qaeda) will be to fight Pakistani government and forces. I also believe that his emotionalism and cheapness of Character will in coming month result his fall and he will not survive more then 6 months to year. On other Hand Wali Ur Rehman who has support in Taliban Circle and is known to be as educated and cool minded person have become Amir of Mahsuds and SWA. Wali Ur Rehman will be commanding Mahsuds who are real power of TTP. I believe in coming days Hakeem Ullah and Wali Ur Rehman are bound to fight because ultimately Hakeem ullah’s Criminal aptitude will damage the movement resulting in end of Support in tribal areas and ideological Taliban revolting against him and coming under Wali Ur Rehman camp.Baitullah Mahsud is dead which means TTP’s center of Gravity has broken. Al though TTP has not disintegrated but now it has many Commanders who think they are better then Amir. It will be an impossible challenge for Hakeem Ullah to hold united TTP from Malakand to SWA. I think TTP has become hollow and its matter of Time it will completely fall.

Hakimullah Mehsud

Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed in a US drone strike in the North Waziristan tribal region on Friday evening.

Mehsud first came into public prominence after orchestrating audacious raids against the Pakistan Army.

According to reports, Hakimullah is a nom de guerre he later adopted (his birth name is Zulfiqar). He was initially a bodyguard to Baitullah Mehsud, his predecessor and founder of the umbrella group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and later became his close aide.

He was also appointed as a spokesman for Baitullah and succeeded him as leader after the latter was killed in a drone strike in August 2009.

In his early life, Hakimullah received basic education at a madrassah in a village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district.

It was only in 2007 after the capture of 300 Pakistani soldiers that his name and prestige among the Taliban rose dramatically.

He was made the Taliban commander in Khyber, Orakzai and Kurram and was regarded as the mastermind behind the attacks on Nato supply lines in the tribal region.

In 2010, Hakimullah appeared alongside a Jordanian militant in a farewell video in which the latter claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Afghanistan in which seven CIA agents were killed.

Under Hakimullah, the Taliban formed complex alliances with other extremist militant groups spread across Pakistan.

Regarded by several Taliban militants as being their best leader to date, Hakimullah was known to be a fierce and ruthless leader who inspired respect amongst other militants.

His unknown whereabouts and numerous reports of his killing only added to his prestige among Taliban militants.

In 2009, he was reported to have been killed after a drone strike – one of at least two reports that later turned out to be false.

The United States had also offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to the capture of Hakimullah Mehsud.

How America got Taliban target number one

Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud

Hakimullah Mehsud rarely spent more than six hours in one spot – but that was enough time for a US drone to strike

For years, Hakimullah Mehsud, the long-haired leader of the Pakistan Taliban, took all possible precautions. He seldom spent more than more than six hours in any one spot, shuttling between a string of safe houses through Pakistan’s lawless tribal region.

But as negotiations with the Pakistan government loomed, it seems one of the world’s most wanted men made a fatal mistake – he relaxed, assuming that upcoming peace talks meant he was safe, and lingered at his new house.

It was just long enough for one of the US drones that constantly linger above the tribal region’s mountainous skyline to find its mark -firing two missiles into Mehsud’s 4×4 as it pulled inside the gate of his home on Friday.

“He was at a meeting at a nearby mosque to discuss the negotiations,” a Pakistani security source briefed on the killing told The Sunday Telegraph. “He was killed as he got back to his house, probably just as he was getting out of his car, inside the walls of the compound.”

So came the death of one of the most capable of the Taliban’s commanders, a man who, in Washington’s eyes at least, had earned every cent of the $5 million price tag put on his head. For not only had Mehsud waged terror against his fellow Pakistanis, he had also helped to mastermind the single deadliest strike against the CIA in the last quarter century, when a suicide bomber posing as an al-Qaeda informant blew himself up at a base in Afghanistan in 2009, killing seven CIA agents.

But while it may have proved a moment of quiet triumph for the CIA’s controversial drone programme, reaction this weekend was rather different in Pakistan.

Yesterday evening, the government summoned the US ambassador, Richard Olson, to lodge a formal protest over the attack, which it said it would wreck peace talks initiated by Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, who was elected back in May.

A statement from the Foreign Office said Friday’s strike was “counter-productive to Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace and stability to Pakistan and the region.”

Mr Olson is not the first US envoy to incur the displeasure of his hosts in Islamabad. His predecessor, Cameron Munter, resigned early after having to deal with the diplomatic fallout from other drone strikes, and also the covert raid to kill Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil in 2011.

But the official rhetoric did not stop speculation that the Pakistani government may have given the operation its blessing all along, and possibly even fed the US the intelligence as to Mehsud’s whereabouts.

Mehsud died less than a month after giving an interview to the BBC in which he had said he was prepared to enter peace talks with Pakistan if the US stopped its use of drones.

But many analysts saw his overtures as little more than posturing, describing him as an implacable hardliner who was a hindrance rather than a help to any future negotiations. Pakistan and the US may have had good reason for wanting him dead.

Either way, the killing of such an important character in Pakistan’ terrorist milieu will create a new period of uncertainty. Police yesterday tightened security in cities across the country, amid fears of reprisal attacks as the ruling council of the Pakistan Taliban met to appoint Mr Mehsud’s replacement.

Meanwhile, details pieced together from a range of militant sources and locals in Danda Darpa Khel, the village where Mehsud was living, gave an insight into how he had met his end. A cluster of mud-brick homes, the village lies just outside the town of Miranshah, the capital of the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.

While the Pakistani military has a base and airstrip within light machine gun range of the village, effectively its writ does not run in the area.

Visitors said Mehsud’s house was built in a simple style, the sort of thing befitting an ascetic Islamist leader. It has four rooms and a spacious guest wing, suitable for entertaining visiting commanders or mullahs.

“He moved every night,” said a businessman from the region, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of Taliban retribution. “But at the same time, everyone knew which one was his house. It’s not the sort of place where that sort of thing stays secret.”

The village and the surrounding area are controlled by the Pakistani Taliban, who run it as part of their own mini-state, where arms are freely traded, and sharia law is dispatched in brutal fashion. Western hostages are occasionally kept in safe houses here, beyond the reach of the authorities. The Pakistani government does, however, maintain a spy network in the region, and it is thought that one of their agents may have provided the vital tip as to Mehsud’s whereabouts. While it could have come from a CIA asset, the agency’s networks have been badly depleted in recent years as the Pakistani government becomes increasingly uneasy about being seen to co-operate with the US.

Whoever provided the information, it would then most likely have been passed to an operations room thousands of miles away in the western US state of Nevada, from where America carries out its drone strikes by remote control.

In an air conditioned room filled with banks of computer screens, a US operative would have stared at satellite images of Waziristan province relayed by an armed MQ-1 Predator drone flying at up to 25,000 feet.

The Predator possesses an all-seeing sensor ball composed of three cameras with laser targetting and radar sensors. A continuous flow of images is fed through a satellite link to the team running the operation to confirm the target is in sight.

As Mehsud’s convoy pulled away from a mosque where the Taliban leader’s location had been confirmed, the images on the screen would have been so sharp that the operator could had read the cars’ number plates. While the Predator circled at lowest speed – around 80mph – the order “missile off the rail” would have been given, and two Hellfire missiles despatched.

Witnesses said that a total of nine people, including two bodyguards were killed in the attack, which took place just after 6pm on Friday.

Wellwishers visited the walled compound yesterday to pay their respects at was left of Mehsud’s home, amid reports that Hakimullah’s body had been buried at a secret funeral under cover of darkness to avoid attracting more drones.

Locals in nearby Miranshah also marked the death yesterday, blasting their guns in the air as other drones, including a larger than usual one, circled.

“We thought it was a C-130 aircraft but it was a special spy plane, bigger in size,” resident Farhad Khan said. “The militants fired from their anti-aircraft guns to hit it but couldn’t.”

Hakimullah led a campaign to bring down the Pakistani state, which he wanted to replace with an Islamic emirate. He gained a reputation as a merciless leader, dispatching wave after wave of young suicide attackers.

The first sign that his four-year reign as one of Pakistan’s most wanted men was unravelling came last month. The man they call his “secretary” Latif Mehsud was seized by American forces in Afghanistan.

It was his job to shuttle messages and elders to his boss, a sensitive position that gave him knowledge of safe houses, contacts and counter-drone measures.

He had been in close contact with Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, the country’s intelligence agency, according to President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman, for “a long period of time”.

Whether he supplied the crucial evidence or whether it was supplied by local sources may never be known.

Either way, though, Mehsud’s death is vindication for the ruthless cost-benefit analysis of the CIA, which measures success in lives taken versus lives saved. It has now claimed the lives of many of Pakistan’s most wanted terrorists, despite “collateral” loss of many civilians amid whom the militants hide. Only last month, a Pakistani family gave evidence to a US Congressional hearing about how they had lost their grandmother to such a strike

“This is a serious blow to the Pakistani Taliban which may spark internal fractures in the movement,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and adviser to the Obama administration who helped develop the drone campaign.

Pakistan has always condemned the strikes, complaining that they are a breach of sovereignty. However, a series of leaks suggest the government and military has long given consent to the missile attacks and have even asked for specific targets to be hit.

The latest strike may well have even been part of an Islamabad-approved strategy to bomb the Pakistani Taliban to the negotiating table, according to Shaukat Qadir, a retired army officer who now works as a military analyst.

“Hakimullah Mehsud was an impediment to peace talks,” said Shaukat Qadir a retired military officer who now works as an analyst. “Whatever the government says now, this will help push the Pakistan Taliban towards negotiations.”

That, though, will depend on who emerges as the new leader, and whether he can hold together the disparate splinters and factions that make up the Pakistani Taliban while making the pragmatic case for peace.

Senior Taliban figures on its shura, or advisory council, met yesterday to pick a new leader. Militant sources told local media they changed location frequently to thwart the chances of another drone strike and broke up before making a final decision.

The frontrunners include Maulana Fazlullah, known as Mullah Radio, chief of the Swat Taliban. It was his men who claimed responsibility for the failed attempt to assassinate Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl shot in the head as she travelled home from school last year.

Another possibility is Sheheryar Mehsud, from the same South Waziristan clan as Baitullah Mehsud, Hakimullah’s predecessor.

Or it might be Khan Said – better known as Sajna or “uncle” – an illiterate commander who was responsible for recruiting and training suicide bombers.

Despite those grisly tactics, his position as an ally of commanders who focused attacks on Afghanistan rather than Pakistan, and maintained strong ties with the Pakistani state, suggest he may be more open to finding a pragmatic accommodation with Islamabad.

That, however, depends on whether Islamabad still wants to talk – or whether it thinks it could now push its advantage with a military offensive in North Waziristan.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has left no doubt that in the short term, there will be more violence. “Every drop of Hakimullah’s blood will turn into a suicide bomber,” said Azam Tariq, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman. “America and their friends shouldn’t be happy because we will take revenge for our martyr’s blood.”

 

Former CIA chief gets eavesdropping lesson

WASHINGTON: A former CIA and National Security Agency chief was overheard criticising President Barack Obama’s administration on Thursday in what he thought was an anonymous interview, which instead ended up on Twitter.

Retired general Michael Hayden made the mistake of giving a series of interviews to reporters by phone “on background” while riding a train, in public.

Unbeknownst to Hayden, he was sitting near Tom Matzzie, the former Washington director of the liberal, activist MoveOn.org Political Action Committee who immediately divulged the juiciest bits of the exchanges on Twitter.

The NSA spying scandal, CIA secret prisons abroad and Obama’s smartphone were all topics of conversation.

Word of Hayden’s comments came just hours after reports that the US government has spied on 35 world leaders.

It also follows recent damaging revelations that the United States tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone, triggering global outrage amid a widening NSA spying scandal.

“Former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden on Acela behind me blabbing ‘on background as a former senior admin official’ Sounds defensive,” Matzzie tweeted at 4:20pm, more than an hour after the express train had left Washington, headed towards New York.“On Acela listening to former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden give ‘off record’ interviews. I feel like I’m in the NSA. Except I’m in public.” Hayden was being interviewed by several reporters, likely including Time magazine’s Massimo Calabresi according to Matzzie, and asked each time that he only be interviewed as a “former senior administration official.” The former spy chief spoke with the journalists about allegations the US spied on foreign allies, a “famous Blackberry” (Obama’s) and was “bragging about rendition and black sites,” said Matzzie, who once led US activist campaigns to end the war in Iraq.

An increasingly nervous Matzzie worried he would be found out by Hayden.

“Phone ringing. I think the jig is up. Maybe somebody is telling him I’m here. Do I hide?” he asked some 15 minutes after he started tweeting about Hayden’s conversations.

“New call. I am totally busted I think.” Although Hayden’s office did apparently call him to inform him of the tweets, the former spy chief “graciously” offered Matzzie an interview.

The pair discussed foreign spying and the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment barring unreasonable searches and seizures as they sat in the train’s first car from the back, according to Matzzie.

“I just had a very nice conversation with Michael Hayden. He was a gentleman and we disagree,” Matzzie said.

He tweeted a picture of the two smiling with the conservative hack Hayden wrapping his arm behind the activist’s seat.

The caption read simply “Win.” Matzzie, who now runs a renewable energy company, later tweeted: “I have to say. I’m actually a little afraid. The intelligence world is kind of dark and scary.”