Hayden, NSA dominate "Face the Nation"

By Cat Boardman

(CBS News)--"Some steps to make Americans more comfortable will actually make Americans less safe," said retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of both the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Administration, referring to President Barack Obama's efforts to increase the transparency about the NSA's metadata collection program.

Hayden appeared on "Face the Nation" Sunday and made those comments in reaction to the proposals the President offered at a Friday afternoon press conference to allow for additional oversight of the agency's surveillance program.

Read: NSA Debate: Will reforms ease public concern or compromise safety? 

Hayden voiced concern that while such reforms may seem like oversight now, "after the next successful [terror] attack, this runs the danger of looking like bureaucratic layering and so you need to be careful about how many processes you put in there."

Hayden's comments on increasing the program's transparency were picked up by PoliticoNational ReviewBloombergNewsmax, and UPI.

Hayden also defined Edward Snowden as a defector, saying the term "traitor" is narrowly defined in the Constitution.

"We used to have a word, for somebody who stole our secrets, who got the job to steal our secrets, and then he moved to a foreign country with those secrets and made them public. It wasn't 'whistleblower.' It was 'defector.' And I actually think that's a very good word for him," said Hayden.

More of Hayden's comments on Snowden were reported by the Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

Later in the program, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said that Obama has "allowed the Edward Snowdens and the others of the world to dominate the media." King applauded the president for continuing the NSA surveillance program, but argued that Obama's silence is responsible for many people's lack of trust in the agency.

"Now we have so many people who actually think the NSA is spying on people, is listening to our phone calls, is reading our emails."

Read more about our conversation with King in The New York TimesPoliticoThe Washington TimesCNNThe Fiscal Times, and UPI.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., also weighed in on Obama's response to the Snowden affair, saying that although he does not feel the agency has violated anyone's privacy, increased oversight is necessary to keep the public informed.

"We in politics have to deal with perception, not just reality. We need to do better in educating our public so they are not fearful that we, the government, are violating their privacy." Ruppersberger's take on NSA reforms was picked up by Politico and Newsmax.

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