Intelligence Officials Overheard Joking In DC Airport That NSA Leaker And Reporter Should Be 'Disappeared'
The foreign policy editor of The Atlantic, Steve Clemons, overheard an eyebrow-raising conversation while waiting for a flight at Washington's Dulles airport, Saturday morning.
Clemons tweeted about the 'disturbing' conversation after listening to four men who were sitting near him speaking loudly about the conference they had just attended in DC, hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
The Daily Mail reported:
One of the officials was wearing 'a white knit national counter-terrorism center shirt,' Clemons told the Huffington Post. He added that it was clear from their conversation they were among the intelligence community.
Clemons said the conversation initially centered around the event the men had just attended but soon turned to the NSA leaks, which were first reported by Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald.
The term 'disappeared' refers to a secret murder or assassination carried out by dictatorship governments.
Clemons described the discussion on Twitter as 'bravado' and said he believed the disappearing comment was 'half joke half serious.'
'They were loud. Almost bragging. Lacked circumspection about comments & jokes,' he wrote about the conversation in the busy airport lounge.
As someone who has been reading the comment sections of blogs covering the NSA scandal, I can tell you - the notion of Snowden getting "disappeared" by CIA spooks is something being speculated about half-jokingly by many horrified Americans. Half jokingly, I say.
Clemons recorded part of the conversation and took some photos, which he may post online. He said on Twitter that he would give the officials a chance to clarify.