“When one does the forensics, every one of those inevitable attacks was preventable,” Hayden said. “It’s a little bit like Ebola, you know? If somebody’s got the disease you can go back an deconstruct how she got it. ‘If only she had kind of closed the sleeve, or not taken her cover off in a certain way she wouldn’t have contracted it.’”
“We can always look in the rearview mirror and say ‘If only this.’ But this stuff’s inevitable,” he said.
“This was far more a question of French resources than it was how exquisite was French intelligence,” he said.
Hayden also had blunt words for any Germans still angry at the allegations that the NSA tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. Not all American friends are equal, was the message delivered by Hayden and David Gioe, a former CIA officer and professor at West Point. While the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand enjoy a tight-knit relationship, nations such as Germany will remain outside that circle indefinitely, Hayden said.