Monday, May 08, 2006

Hayden Nominated to Head CIA; What is Going on in Washington?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't part of the point that the CIA is a civilian organization? Why would they nominate a general to take the place over, unless it's to continue the consolidation of all intelligence activities under the aegis of military control, where it can continue in a new, less accountable fashion? I smell a rat, especially since this particular one has defended domestic spying.

Hayden Nominated to Head CIA
By Dafna Linzer and Fred Barbash
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 8, 2006; 9:45 AM

President Bush named Gen. Michael V. Hayden as CIA director today in the face of heavy criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats.

Bush cited Hayden's background of "more than 20 years of experience" as he announced the nomination, which was widely reported over the weekend.

For two years, Air Force general Michael Hayden has waged a secret struggle to overhaul the world's most powerful spy agency. Nothing's riding on his success but the future of America's national security.

Anticipating the fight ahead, the administration began defending the appointment even before it was made. Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, said on NBC's "Today" show and on ABC's "Good Morning America" today that Hayden is a "change agent," the "best person" for the job, "the right man at the right time."

Responding to concerns about having a military officer in the key civilian intelligence job, Hadley said that "the military background is in many ways a plus. . . . But make no mistake," Hadley said, "when he steps in, he will not be reporting to Don Rumsfeld," the secretary of defense.

Hayden is a four-star Air Force general, a former director of the National Security Agency and currently deputy director of national intelligence serving under director John Negroponte in the new office created by Congress in response to criticism of the CIA's failure to anticipate the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Republican chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence panels raised serious concerns Sunday about Hayden, whose name surfaced for the job immediately after the abrupt resignation of Porter Goss on Friday, with Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) calling him "the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Other Republicans and Democrats, appearing on Sunday talk shows, praised Hayden's credentials but said they, too, are troubled by President Bush's decision to place a military officer at the helm of a civilian intelligence agency. Hayden has defended Bush's domestic eavesdropping program, run by the NSA under Hayden's leadership, since its disclosure in December.

Posted by crimnos @ 11:32 AM