Naming Hayden to head the CIA is a bone headed idea but only if you love freedom. Hayden's appointment to this position will tend to militarize the CIA.
A senior official says it's Air Force General Michael Hayden. He's the top deputy to National INtelligence Director John Negroponte and had been considered a contender. The official says there could be an announcement Monday.
Hayden served as National Security Agency director until becoming the nation's Number Two intelligence official one year ago. Since December, he has aggressively defended the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program. Hayden was one of its chief architects.
Secondly, Hayden is not what you would call a bright spark. Bluntly, he's an arrogant dim wit. He's already coughed up varying and contradictory stories about NSA spying on American citizens. As you recall, Bush had said the program only involved "known al Qaeda[s] suspect[s]" making phone calls into the United States from abroad. Well, that turned out to have been yet another Bush lie. The NSA is, in fact, listening in on everyone whether the calls are international or not. Hayden's story, however, differed even from Bush's lie. The General said that one of the ends of an surveilled call must be international but left open the question of whether the supposed Al Qaeda suspect had to be foreign or domestic.
Other writers have stated flatly that Hayden's statements prove that Bush and the NSA knew that they were breaking the laws, going around the NSA in a transparent dodge.
Bush admits that wiretapping occurred without warrants —a clear violation of the 14th Amendment which requires warrants issued only "...upon probable cause". Hayden maintained, however, that the standard was "reasonableness" —not probable cause. That's pure bunk, of course, but Hayden continued to argue about it even when the Fourth Amendment had been quoted to him:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.That's plain enough! Why would Hayden —clearly wrong —continue to argue about it?
With a big thanks to Mark Miller, author of Fooled Again and The Bush Dyslexicon, we have the transcript of Hayden's bone-headed insistence that the Fourth Amendment said what he said it said and not what it, in fact, says:
QUESTION: Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder. I'd like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use÷Uh huh!
GEN. HAYDEN: No, actually÷the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure. That's what it says.
QUESTION: But the measure is probable cause, I believe. [the reporter is correct; Hayden is flat wrong!]
GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But does it not say probable÷
GEN. HAYDEN: No. The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure...
GEN. HAYDEN: ... Just to be very clear÷and believe me, if there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth.
Given the contradictory and false statements made by Bush and Hayden on this topic, it is hard not to conclude that Bush has been spying on Americans all along and, as always, trying to justify the crime after the fact.
Earlier Dick Cheney had said that had the NSA program been in place prior to 911, the attacks could have been thwarted! I say the attacks could have been avoided anyway. Clearly —Bush willfully ignored the Aug 6th PDB entitled: Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the United States. There is a plethora of information in the public record to indicate that Bush had plenty of information; he might have prevented the attacks but didn't. Incompetence or criminal complicity?
In fact, operation Able Danger is convincing evidence that if Bush had really wanted to protect Americans, he could have. Able Danger, moreover, was legal. If terrorists could be caught without violating the Constitution, then what is Bush's excuse for doing precisely that? What other, nefarious reason has Bush to spy on Americans, subvert the Constitution, abrogate "due process of law"?
Why, after all was, Able Danger shut down? Was it to avoid revealing to Americans that terrorists could have been caught —but weren't?
'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission