So now Bush wants the guy who began the illegal spying over at the NSA to head up the CIA.
What, Chuck Colson turned Bush down?
G. Gordon Liddy doesn’t want to quit his radio job?
Ollie North would rather stay on Fox?
I mean, how brazen is Bush going to be?
Here we have General Michael Hayden, who, when he headed up the NSA, “directed and subsequently defended the President’s illegal wiretapping,” as Russ Feingold has noted. Hayden also failed to properly inform the Congressional intelligence committees, Sen. Feingold added.
Prior to 9/11, Hayden had a reputation as someone who respected NSA’s boundaries about not spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant.
But after 9/11, he accepted Bush’s order to spy on Americans illegally, bypassing the FISA court, which has, under law, the exclusive power to authorize such domestic spying.
Under Hayden’s direction, the NSA “certainly eavesdropped on millions of telephone calls and e-mail messages on American soil,” James Risen writes in “State of War.” (Risen got a Pulitzer Prize for his work on this story for The New York Times.)
And there is no outside oversight of this spying.
“The NSA determines, on its own, which telephone numbers and e-mail addresses to monitor,” Risen notes. “The NSA doesn’t have to get approval from the White House, the Justice Department, or anyone else in the Bush Administration before it begins eavesdropping on a specific phone line inside the United States.”
If you’re cynical, Hayden has the perfect résumé to head the CIA, which has been a lawless agency throughout its history, and is competing for new lows right now.
It has been violating the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture by brutalizing detainees, by exporting them to countries that torture, and by holding them in secret prisons with the expectation that they will be there for the rest of their lives. Disappearances, Bush style.
Hayden has proven himself to be a loyal general in Bush’s junta.
We don’t need more of those.
That’s why the Senate should oppose him.