Sunday, May 07, 2006

Doomed. Why Micheal Hayden is a terrible choice to lead the CIA

Once again the Bush administration is making decisions based on world they live in, rather than the reality on the ground. In their mind General Hayden is a great choice because he can't be questioned on his credentials ( unlike say, Mike Brown ) and he isn't seen as a political hack ( Unlike Porter Goss ) . Also the administration believes that the domestic spying program, which General Hayden oversaw at the NSA, won't be an issue because the public for the most part agrees with them on that issue. The reality is that most people aren't up in arms about the domestic spying because they don't really know much about it, and to the extent that they do they are misinformed by three critical lies. One : the program is limited and targeted to only suspected terrorists. Two : the program is effective in catching terrorists. Three : the program is legal. First of all there have been reports that as many as 500 Americans a day are having their telephone calls, their emails and their online communications intercepted by the NSA. 500 Americans a day for three years ? Thats about half a million American citizens hardly " limited and targeted. " Second , the Admistration insists on making the point that the program has led to great success in capturing suspected terrorists . A report a few months back in the New York times said that most of the intercepts have turned out to be false leads taking up valuble time that could be spent on real threats to the nation. Finally the 4th amendment to the constitution guantees that all americans have protection against illegal searches and seizures. Also a law was passed in 1979 called the F.I.S.A statute that governs the conduct of the executive as it relates to information gathering on citizens. In other words there is a law that covers specifically warrantless wiretaps that the President has basically decided to ignore so claims that the program is legal are simply laughable . Any confirmation hearing on Micheal Hayden is sure to focus on just these issues. Besides that Hayden is a military officer who will be in charge of what is supposed to be a civilian agency. Will Donald Rumsfeld be his counterpart , or his boss ? These questions could very well doom the nomination before hearings even start. General Hayden had better be ready.

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