It was Hayden who appeared in the White House briefing room in December to defend a highly classified National Security Agency program that includes interception of domestic phone calls and e-mail messages without warrants if one of the parties has known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Hayden said at the National Press Club in January: "It is not a driftnet over Dearborn or Lackawanna or Freemont grabbing conversations that we then sort out by these alleged keyword searches or data-mining tools or other devices that so-called experts keep talking about. This is targeted and focused."Of course he defended it—since he was the NSA director under whose authority it was implemented. And like the rest of the administration, he has nothing but contempt for the law, offering up this defense for skirting the FISA court and official oversight of the wiretapping program:
According to [Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was NSA director when the surveillance began and now serves as Bush's deputy director of national intelligence], most warrantless surveillance conducted under Bush's authorization lasts just days or weeks, and requires only the approval of a shift supervisor. Hayden said getting retroactive court approval is inefficient because it "involves marshaling arguments" and "looping paperwork around."Hayden was one of the key purveyors of the “agility” defense, repeatedly and stubbornly ignoring the existence of the 72-hour grace period during which retroactive approval for wiretapping can be secured without breaking the law.
Hayden is close to both Cheney and Negroponte, who is Hayden’s current boss and whose problems with Goss have been cited as a possible reason for his sudden “resignation.” Hayden is just another scummy partisan hack who will dutifully serve to turn the CIA into a branch of the White House, eradicating all those pesky problems like independent thought and whistleblowers.
Hayden’s got to go through confirmation hearings before he gets the position. Let’s hope the Dems kick it up a notch and nail this guy’s ass to the wall. The last person we need running the CIA is someone who has no respect for the civil liberties of Americans or the Constitution in which such rights are guaranteed.