There are just so many things wrong with this picture. Literally and figuratively. The military uniform is only one of them, but let's start there.
It was bad enough to see Michael Hayden, an active duty uniformed military officer, heading the NSA and standing alongside the President of the U.S. as they both tried to defend spying on the American people without any warrants or oversight. But the CIA is a civilian agency, and with Hayden’s installation, active duty or retired military officers would run all [sixteen] of the major spy agencies as well as the intelligence hub, the National Counterterrorism Center.
Just about every defense the Bush administration uses to push their controversial legislation and appointments through has been the "Clinton did it" excuse. Yes, the CIA, in its relatively short history, has had active duty military men heading it, and I have never liked it. I especially don't like it now when it's under an out-of-control President who has been discovered breaking the law (750 laws that we know of):
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.General Hayden comes with his own baggage; Hayden doesn't know, understand or respect the Constitution of the United States. When General Hayden appeared at the National Press Club on January 26, 2006, he was asked:
Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, "whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.
Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to "execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.
QUESTION: ...the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to violate an American's right against unreasonable searches and seizures...
HAYDEN: No, actually - the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But the...
HAYDEN: That's what it says.
QUESTION: The legal measure is probable cause, it says.
HAYDEN: The amendment says: unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But does it not say "probable cause?"
HAYDEN: No. The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: The legal standard is probable cause, General...
HAYDEN: Just to be very clear ... okay... 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. Alright? And it is a reasonableness standard in the fourth amendment. The Constitutional standard is "reasonable."
The fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States in its entirety:
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 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.See the video clip at Crooks & Liars.
Some Senators, like Susan Collins of Maine (and a Republican-in-Democrats'-clothing, Dianne Feinstein of California) have suggested that Hayden retire from the Air Force, but that doesn't address the slate of other objections to this candidate and, ultimately, to the real problem - Bush, and where he is taking this nation. Americans and their elected representatives can't keep giving Bush and Cheney free reign to wreak havoc and destroy good will around the world. As his impeachable offenses mount, are we waiting for a mushroom cloud to push us into action?
Filed under: General Michael Hayden, Bush, CIA, NSA, fourth amendment, 4th amendment, wiretap, Susan Collins, another reason to dump Dianne Feinstein