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Dianne Feinstein as Neo Con - Lauds Appointment of Michael Hayden

Reported by Melanie - May 8, 2006

Ignoring the fact that many prominent Republicans are questioning George Bush's selection of Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden to head the CIA, Neil Cavuto hosted a segment today (May 8, 2006) titled, "Military Fight!" featuring guest Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Unfortunately, there was no fight in Feinstein. Fox's bookers may have booked a Democrat but it was in name only. The GOP itself couldn't have sent Cavuto a stronger, more positive, pro-Hayden talking head.

As a chyron appeared at the bottom of the screen that read, "What's Wrong w/a Military Man Serving as CIA Chief?" Cavuto introduced Feinstein by saying that "critics are blasting" Bush's appointment, and the audience should "count my next guest among them. She doesn't like his connection to the military and those NSA wiretaps."

Well, not exactly. Any chance that Cavuto would get the "fight" he was looking for evaporated when Feinstein opened with,

I think you've got it a little bit wrong. I haven't been blasting that choice at all. As a matter of fact, what I've been saying is that he is a very competent intelligence professional which I think the CIA needs at this particular point in time.

The "only problem" Feinstein mentioned was that,

...[T]he CIA has traditionally, traditionally I say, been a civilian agency and there is concern about the fact that he's a four star general. But I think he's a superior human being. I think he'd be very competent and would restore morale and would do what he has to do within the agency.

Cavuto wondered if there was "concern" on Feinstein's part. She said, "Ideally I'd like it to be a civilian" but if I were "asked to give three choices" and "I think it's true of everybody up here...Mike Hayden would be on everybody's three choices. Probably the majority, number one. He is a totally qualified individual for this post."

Feinstein said she thinks, "General Hayden can stand up, he's done that before." He'll, "bring in some superb professionals to surround himself with."

Cavuto wondered if she was "inclined to support him or reject him." Feinstein said, "I think this is a very good appointment. I want to get through the hearings." I think "the NSA electronic surveillance will come up. I would anticipate that I will be supportive and I want to be supportive." We have to, "get on with it and we should get the replacement in place as soon as possible." At the same time, "we need to ask the questions and get the answers." Feinstein said she hopes Senator Roberts schedules a confirmation hearing for "next week so we could get on with it and get it done by Memorial Day."

She said the "military issue" is a "concern," but she "happens" to think "it's a subordinate one." She said Hayden is a "qualified man. He has management experience. He's run an agency twice the size of the CIA. He is a straight shooter. He is a good man and I think he can be an excellent head of the CIA and do what needs to be done."

Comment: Hey Di! You did the Republicans proud!

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