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Our Dear Leader Has Nominated General Hayden! National Security Be Damned!

Reported by Janie - May 9, 2006

Last night (5/8) on "Special Report with Brit Hume", the "All Star Panel" discussed Bush's nomination of General Michael Hayden to head the CIA, but refused to mention the extent of GOP opposition to Hayden as well as why Hayden is frighteningly unqualified to lead the agency - specifically his lack of knowledge (and his stubborn refusal to listen to facts) regarding the 4th Amendment.

BH: "First of all, Democrats are going to fight this to some extent, how much? And secondly, the White House seems eager for the fight. Who is right? They both can't be. Who's right about who's got the most to win and lose here?"

Comment: In typical Fox fashion, Hume opens the segment by trying to paint the issue as partisan, and pins the blame on the shoulders of Democrats. A true journalist that isn't trying to spin for one side or another would have mentioned all the opposition from the jump, rather than giving the viewer the idea the Democrats are the only oppositional force.

Bill Sammon: "I think the White House thinks, I think Bush is really relishing the prospect of this fight because first of all, it brings up the domestic surveillance controversy."

BH: "Because Hayden at NSA was affiliated with it."

BS: "Because he ran it. But secondly, this whole business about whether a military guy should be running it. I think if the Republicans are smart, they can try to paint Democrats almost as anti-military. In other words, why should, if he's the most qualified guy, why should the fact that he happens to be a four star general disqualify him? Did you notice today that President Bush and John Negroponte kept referring to him as Mike. It was Mike this, Mike that. They're trying to de-emphasize his military status so that they can overcome this objection, but it's going to come anyway, and I think it's actually going to play well for Bush."

Mara Liasson: " Well look, Pat Roberts, the Republican chair of the Intelligence Committee has even suggested that that's a simple matter to be taken care of. He could resign his commission and still be head of CIA. That's really going to be the battle line, which I don't think it will be. I think the battle lines are going to be drawn all over the place, I don't think it's going to be a clean fight with the Democrats uniting in opposition to this guy, because he's from the military. The Democrats will see this as an opportunity to ask questions about the NSA program, Arlen Specter wants to ask some questions about that too, but then you've got Democrats like Dianne Fienstein that said he seems like a logical choice, you know, she seems to be bothered a little bit by the military aspect of it, but not by his own competence for the job. I think, you know, Peter Hoekstra does not have a vote on this, which is probably a good thing for the White House. I think this is not going to be a simple fight about the NSA."

Charles Krauthammer: "I agree, it's not going to be also a simple partisan division, I think there are going to be Democrats and Republicans. I think on the NSA, the eavesdropping issue, is going to come up, and I do believe the President relishes that, because Democrats have spoken out against it, said it's illegal, there have even been hints of impeachment over this, and every time it becomes a public issue, the Democrats lose. And Hayden defended the program at a press conference when it broke, he defended it unashamedly, very strongly and well, and he will do that again. If the Democrats on that committee decide to challenge him on that, they will lose politically. On the issue of him being military, I think it's a bogus issue. After all, we have had other CIA leaders who were in the military. Stansfield, Turner, who was an Admiral. Secondly, does anybody say that as head of NSA, which Hayden was, that he was a stooge of the Secretary of Defense, or that he was a stooge when he was Deputy Director of National Intelligence? He's a man of incredible experience, he knows intelligence, he knows how to run an agency, he adapted extremely well and quickly after 9/11, he's exactly the kind of man you want, and his, whether he's in the military or not is largely irrelevant unless you're in the bureaucracy, and you care about turf wars, why should we care about turf?"

Comment: I think ALL of America should worry about turf wars... isn't that what supposedly got us to 9/11 in the first place? Isn't that the reason we needed the Patriot Act so desperately? Now we can completely disregard all of those things, and once again place our trust in Bush? Is Krauthammer insane??

Many facts regarding opposition to Hayden were left out of both the "All Star Panel" as well as a report filed earlier in the show. While the panelists mention Republican opposition from House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Peter Hoekstra, they neglect to mention that GOP House Leader Dennis Hastert is also opposed, along with GOP Senate Intelligence Committee member Saxby Chambliss.

The panelists, and the segment, focused on opposition to Hayden over the NSA warrantless wiretapping program, as well as the fact that he's a member of the military. However, there is much more to it than that. According to the LA Times:

"Hayden, who for six years was director of the National Security Agency, is also associated with almost every intelligence issue that has become a problem for the administration — including the failure to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks, misjudgments about weapons programs in Iraq, and eavesdropping on U.S. residents without court warrants."

Great. We have horrible intelligence failures in the lead up to the Iraq war, and one of the primary people responsible for this awful judgment is not fired, but given a promotion to lead one of the highest intelligence agencies in the world.

But ladies and gentleman, that's not all! Let's take a look at the exchange Krauthammer mentions during the "All Star Panel", where Hayden defended the NSA warrantless wiretapping program:

QUESTION: "Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder. I'd like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use --"

GEN. HAYDEN: "No, actually -- the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure. That's what it says."

QUESTION: "But the measure is probable cause, I believe."

GEN. HAYDEN: "The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure."

QUESTION: "But does it not say probable --"

GEN. HAYDEN: "No. The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure..."

Hayden continued with, "Just to be very clear -- 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. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you've raised to me -- and I'm not a lawyer, and don't want to become one -- what you've raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is "reasonable." And we believe -- I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable."

And just for those of you that aren't clear on how ridiculous a statement this is, here's what the 4th Amendment actually says:

"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 shall 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."

On top of all this, it also seems that Hayden might be involved in "Hookergate", as he seems to have ties to MZM, inc., the Defense Contractor that bribed Duke Cunningham.

Of course, Fox mentioned none of this, as it would show that Hayden is clearly nothing but a political appointment, since he is so obviously unqualified. It appears that when it comes to National Security, Fox will pick the side of the President over Congressional Intelligence Committee members, even if that means making America less safe.

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