Tuesday, May 23, 2006

General Hayden's unexpected friends

There is a surprising level of support for the nomination of General Hayden for the Director of the CIA among the military and intel experts I read on the web. These are relatively liberal people who you would expect to balk at the militarization of the CIA. Maybe it is statements like these that make people believe he will be plain-spoken, professional, and independent:
Secrecy News: The Hayden Confirmation Hearing:

"'I do think we overclassify, and I think it's because we got bad habits,' said Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the nominee to be the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency."
Or take this endorsement from Willian Arkin of the Post: Go, Mike Hayden!:
Let's hope that the Bush administration comes to rue the day it nominated Hayden to be CIA director.

How many times have we heard a serving Bush administration official actually admit a mistake, criticize a government effort, point to a false direction?

When Gen. Michael V. Hayden called the tenure of Porter Goss at the CIA "amateur hour on the top floor," or when he criticized a Rumsfeld inspired ad hoc intelligence office set up in the aftermath of 9/11 to "find" Saddam Hussein links to al Qaeda and build the WMD case for Iraq, they were small but rare and delicious moments.
All this praise in spite of his direct role in the NSA wiretaping / imbroglioglio makes me think this guy must be pretty sharp. I'm not the least bit mollified about the domestic spying issue. I guess it's one thing to disagree on policy matters and another thing to give the man props for his professionalism, integrity, and competence.

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