General Michael Hayden - Political Arguments Carry Little Weight
- Harry Truman appointed Rear Admiral Sidney Souers, a Navy officer, who was the first man to hold the position; Lt. General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, an Air Force officer; Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, a Navy officer who was just prior Captain of the USS Missouri; General Walter Bedell Smith, an Army officer
- Lyndon B Johnson appointed Vice Admiral William Raborn, a Navy officer; Richard Helms, who served in the Navy during World War II
- Richard Nixon appointed William Colby, who volunteered for the Army in 1941
- Gerald Ford appointed George H.W. Bush, who was a decorated naval aviator from World War II
- Jimmy Carter appointed Stansfield Turner, who was a U.S. admiral in the Navy after World War II
- Ronald Reagan appointed William Hedgcock Webster, who was a lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II
- George H.W. Bush appointed Robert Gates, who was in the Air Force
- Bill Clinton appointed R. James Woolsey, who was a Captain in the U.S. Army from 1968-70
What we have is an attempt to bring down the Bush administration and if character assassination of an exceptional person is needed so be it. We need leadership and experience to head the CIA. Arguably the most qualified person is General Michael Hayden. This will indeed come out in his confirmation hearings.
As Daniel Henninger writes:
If confirmed, Gen. Michael Hayden's biggest problem at the CIA will be that some of his employees are the products of a culture that no longer understands or respects the sense of purpose, discipline and honor of the best Cold Warriors, who understood that the government is an elected hierarchy of constitutional responsibility and not a faculty senate free to undermine mere presidents. He will have to make clear that any official who finds internal dissent procedures inadequate to his or her "moral obligation" to overturn strategic doctrine, affect election outcomes or destroy an intelligence operation should get out or be willing to risk criminal prosecution. And it would help this country's sense of purpose if he made that clear not only to the CIA but in public to the American people.