Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Thursday, May 18, 2006

General Michael Hayden - Political Arguments Carry Little Weight

The current argument by the Bush political foes against General Michael Hayden for CIA Director is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Once again, the politicians demonstrate their ignorance when attacking a well qualified individual for a prominent leadership position.
Hayden received criticism from the media when he spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on January 23, 2006 about the policy to eavesdrop on international communications between persons within the U.S. and suspected terrorists overseas without a warrant granted by a F.I.S.A. court pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Supreme Court in Vernonia School District 47J, Petitioner v. Wayne Acton, et ux., etc. on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit [June 26, 1995] wrote: Where a search is undertaken by law enforcement officials to discover evidence of criminal wrongdoing, this Court has said that reasonableness generally requires the obtaining of a judicial warrant, Skinner, supra, at 619. Warrants cannot be issued, of course, without the showing of probable cause required by the Warrant Clause.
But a warrant is not required to establish the reasonableness of all government searches; and when a warrant is not required (and the Warrant Clause therefore not applicable), probable cause is not invariably required either. A search unsupported by probable cause can be constitutional, we have said, "when special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement, make the warrant and probable-cause requirement impracticable."
Another baseless argument on General Hayden is he is a military officer and this would not be acceptable for the director of the CIA. False again. History is on General Hayden's side and the commentary from the Senate is a non-starter. One would think before making statements about these matters a simply check on past directors would be secured. Here is a list of past CIA directors who were military at the time of their nominations and confirmations as well as individuals with varied military experience.
  • 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.

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Blogger Unionsbuerger said...

From an european point of view, it a not a good nomination.

5/19/2006 03:52:00 AM  
Blogger Liberally Conservative said...

I would like you to elaborate on this if you will. Thanks!

5/19/2006 12:51:00 PM  

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