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HAYDEN WRONG MAN AT WRONG TIME

Chuck Baldwin
May 9, 2006

President George W. Bush has displayed gross misjudgment in selecting Air Force General Michael Hayden to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). That General Hayden has enjoyed a distinguished career at the Defense Department is not enough reason to place the CIA (a civilian intelligence agency) in the hands of the military.

The Pentagon already controls over 80% of the intelligence budget. With General Hayden at the helm of the CIA, military officers would run our most secretive spy agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

I seldom agree with Senator Diane Feinstein of California, but she was absolutely right when she recently said, "You can't have the military control most of the major aspects of intelligence. [The CIA] is a civilian agency and meant to be a civilian agency."

Democrats are not the only members of Congress rightly concerned about this appointment. The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan), said that General Hayden would be "the wrong person, the wrong place, at the wrong time."

I agree.

Adding to the cloud of suspicion surrounding Hayden's appointment is the manner in which President Bush has already demonstrated a total disregard for the rule of law in regard to governmental surveillance and intelligence gathering. While claiming he is protecting the American citizenry from terrorism, President Bush is actually subjecting the American citizenry to terrorism of a different kind: the terrorism committed against the U.S. Constitution, the fundamental right of privacy, and the rule of law by over-reaching federal authorities! The Hayden appointment only exacerbates this problem!

Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia astutely noted that while General Hayden once correctly and clearly stated that the law required the federal government to obtain a court order before ordering or allowing the NSA (which Hayden at the time headed) to conduct electronic surveillance of American citizens, he has since (after receiving an extra star by Bush) changed his tune and now unequivocally supports the very same surreptitious spying on Americans that he previously said was unlawful. (Of course, it was this same General Hayden that actually oversaw the controversial warrantless wiretapping program.)

Bush's propensity to consolidate federal power should be extremely unnerving to all lovers of liberty! That he now wants to put the military in charge of the CIA should be met with vehement resistance from both the American people and their representatives in Congress! Each of us should contact our senators and urge them to reject General Hayden as the next CIA chief!

Chuck Baldwin

Original Article


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