Report: Obama May Keep Hayden as CIA Chief

U.S. News and World Reports writes that President-Elect Barack Obama may keep Michael Hayden as head of the CIA.

I don't see Obama keeping Hayden. I hope the US News Report is just a rumor being floated for reaction.

Keeping Hayden would be unfortunate. It would represent the wrong kind of change for Obama who voted against Hayden's confirmation. Here's Obama's 2006 speech on why he opposed Hayden for CIA director. [More...]

Unfortunately, General Hayden is being nominated under troubling circumstances as the architect and chief defender of a program of wiretapping and collection of phone records outside of FISA oversight. This is a program that is still accountable to no one and no law.

...I have no doubt that General Hayden will be confirmed. But I am going to reluctantly vote against him to send a signal to this Administration that even in these circumstances President Bush is not above the law. I am voting against Hayden in the hope that he will be more humble before the great weight of responsibility that he has, not only to protect our lives, but to protect our democracy.

Michael Hayden doesn't understand the Fourth Amendment. Remember when he said it requires "reasonable suspicion" not probable cause?

.... "General Hayden defended the program's constitutionality. He said the lower, "reasonable belief" standard conformed to the wording of the Fourth Amendment, pointing out that it does not mention probable cause, but instead forbids "unreasonable" searches and seizures."

The Fourth Amendment 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."

See Last Night in Little Rock on that here.

Hayden also gave us Operation Trailblazer while serving as NSA Director. The Baltimore Sun reported in 2006:

Trailblazer began as a signature program of Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was the NSA's director from March 1999 until last spring. Early on, former officials familiar with the program said, it became clear to Hayden that the agency, with its rich history of developing cutting-edge technology, was falling behind the technology curve. He cast Trailblazer as the agency's future.

Hayden was in charge of the NSA when Bush began his warrantless wiretapping program. Hayden defended it and its use of the lower standard of proof than that required by the Fourth Amendment. More from the Washington Post here.

More on Hayden and his misguided notions of the Fourth Amendment at this Countdown transcript.

Hayden also has dubious credibility on the destruction of the CIA waterboarding tapes.

I really think (and hope) US News got this one wrong.

Update: Noah Schachtman and Think Progress has more unpleasant Hayden memories.

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  • Display: Sort:
    The only reason I keep Hayden on, (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by scribe on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 10:50:52 AM EST
    if I'm Obama, is to order him to march up to Capitol Hill and compel him to answer every stinking question about warrantless wiretapping, rendition, and torture, and to turn over all the information on all of them, in a humiliating public display.

    Other than that, I have no use for him at all.

    Someone wants to keep his job (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by bluegal on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 10:55:16 AM EST
    I suspect that the people floating this are allies of Hayden and feel if they can get the villagers on his side, Obama will cave and keep him. I don't think so.

    Are we about to have a situation where people who don't want to go will have to be physically removed from their offices? First the Bush apologist at the DOJ and now this.

    Ouch. Ben, use Preview!. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 12:28:17 PM EST

    Keeping the same ole apparatchiks... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by pluege on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 03:04:21 PM EST
    that's some kinda funky "change"

    WTF!? (none / 0) (#1)
    by lilburro on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 10:43:33 AM EST

    more coherent: (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 10:50:33 AM EST
    this is a great catch Jeralyn.  I'm surprised these rumors are even being floated.  Maybe these are the same "intelligence sources" being used by the rest of the media.  

    And the destruction of the tapes is a big issue IMO.


    Appoint Valerie Plane! (none / 0) (#8)
    by hairspray on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 12:32:05 PM EST
    Seriously though, what are Hayden's qualifications for being head of CIA.  Is he a long time intelligence officer in the Army?

    wouldnt that be great.if only it were Valerie (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 02:02:15 PM EST
    how do the powers that leaked this think this could possibly go over well after the reaction to Brennan...will we get a new piece on HUffPo asking us all to just be kewl and wait and see the wonders of the new Administration?

    sheesh! I soo hope this is not true...


    WSWS: Obama's Team of Reactionaries (none / 0) (#5)
    by Andreas on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 11:52:43 AM EST
    It certainly would not be a surprise.

    Obama won the nomination over Clinton, who was the early favorite, by appealing to broad opposition to the war in Iraq among Democratic voters and the population at large, incessantly reminding voters that "she got it wrong" in her support for the invasion and presenting himself as the candidate who would bring a rapid end to the war. He then won the general election based on a powerful voter repudiation of the Bush administration's militaristic foreign policy and its pro-corporate and anti-democratic domestic agenda.

    Gates oversaw the conduct of the "surge" in Iraq that drowned the Sunni resistance in blood and ethnically cleansed vast areas of the country. He has publicly opposed any timetable for the withdrawal of US forces.

    Obama's top cabinet appointments thus represent a brazen repudiation of his campaign rhetoric, a slap in the face to the millions of workers and youth who voted for him because they believed or hoped that the victory of the candidate of "change" would really signal a change for the better, and a clear signal to the ruling elite that his administration will, in all essentials, continue the imperialist and militarist policies of the Bush administration.

    Obama's Team of Reactionaries
    8 December 2008, Tom Eley

    A few of Obama's picks have dismayed (none / 0) (#9)
    by hairspray on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 12:37:20 PM EST
    me and they weren't Hillary Clinton or Tom Daschle.  The security team is getting scary.

    well jeralyn, i can certainly see (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 12:55:23 PM EST
    his "logic": no warrants were obtained, so probably cause wasn't an issue. further, in his opinion, the actions were reasonable, so they met that standard.

    welcome to alice's land.

    Chnge (none / 0) (#12)
    by koshembos on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 02:02:26 PM EST
    It would do us a lot of good if we stop talking about change. It was a campaign slogan; it means anything you want and, therefore, means absolutely nothing.

    We should remember that Obama is a centrist and according to Wikipedia: "centrism usually refers to the political ideal of promoting moderate policies which land in the middle ground between different political extremes." This as far from change as you can get.

    hmmm.. (none / 0) (#14)
    by nogo postal on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 04:05:10 PM EST
    I really hope there are more posts regarding speculation as opposed to facts..it is more fun.

    Sometimes it seems to me (none / 0) (#15)
    by lilburro on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 05:28:33 PM EST
    that the press has not realized it is a Democratic President assuming office.