Hayden: ‘We Just Took Too Much for Granted’ in Iraq
Posted on May 18, 2006
That’s what Gen. Hayden said about the prewar Iraq intelligence failures. But there was no contrition for the domestic wiretapping activities he oversaw at the NSA. In contrast, he strongly defended the programs.
Well, now that he’s taken responsibility, at least we know what we’re in for if he gets confirmed.
WASHINGTON ? Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who headed the super-secret National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005, defended the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance program today during confirmation hearings to become the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“When I had to make this personal decision in October 2001 ? the math was pretty straightforward,” he told the Senate Intelligence Committee. Weighing the privacy of individual Americans against security for America, Hayden said the choice was clear. “I could not not do this,” he said.
Hayden faced sharp questions about his credibility, especially from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who accused the four-star general of saying one thing in public and another in private. Wyden said that on six occasions, Hayden had assured Congress that the surveillance program only extended to intercepts of international calls.
AP / Gerald Herbert
President Bush’s CIA nominee, Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, listens to a question during his Senate confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, May 18.