Hayden Confirmed as CIA Director
Posted on May 26, 2006
History will surely boggle at this one: The architect of the NSA’s domestic spying program has been made the head of the CIA. And the vote was 78-15.
The U.S. Senate today confirmed Gen. Michael V. Hayden as the new director of the CIA by a large bipartisan majority, sending a career intelligence professional to take over an agency roiled by internal turmoil and the departures of top managers.
The Senate voted 78-15 to confirm Hayden as President Bush’s choice to replace Porter J. Goss, who announced May 5 that he was stepping down after 20 months on the job.
Hayden, 61, an Air Force general, headed the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 before being tapped to serve as the top deputy to the new director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte. At the NSA, he presided over the launching of secret, warrantless eavesdropping and phone call-tracking programs that stirred intense controversy when they were disclosed in newspaper reports. Hayden and other Bush administration officials have defended the programs as vital for efforts to detect and defeat terrorist plots, but critics have charged that they violate Americans’ civil liberties and fly in the face of U.S. law governing domestic monitoring of communications.