Negroponte-Rumsfeld Battle Will Proceed

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hayden.hearing.jpg
(Sorry for AWOL status. I spent yesterday in Athens and have just arrived for a conference in Florence where the internet is out at the hotel and in short supply elsewhere.)
Yesterday, General Michael Hayden’s confirmation process to serve as Porter Goss’s successor as CIA Director moved out of the Senate Intelligence Committee on a 12-3 vote.
Those voting against were Ron Wyden, Russ Feingold and Evan Bayh.
This is interesting as Feingold rarely votes against a presidential nominee — though he did so on John Bolton. Feingold sees the duplicity about the warrantless wiretaps as something to really dig in about, and I admit to admiring Feingold’s steadfastness.
But this gambit of opposition is not designed to win.
While some have expressed surprise at my general support of Hayden’s nomination, others understand what is going on in this Hayden debate.
First, most Democrats and most small-government, classic conservative Republicans have failed these many months to destroy the foundation of the President’s assertion that Congress gave him the ability to spy domestically without warrant in the Iraq War resolution. Tom Daschle and many have argued that there was a negotiated path that disallowed the White House from using the word “domestic” in its preferred resolution. But Members of Congress have failed to make that deal stick, and the Presidency has continued to expand its powers wherever the Congress and Judiciary fail to knock it back.
Michael Hayden should be chastised and scrutinized over his role in the warrantless wiretap program, but he is not the problem. A President unchecked by Congress is the problem, and Ron Wyden and Evan Bayh — though I like both — have failed to go to the floor and amend every piece of legislation with clarifications that the President has no warrantless domestic spying authority.
Forcing votes over and over on this issue, much like Senator Ted Kennedy has done in the past on minimum wage hikes, is the way to have won this battle — not hanging responsibility for the program on Michael Hayden.
While I have some issues with Hayden, I do believe that he is one of the last hopes in restoring some order at the CIA and rolling back Donald Rumsfeld’s colonization of the nation’s national security bureaucracy.
Rumsfeld is my target, and those who see Negroponte, Hayden, and Rumsfeld on the same page are incorrect.
Negroponte will use Hayden to gore Rumsfeld, Stephen Cambone, and William Boykin.
And some in the White House — a bit frustrated that Rumsfeld is not “removable” at this time, as one staffer told me — does not mind cultivating a bit of competition among the President’s intel rivals. This helps give the President some latitude beyond Rumsfeld and is, in general, a smart move that also may be good for the country.
For Dems and others concerned about national security decisionmaking, learning to turn some of these internal tensions into opportunities — as I think Russ Feingold sometimes does — is something that the Democratic Party leadership needs to master to get back into the race.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

43 comments on “Negroponte-Rumsfeld Battle Will Proceed

  1. 2600 says:

    I am still wondering about Stevens “Hayden issues”.
    It looks more and more like his NSA management work may be the right place to look. From the Baltimore sun, any NSA watcher can`t wait to get read this paper 😉
    Though do not judge anyone to fast over failing billion dollar computer infrastructure projects with revolving door contrators. They are the norm and not the exeption and could be predicted when there was the three day NSA blackout regardless of who would be in charge.

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  2. pt says:

    I will gladly put money down that the next president, republican or democrat, will keep general hayden as the director of the cia. Even if that president is H R Clinton

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  3. 2600 says:

    Hayden may also have been in the Goss crosshairs in this 1999 period. The part of Goss getting emotional over secrecy reminded me of this from the Washington Post:
    > Indeed, the NSA’s troubles in Congress began this spring when
    > Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), chairman of the House
    > Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, asked the agency
    > for internal documents about its compliance with FISA
    > because he thought NSA lawyers were too cautious in
    > approving new surveillance programs.
    >
    > When the agency declined his request on grounds of attorney-
    > client privilege, Goss erupted, saying the committee had never
    > been stonewalled in such fashion. Barr immediately joined the
    > dispute from the opposite flank, suggesting that the NSA had
    > refused Goss’s request because it was violating Americans’
    > privacy by indiscriminately vacuuming up communications.
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/1999/11/wp111399.html
    Goss “Erupted” ?? Goss looks more and more like the Bolton of the intelligence world 😉 This also implies there may be a Hayden/Goss thing, Hayden was director at the NSA at the time…
    And not burning stuff when leaving an embassy, didn’t they learn about this in Iran? (http://www.thememoryhole.org/espionage_den/)

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  4. ET says:

    Interesting article on possible reasons for the CIA purge. Dating back to the evacuation of the embassy in Belgrade during the bombing of Serbia. The investigation was focusing on why some CIA documents weren’t burned as the should have and was anything compromised because they weren’t. Kappes led the inevestigation and said no one was compromised, and the Goss instigated his own investigation (using some of his staff that went with him to CIA) and came up with something different.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12957885/site/newsweek/

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  5. 2600 says:

    Sorry Mr. Stahl, for skipping the last and importand line of your post.
    > A hack would have made mistakes and been caught
    > earlier.
    They where cought “early”, but the NYT sat on the story at the request of the white house for an (election) year, remember!!!!!!
    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121605Z.shtml (look for “additional reporting”)
    You cant blame Hayden for that part of the failure of the systems that should stop Cheney. This was a clear failure of an intended check and balance. This story should have cost them the country, but in reality it should have cost them Ohio even with a high terror/”national security” approval rating.
    The New York Times AKA, “judy miller HQ” failed, democracy suffered. But the New York Times is supposed to be democracy, much as some like to pretend democracy is just about elections and the leaders that go with them.

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  6. 2600 says:

    > Powell was ineffective at State because he
    > couldn’t get Bush’s ear (or more to the point
    > couldn’t get Rumsfeld and Cheney’s ears).
    I argued inelegantly that at least Hayden passed the loyalty test, and is therefore “effective”. He is getting nominated head of the CIA after all. (Hayden sold “the program”, Powell could not find buyers for his post-war plans)
    > If Gen. Hayden helped tone down the program and
    > keep Bush from really breaking the law by only
    > violating the constitution a little bit
    I used constitution because Americans always seem to argue using the constitution. Also, its shorter than constitution+fisa+communications act. This obviously violates the FISA letter and way more important, the spirit it codified after a lot of debate. That spirit is the American deification of both strong constitutional rights and a strong army (which includes an intelligence side). This is unlike the EU where there is a big political spying revelation every year (though this has been a particular fruitful year 😉 ) and where everyone just wants to know what juicy bits it turned up (to say nothing of the perception of armies). I realize now how much I sounded like the GOP spin by mentioning only the constitution…
    > this is suppose to make me feel good about his
    > qualifications – that he found an “almost legal”
    > solution?
    There may be a legal version of this that you like even less, it involves outsourcing, Israel and pleading ignorance rendition style.
    He may not have made the program “more legal”, but he may have limited its scope. (Equally illegal, less unethical?) And If you watch computing power development, telecommunication traffic growth and NSA translator wanted ads… then you know this is a really really big deal!
    Seriously, SIGINT isn’t anything like normal police snooping. The NSA is the tool you need for an instant autocratic police state. Read up on Russian snooping if I can’t scare you.
    The real question here is: Who is more likely to stop the NSA from being used against the US communications of journalists sources who are already a target for politically motivated law enforcement surveillance? Hayden, or a Bush fund raiser?
    My argument for hoping Hayden isn’t the worst choice for the CIA isn’t that I know he is the best. Its that I know the NSA is the tool this administration should never get to use to enforce its precious loyalty! Whatever Bolton did with intercepts is peanuts to what a team of Rove, the director of the NSA and a compartmentalized team of NSA troops can do. (Especially if they get trough to the information assurance side of the NSA business). A group like this could have given Wilkinson and tens of people like him a dream job far away from where he could reach the readers of this blog. And they could do it before Wilkinson even knew he could end up speaking out. And they could have done this quietly. And if it failed they could launch a pre-emptive mini swift boat that would keep journalists looking for credible sources away.
    I can’t begin to list the reasons finding potential dissenters who actually know stuff is easier than finding potential radicals who might actually blow up stuff.
    Now plenty of things that can make a domestic intelligence operation against those with information useful to critics fail. The NSA offers some very powerful solutions to potential problems with such a program.
    > The problem is that no one has stood up to
    > Cheney/Rumsfeld and the creep of Presidential
    > powers – including Hayden.
    Amen on the problem. The problem isn’t the spying, its the broad lack of balls that made Cheney think he could and, more importantly, should get away with, well everything.
    But is Hayden the guy to blame, or is everyone else in Washington to blame? On the one hand is the fact that the military isn’t intended as a check and balance while many many others are.
    On the other hand is the fact that the military isn’t supposed to follow illegal orders.
    On the on hand Hayden may have been able to make a bigger fuss than the generals who quit before the invasion of Iraq did, on the other hand he may have been quietly replaced by a lackey bush knows and trusts from his fundraising days…
    > The next president
    > will have to work awfully hard to undo the
    > Cheney/Bush precedents – and doing the right
    > thing and going back to a more nuanced and
    > legally supportable reading of the constitution
    > will make it tougher for the next president to
    > govern.
    An interesting question is whether you can actually undo this creepy creeping. You could pass detainee treatment acts, fisa and 700 other things again, this time without signing statement… But would that help? Will it prevent another vice or real president from claiming the exact same thing?
    I think this kind of behavior only gets impeded by a very strong deterrence against unelected “number 2s”. If Cheney after all the authority that has been claimed doesn’t get his “I am not a crook” moment, then people in the future will wonder what the big deal was and carry out orders and vote the same.
    > So no, I would rather not have a leader who has
    > managed to violate the constitution just a
    > little bit. A better stance would have been to
    > let Cheney have his way – and make sure it
    > leaked and made sure all members of Congress
    > had the information they needed to understand
    > the impact. Hayden blinked. American democracy
    > has suffered.
    I wonder how Hayden feels himself about not briefing the full Intel committees. But let me make on thing clear. NSA people leak very, very little. Just take notice of how much of the current reportinghas sources in contractors, NSA customers and most importantly, the DOJ.
    Leak = no snooping = no NSA
    > We will never know what could have been with a
    > political flackie at the NSA
    But we can look at police states and see that that they have true believers doing the surveillance. And we can look at that fact that all opposition to and honest discussion of the white house in the US would crumble if it didn’t have telecommunication…. Don`t believe me? Ask if you can borrow Stevens phones for a week.
    I argue about this because my dream is a Hayden level defection from the NSA as well… On the one hand this is completely unrealistic, on the other are people with an NSA past are part of the EFF 😉 But we have Bobby Ray Inman, Mark Klein and some brave people in DOJ. And lets not forget the republican congressman who leaked Cheney`s black site briefing 😉

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  7. Carroll says:

    Dear Pissed Off….
    I appreciate your concern but …
    Cleaning out our corrupt system should be the topic du jour, every day, 24/7 till it becomes popular thinking.
    If I had a few spare million I would advertise it on TV.

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  8. Patience says:

    Steve, if you have a free moment in Florence, I highly recommend taking some time to stroll over to the Piazza D’Azeglio. It’s a small park on the edge of the centro storico and is a nice place to sit and let the world go by.

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  9. steambomb says:

    I differ with you on why they are opposing his nomination. I think they are opposing his nomination not necessarily because of just the Wiretapping but the fact that they dont want another Eichman in a position of police power in this country. We allready have one in the attorney general.

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  10. prabhata says:

    The logic that Hayden is not to be held accountable because he is not the problem is wrong. Would you say that England should not be held accountable for her actions in the Abu Ghraib abuse because the policy was set at the top? I don’t agree with that logic at all. Would anyone give England another prison job? How can you trust Hayden to do what is right and legal at the CIA?

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  11. Pissed Off American says:

    “Huummmmm….I think maybe we should start discussing what a revolution would look like…I think the Marines would line up on our side…we just need a leader and a plan to make it as bloodless as possible…:)”
    Actually, Carroll, I believe, in all seriousness, that any public talk in that direction, PARTICULARLY on Clemon’s website, and websites like it, is dangerous to your health, your security, and your privacy. If you have been following events, than surely you could not have failed to notice that there have been active policies set in place by this Administration aimed DIRECTLY at suppressing and punishing dissent. They KNOW we are about to WAKE UP, and they have planned for that inevitable occurrence. I would be VERY CAREFUL about how vocal you get about advocating violent dissent. These bastards NEED to keep people like you, (us), QUIET, because things are going to get very dicey, very soon. These bastards aren’t going to let a little thing like “Democratic process” stand in the way of their grasp on power.

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  12. Pissed Off American says:

    “Steve, I fear your intemperate craving for insider status and your embarrassing proclivity toward political social climbing are getting the best of you once again. Try not to get lost in the hall of mirrors.”
    Hehehe……well, if not Den, maybe Dan can.

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  13. Pissed Off American says:

    “Steve, what the hell are you thinking. This isn’t getting a bend in the moral compass, this is twisting that moral compass into a pretzel, shoving it up a cats ass, then pouring kerosene on the poor thing and lighting it on fire. Honestly, one of these days I’m going to open up this blog, and find you having a serious discussion about unsanitary conditions at secret death camps in Arizona. Get some perspective, guy.”
    Gee, Steve, maybe Den can get through to you………(or not).

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  14. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve, I fear your intemperate craving for insider status and your embarrassing proclivity toward political social climbing are getting the best of you once again. Try not to get lost in the hall of mirrors.
    Your informant’s line about “cultivating competition” is the same old “creative tension” crap we have heard since 2001. Bush and company have been playing good cop/bad cop with the American people since 9/11. And all the fond hopes about significant changes in direction never come to anything. Just face it: fundamentally, these guys are all on the *same side* – even the charming staffers who tease you with insider tidbits.
    The only way to fight these guys is to keep slugging, stay resolute and never yield. At least Feingold’s stance takes a tiny little bite out of the Bush administration beast. The hope is that an accumulation of such tiny bites will eventually bring the beast down. And there is some reason for thinking that that strategy is working – slowly. The Bush administration is in deep trouble politically, and the trouble is the result of unrelenting attacks by critics – even when naysayers said these attacks would never have any effect, and that it was necessary to work the bureaucracy and strategize within the system.
    Why should I care whether Rumsfeld is removed when I know very well that whoever replaces him will be committed to pursuing the same crackpot foreign policy catastrophes as his predecessor? We know this will be true, as night follows day, because whoever replaces Rumsfeld willl be *hired by Bush and Cheney*, and there is no doubt about what they are up to.
    Attempting to pick winners and choose sides in some relatively insignificant administration turf war is a loser’s gambit. What we must do is cripple the ability of the administration to enact their plans. Each crook who takes a turn in coming to public attention should be savaged and crippled separately. And when that crook is replaced, we attack the *new* crook. And we never let up – not for all the precious gossip in Washington.
    The current administration is a *criminal* administration. They’re *all crooks*, and are a danger to the Republic. I think you should get out of Washington more often and do some independent thinking away from the madding crowd. You won’t receive as many insider tips from administration wise guys; but you also won’t be played like a violin.
    Come on. Burn some bridges. Live dangerously.

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  15. reticulant says:

    Clemons should come clean. He “heard” Tommy Franks was Bush’s second choice (bad joke). He heard it from another “other.” He heard it at a meet-and-greet in Tiranë. He heard the same through the same Lone Star grapevine that produced “They’re indicting Armitage.” Ergo, Steve Clemons, “I Heart Michael.”

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  16. reticulant says:

    Clemons: “While some have expressed surprise at my general support of Hayden’s nomination, others understand what is going on in this Hayden debate.”
    Do they? Do YOU?
    A certain former senator with actual SSCI credentials who served on the 9/11 commission essentially labeled Hayden an obsequious, opportunistic liar:Senator Bob Kerrey, who was a member of the 9/11 Commission, had a harsher assessment. Kerrey criticized Hayden for his suggestion, after the Times exposé, that the N.S.A.’s wiretap program could have prevented the attacks of 9/11. “That’s patently false and an indication that he’s willing to politicize intelligence and use false information to help the President,” Kerrey said.
    Unlike Clemons & his “others”, doers like Kerrey have little patience for Beltway romper rooms or green book parlor games of Rummy v. Negroponte, last twit standing.
    “What’s [obviously] going on” in the real world is another example of fuck-the-people and piss-on-this-constitution by a lawless, pernicious administration totally politicized, indifferent and unaccountable to everyone and anything except those media lackeys who empower them.

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  17. jhm says:

    I agree that Congree has been asleep at the switch on this, but, to be fair, this rates them a A+ for consistency). I also agree that trying to decide wether Rumsfeld/Cheney is better or worse than Negroponte is a moot.
    My quibble with the post’s analysis is that it doesn’t explain why we got Hon. Rep. Goss first if there was some kind of grand plan behind these appointments.

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  18. Kathleen says:

    Carroll,
    Storm the Bastille and vote absentee ballot.

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  19. marky says:

    Steve,
    What does Chris Nelson think of your theory?
    Does he think it is more than wishful thinking?
    I don’t see how you can support the appointment of yet more lawbreakers to top cabinet positions, but I suppose at this point in the Bush presidency, there is no chance that an honest man will achieve a high rank.

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  20. Carroll says:

    Huummmmm….I think maybe we should start discussing what a revolution would look like…I think the Marines would line up on our side…we just need a leader and a plan to make it as bloodless as possible…:)
    It’s either starve this goverment out by not giving them any more money or storming the castle gates and throwing 80% of them in the brig.
    Somehow I am uncomfortable with putting all my eggs in the Diebold election basket.

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  21. adam says:

    I just found a new site with some really cool features. Anyone can post news, and you can rate, tag, and add to the stories.
    If you go to PoliSpeak.com you can sign up for an account. It seems like it could be really cool if they had more people adding content.

    Reply

  22. The Fool says:

    Clemons really hits the bullseye. Likewise there wouldn’t have been any point taking out Himmler during WWII because Hitler was the root of the problem.

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  23. anonymous says:

    Anyone who thinks Negroponte (who spends 2-3 hours/day at the gym) and can’t-keep-his-pants-zipped-spent-billions-on-computer-programs-that-didn’t-work-at-NSA Hayden can wrest control from Rummy is NUTS. If you believe this is possible, set up a bet & I’ll take all comers on the Rummy-wins side. (Read Packer’s book if you want the evidence.)

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  24. MNPundit says:

    So Steve, if you’re wrong will you post an apology or even a simple “I made a mistake, Hayden is on the other side” on the site? That’s all I want to know.

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  25. TSop says:

    Porter Goss was an ‘internal tension’ to Negroponte and that opportunity is now lost. Make no mistake, Negroponte, Hayden, and Rumsfeld are all in this TOGETHER. Don’t be snowed by some White House staffer with an agenda…these guys want to go into IRAN and stop leaks and dissent. Hayden as DCI makes these goals more possible.

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  26. Den Valdron says:

    This is not the goddammed camel’s nose under the tent. This goes considerably further.
    This is the camel’s raging erection resting in your bowl of corn flakes.
    This is just another installment in the now headlong surrender of your country to tyranny.
    Really, I’m serious. What’s next?

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  27. Den Valdron says:

    There is so much here that is so appalling on so many levels I’ve hardly an idea where to start.
    First, in terms of the efficacy and integrity of Hayden, I’m somewhat appalled that Steve has blithely swept that off the table right at the start. This is a man who publicly proclaimed a complete misreading of the fourth amendment, dispensing with probable cause. This is a man who has refused to respond to a question as to whether the administration spies on its political enemies. This is a man who refused to condemn waterboarding and asked that the discussion be held in camera. This is a man who has diligently implemented the administration’s extralegal or quasilegal agendas. In short, pro-torture, anti-law, politically partisan and stupid to boot. He’s just another administration crony with a slightly better than average resume? That deserves far more attention than its gotten.
    Second, the installment of Hayden puts a four star general on active duty and under military command in charge of the premiere civilian intelligence agency. An agency that was established in large part to counter military control over intelligence gathering. Great, let’s just go out and fuck careful administrative and political checks and balances that have endured for sixty years. Jesus H. Christ on a Crutch.
    Third, “Negroponte will use Hayden to gore Rumsefeld…” Excuse me while I go and vomit. Negroponte? John Negroponte? Ambassador to Honduras in the 80’s? Man on the ground for Iran Contra, the Contra War (200,000 dead), the El Salvador Civil War (90,000 dead), the Honduran Purges (50,000 dead), the Guatemala Genocide (250,000 dead) and all the attendant atrocities (Priests and Nuns murdered, whole villages massacred, babies gutted like trout, women raped by dogs, men castrated, corpses mutilated, etc. etc.) And he’s the good guy in this? What, Charles Taylor wasn’t available to root for? Jesus, this is like Michael Myers going at it with Jason Voorhees. This is Vampires versus Nazis. Yeah, the worst case scenario of a Negroponte/Rumsfeld battle is that one or the other might win. Steve, what the hell are you thinking. This isn’t getting a bend in the moral compass, this is twisting that moral compass into a pretzel, shoving it up a cats ass, then pouring kerosene on the poor thing and lighting it on fire. Honestly, one of these days I’m going to open up this blog, and find you having a serious discussion about unsanitary conditions at secret death camps in Arizona. Get some perspective, guy.
    Finally, the entire focus of this argument is wrongheaded. The notion is that the rot extends no higher than Rumsfeld. Sorry, Rumsfeld is part and parcel, but it goes to Gonzales, to Rice, to Cheney and to Bush. Negroponte is not a white night, he was enlisted because he was an amoral butcher, comfortable with the company of other amoral butchers. This is a gang of monsters, and those who are not monsters are comfortable with the company of monsters. There are no white hats and black hats, there is just moral erosion.
    Just because these people wear suits and make polite cocktail conversation should not mislead us as to their true character.

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  28. Carroll says:

    Thinking though….Negroponte is more of a Bush I thug than a Cheney thug…so there’s that at least.

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  29. Carroll says:

    I’am with bob mcmanus…I like to know where Cheney stood on Hyden. Cheney picked himself for VP and he has been picking the neo’s and every other thug for appointments ever since.
    Other than that I don’t think it much matters anymore whether we have bad,badder or worst in charge…nothing is going to really change until this adm and our entire system gets a gaint enema.

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  30. Kathleen says:

    While I agree that Dems should have been objecting to expansions of the executive branch’s powers long ago, better late than never. I don’t think approving the nomination of someone who broke the law is good. Frankly, I hope the Dems object to and obstruct every single thing the current occupant of the Oval Office wants till he’s gone. Better to prevent harm than co-operate with it. I don’t think any of them deserve approval. Now that Porter Goss got rid of the real analysts, will Hayden install some Stepford analysts? Barffff.

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  31. glenn says:

    i can’t believe — having survived the Reagan era — that i’d see the day when Negroponte was the one to root for in any battle. If he hadn’t been pardoned, he’d be in jail for Iran-Contra and other sins wouldn’t he?

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  32. Ben Rosengart says:

    “Frank”, it’s always good to get better information to the President, even though he won’t use it. It limits the plausibility with which he can deny that he ever knew anything. It helps to isolate and make vulnerable those who are feeding him bullshit.
    Not that I’m optimistic about any accountability appearing in this administration.

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  33. David G. Stahl says:

    I guess the argument that without Hayden things would be worse doesn’t sway me. It is a similar argument to why Powell and Armitage stayed so long at State.
    One could argue – not sure that I can support it – that things improved at State after Powell left. Powell was ineffective at State because he couldn’t get Bush’s ear (or more to the point couldn’t get Rumsfeld and Cheney’s ears).
    If Gen. Hayden helped tone down the program and keep Bush from really breaking the law by only violating the constitution a little bit – this is suppose to make me feel good about his qualifications – that he found an “almost legal” solution?
    The problem is that no one has stood up to Cheney/Rumsfeld and the creep of Presidential powers – including Hayden. The next president will have to work awfully hard to undo the Cheney/Bush precedents – and doing the right thing and going back to a more nuanced and legally supportable reading of the constitution will make it tougher for the next president to govern.
    So no, I would rather not have a leader who has managed to violate the constitution just a little bit. A better stance would have been to let Cheney have his way – and make sure it leaked and made sure all members of Congress had the information they needed to understand the impact. Hayden blinked. American democracy has suffered.
    We will never know what could have been with a political flackie at the NSA – my own reading is that it could not have been much worse than Hayden’s tenure. A hack would have made mistakes and been caught earlier.
    Sincerely,
    David G. Stahl

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  34. bob mcmanus says:

    I keep seeing a name missing in Steve’s posts — Cheney. And I am not going to understand what is going on until I understand Dick’s role in this internal conflict.

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  35. blogenfreude says:

    Is there anybody else that’s qualified who’d go after Rumsfeld but isn’t stained by the illegal surveillance?

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  36. garyk says:

    This is just one more example of our Lazy President at work. We actually have a turf war going on while we’re attempting to battle an enemy? Wouldn’t it be in our best interest for the President to step in and knock heads together to get everyone on the same page? Nah, we’re talking about Bush, who will ultimately go down as the laziest President in US history. Lazy not to have Plan B when Plan A didn’t pan out in Iraq, lazy not to have a well thought out or executed Plan A, lazy to tell the city of New Orleans the US government is poised to help out but failing to answer the bell, lazy to support torture, lazy to not work w/ Congress to negotiate legislation but to amend it w/ signing statements after the fact. The list goes on…Bush, our Lazy President.

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  37. vachon says:

    So, if I oppose Hayden I don’t understand what’s going on?

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  38. 2600 says:

    > The fact that under Hayden’s leadership the
    > proverbial camel’s nose has gotten well under
    > the tent makes it clear to me that he does not
    > understand the nuance of history and
    > intelligence well enough to lead a modern
    > democratic society’s primary foreign
    > intelligence institution.
    On the other hand, if pro-confirmation side leaks are to be believed then heyden may be the most powerfull limiting force on this/these program(s).
    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/051406A.shtml I believe these acounts. They match with Cheney`s way to long history of pushing presidential authoritah after “recently” being dangourously eroded to a point where it impedes fighting these 20 century battles 😉
    Ofcourse this is the old, doing the best possbile, or, quitting as loud as possible debate. But I dont think Gen. Heyden has made the worst possible decisions here. Given the choice between doing this and being replaced by a teenager from the Bush campaign who previously rewrote climate (theory!) and big bang (theory!) press releases… hell, he may have sacrifised himself for the greater good by working with these clowns.
    I have opposed rasterfahndung, this program, I oppose it all. (http://www.edri.org/)
    But Heyden may have sold Cheney an unconstitutional an to far extended program for making sense of disposable e-mail addreses and international calling cards as a magical terrorist mind reader that knows which islamic radicals would support violence against civilians before they themselfs do…. In doing so he may have prevented “total information awareness”. At least in the NSA (Able danger, etc), or maybe not, god knows. but I know what the teenage dropout would have made the contrators try to pull of 😉
    I wonder what steven`s “hayden issues” are precisly. Besides failing to read the mythical man month and some very basic stuff on agile software/systems development (trailblazer et al could have used some extreme programming 😉 ), what has he done? His NSA reorganisations are not populair, but have they harmed stuff? I have not seen anything on the ddni days though.
    > What on earth, after all this time and
    > experience with the man, makes you think that he
    > [Bush] would use this presumed latitude to
    > behave any more wisely than he has in the past?
    > Just curious.
    Any power used through State/CIA will have better results than power used through DoD… Its ignoring the CIA that worries me.

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  39. Frank Sinatra says:

    You state that General Hayden’s appointment as Director of the CIA will give Bush greater latitude, presumably in making intelligence and foreign policy decisions. What on earth, after all this time and experience with the man, makes you think that he would use this presumed latitude to behave any more wisely than he has in the past? Just curious.

    Reply

  40. David G. Stahl says:

    Dear Steve Clemmons:
    Thanks again for your insightful comments. And I do agree with you about the Hayden nomination helping Negroponte wrest Intel control from Rumsfeld.
    But, I would argue (from a much less informed position as a private citizen in PA) that if just a fraction of the details about the NSA programs that have been leaked to the press are accurate then Hayden’s involvement does not bode well for his ability to raise the standards at the CIA.
    The NSA’s building of a data mining capability of US Citizens communications clearly violates the constitution and the laws of this land. Yes the problem is the top – but the top will not realize there is a problem if persons in important subordinate roles don’t stand up and understand the legal and constitutional impact of their actions.
    There is a long history of intelligence capabilities being aimed at US citizens by it’s own government (see the May 22nd Newsweek). The fact that under Hayden’s leadership the proverbial camel’s nose has gotten well under the tent makes it clear to me that he does not understand the nuance of history and intelligence well enough to lead a modern democratic society’s primary foreign intelligence institution.
    The fact that our elected representative don’t understand this gives me little comfort. They are clearly out of touch with the seriousness of the issues at stake. The lack of accountability at the DOD over issues like enemy combatants just magnifies these issues.
    Would the Bush team nominate someone who was capable and would stand up to them? No. But that is another problem. Hayden has by his past actions disqualified himself – and the fact that the Senate cannot stop his nomination is a sign that congressional oversight is no longer available and the President can do whatever he wants.
    It is a troubling sign – one that will require lots of people to stand up and demand that their representatives and executive branch play by the rules. I am not hopeful.
    Most Sincerely,
    David G. Stahl

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