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Hayden on the Grill

William Arkin suggests that Gen. Michael Hayden’s testimony at his confirmation hearing hints at someone who may take a more professional approach to gathering intelligence than we’ve come to expect from the Bush administration:

Yesterday in his appearance before the Senate, this active duty general, this high ranking government official, this career intelligence officer, this nominee to be CIA director straightforwardly criticized decisions and actions of the Bush administration, even gingerly suggesting a truth that everyone on the planet except for the occupants of the White House already knows: The Iraq war is a disaster and a diversion undermining and not enhancing any potential American action to stem global terrorism.

Gen. Michael V. Hayden’s refreshing candor in an administration that can not bear to acknowledge any mistakes or take responsibility for any errors makes his unequivocal defense of NSA domestic collection all the more credible.

Let’s hope that the Bush administration comes to rue the day it nominated Hayden to be CIA director.

Indeed. But what of Gen. Hayden’s defense of the NSA’s unconstitutional collection of American phone records? That doesn’t give me a good feeling about the general’s respect for the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.

But here’s a thought: Is there another reason the former head of the NSA was put before the Senate at just the moment the scope of NSA’s domestic spying program hit the national media? In other words, is this the president’s way of punishing Gen. Hayden for disloyalty?

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