General Hayden is supremely qualified to lead the CIA. For the last year, he's been our Nation's first Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and has played a critical role in our efforts to reform America's intelligence capabilities to meet the threats of a new century. He has more than 20 years of experience in the intelligence field. He served for six years as Director of the National Security Agency and has a track record of success in leading and transforming that large intelligence agency. He also has held senior positions at the Pentagon and the National Security Council, and he served behind the Iron Curtain in our embassy in Bulgaria during the Cold War.If there ever was a person who should suffer a sever crisis of conscience, it would be General Hayden. This man must know some very vile and disturbing secrets perpetrated by our government during his long tenure in the "intelligence" industry. What is worse, this is a man who believes in everything the NSA has done in the immediate past.
During General Hayden's tenure at the NSA, he helped establish and run one of our most vital intelligence efforts in the War on Terror -- the Terrorist Surveillance Program.You call it "Terrorist Surveillance Program," I call it illegal spying on Americans. Which one it really is, has yet to be determined, but my money is on the fact that you are violating the law Mr. President - to which you have already admitted that you were tapping phones both hear and abroad warrant, even retroactively - QED, despite what any SCOTUS stacked with your brand of activists decide should this every elevate to that level.
Here's the kicker: If the targets really are people connected, affiliated even loosely, or are members of Al Queda, how can you justify collecting data of over tens of millions of Americans?
So to prevent another attack, I authorized the National Security Agency -- consistent with the Constitution and laws -- to intercept international communications in which one party has known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist groups. This terrorist surveillance program makes it more likely that killers like the 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time. It has helped prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad, and it remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it. We will not sit back and wait to be attacked again.But indeed, the proof is in the pudding, no:
This week, new claims have been made about other ways we are tracking down al Qaeda to prevent attacks on America. It is important for Americans to understand that our activities strictly target al Qaeda and its known affiliates. Al Qaeda is our enemy, and we want to know their plans. The intelligence activities I have authorized are lawful and have been briefed to appropriate members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat. The privacy of all Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities. The government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval. We are not trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans. Our efforts are focused on links to al Qaeda terrorists and its affiliates who want to harm the American people.
Americans expect their government to do everything in its power under our laws and Constitution to protect them and their civil liberties. That is exactly what we are doing. And so far, we have been successful in preventing another attack on our soil.Ah yes, here we have the W, Rove and Co. trotting out the "absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" argument one more time. What I do know that is going on for sure is that the jihadists are getting serious time practicing their craft on GIs and other soft targets in Iraq. Perhaps, they have yet to unleash their devilish skills on us here at home.
Of course, if you buy the W, Rove and Co's argument, we should simultaneously feel safe and afraid. Quite the contradiction. Me? I'm afraid, but not of the terrorists. We all have to die some time. I'm afraid that the government in its current incarnation is using the rouse of protecting us from terrorists to slowly, silently, and secretively steal out Constitutionally granted rights. And if you like that agenda, then indeed, General Hayden is about as "supremely qualified" as you can get. And the American people, like the lobster tossed into a cold pot, come to realize only too late that our butts are cooked.