Video: Hayden says, “CIA needs to get out of the news”

posted at 10:44 am on May 18, 2006 by Allahpundit

Breitbart has the story. Here’s the video, in which Gen. Hayden warns of the politicization of intelligence.

Previous post is here.

Update: Here’s Fox News’s report on the hearing. Streaming Fox video is here.


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,…I believe the American Intelligence Committee has taken a number of hits…some fare, many not….(paraphrasing here)
This man is a gift to the American people. Will the nut balls in the media allow him to do his job? Intelligence is naturally of a subversive nature, for obvious reasons….”The CIA need to get out of the news” is the absolute truth. Please let these people do the job of protecting us…obviously The Clinton Administration was asleep at the wheel and this administration is correcting all the screws ups of the former co-presidency. We are at the mercy of our enemies and many of those enemies are within our walls and, in fact, in our congress. Perhaps if we allow this man full cooperation, we will have a chance..otherwise I am afraid we are doomed.

Sandys Beach on May 18, 2006 at 10:58 AM

Valarie Plame was the first one showing her lovely elegant face on the Vanity. She started it all and yet her husband went after Bush!!!!..I think Hayden is right on the mark! He is a sharp shooter!

Liberals not only try to dismantle our constitution, our country, our protective shields ( CIA, military, FBI), but they also try to destroy our mental armor by daily bombardment of lies and false accusation cleverly designed to wear us our.

I always wonder who the hell is the devil behind them designing all these powerful propaganda for them.

Easy87us

easy87us on May 18, 2006 at 11:06 AM

The CIA will only get out of the news when Democrats and the MSM stop trying to tear it apart and all the Clintonies are booted from the CIA.

Brah on May 18, 2006 at 11:13 AM

Hayden is right on. From Jimmie Carter, and Frank Church, to Torcerelli the left-wing has done everything in it power to hamstring this country with regards to our intelligence gathering capeibility. Now we have Ted Kennedy complaining over the treatment of the terrorests at GTMO, Mary McCarthy and the jurnalists at the Wash. Post, and the NYT releasing information of A highly classified nature over alleged prisons in Estern Europe, that most lickly don’t exist. This (noted above) And these hearings will only make this country and its citizens look like fools. The hearings over the Hayden conformation keeps our enemy in the fight. The bottom line: THE LIBS GIVE AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY.

birdman on May 18, 2006 at 11:21 AM

Lately I’ve been thinking the entire CIA should be abolished. Not practical? Perhaps not, but given the bungling, turf wars and political activity taking place there is nothing of importance being accomplished anyway!
It is painfully apparent that there are too many CIA personnel who are more interested in protecting their turf and sticking it to the Bush Administration, rather than protecting our nation…
The General seems to be a very intelligent, straightforward individual, and he has a strong background in the intelligence field. That is all to the good but sadly I do not think he will be able to turn things around there. After all he is just one man, and there are so many of them at Langley…

Abigail Adams on May 18, 2006 at 11:41 AM

Hayden is right on. From Jimmie Carter…..

——————————–

I remember when that little ray of sunshine, Amy Carter (the expert on nukier weapons) would roam the country protesting the CIA with Abbe Hoffman.

Paul Atreides on May 18, 2006 at 6:44 PM

Paul Ateides: Thanks, I forgot all about the Amy Abbe show

birdman on May 18, 2006 at 9:08 PM

The CIA should stay out of the news, especially when it’s the MSM doing the reporting. The MSM treats the CIA as the enemy and terrorists as their victims. But I would love to see Hayden in the news daily putting the smackdown on them and other liberals who are constantly trying to undermine our country.

roninacreage on May 19, 2006 at 10:24 AM

Gee talk about selective hearing. Did no one else hear H’s comments on the CIA’s role in pre-war intelligence–not questioning assumptions, ignoring dissenting opinions etc?

Blaming the MSM for everything is a dangerous practice. The CIA is broke and hopefully this is the guy who can fix it; the first step to fixing something is acknowledging it is broken, meaning taking responsibility and not constantly whining that everything that is wrong is someone else’s fault. Jesus, be adults.

honora on May 19, 2006 at 11:24 AM

No one is blaming the MSM for everything…I believe what is needed is responsible reporting. As far as the CIA is concerned, yes..it is broke but this did not JUST happen. It has been a slow decay into where we are at this time. All I ask is that the main stream media report some truths, once in a while, instead of blaming the current administration for everything including the sinking of the Titanic. And, additionally, some things should just NOT be dissected in front of the whole world. I detest all this microscopic detailing that goes on. We are in a war for our very freedoms….perhaps it would have been better if AL GORE or John Kerry were holding this office as I am almost certain that the Democrats and some Republicans in the Congress would fall in lock step behind any one who is NOT George Bush.

Sandys Beach on May 19, 2006 at 1:16 PM

The CIA “WAS” broke. It is made up of average and above average Men and Women who wake up every day and tell themselves they are going to do their job because that is what they believe in. They may make mistakes. They may screw up. They certainly are not perfect. They don’t walk on water, and they aren’t Satan in human form. They need to fix their problems and continue to do their best for the country. And they have already made plenty of steps in the correct direction since 9-11. And we who know nothing about what is actually going in the organization should stop passing judgment without all the facts.

No one, least of all Senators and Congressmen, should be passing judgment on whether or not they are doing their jobs correctly, except the man who is put in charge of their actions and operations, and those who receive their products and are eventually in a position to know whether their guesses were right or wrong.

GEN Hayden should be that Man. He is not afraid to tell it like it is, and to tell Congressmen when their partisan politics has become dangerous to national security, and when classified intelligence programs need to be placed back in the TOP SECRET files for the country’s good.

I don’t like it when the CIA screws up. They do it all too often. But if they are belittled to the point where they see no point in trying to do their job, because they will always be criticized, no matter what they do, then no one else will do the job. It is awful hard to soar with the eagles every day when you are compared to turkeys by everyone in the media and in the government.

So put Hayden in charge, shut up about signals intelligence (which are the most highly classified programs in the entire US intel inventory), and get about the business of killing the evil men who want us to die in a nuclear fireball because we won’t support their idea of a “perfect religion”.

Subsunk

PS, does anyone think we’ll ever hear praise of the General for his ability to “speak truth to power”? Especially since he lambastes Congressmen who have his fate in their hands, yet chastises them for placing their politics above national security and the lives of you and me and 290 million of our closest friends and neighbors. How stupid is that phrase “speak truth to power”?

You tell the Truth whether it is to the strong and powerful or the weak and wimpy, to the rich or the poor, to the left or the right, to Democrat or Republican, to the good, the bad, and the ugly. I wish we’d lose the definition of that phrase because it has no meaning except to paint a Man’s words with a partisan brush.

Real Men aren’t ashamed of telling the Truth to anyone, and the General has that characteristic in spades.

Subsunk Out.

Subsunk on May 19, 2006 at 10:43 PM

I like your thinking, Subsunk. Ditto’s..all the way!
Sandys Beach out ;^)

Sandys Beach on May 19, 2006 at 11:21 PM

Paul Ateides: Thanks, I forgot all about the Amy Abbe show

birdman on May 18, 2006 at 9:08 PM

——————————————–

birdman, you’re welcome! I always wondered how Amy got to be such a nutjob. Looking at her nutjob father, in recent years, has answered my question.

I remember, also, that Abbe Hoffman committed suicide.

Paul Atreides on May 20, 2006 at 3:41 PM

Not only does the CIA need to be out of the news, they need to purge the politicals. There is too much party loyalty in the CIA. They waged a more effective campaign against the American President than they did against the Iraqi one. The soft soap retirements need to stop; people that leak intelligence to the media for the sheer joy of sticking it to the white house need to be prosecuted and jailed. No pension, no book deal. The CIA isn’t there to play politics; at least not in our country.

austinnelly on May 21, 2006 at 10:22 PM

No one, least of all Senators and Congressmen, should be passing judgment on whether or not they are doing their jobs correctly, except the man who is put in charge of their actions and operations, and those who receive their products and are eventually in a position to know whether their guesses were right or wrong.

YIKES!!!! So the Congress should not fulfill their obligation to oversee the agency???? The problem here is there hasn’t been enough oversight, and now the Congress is trying to cover its collective ass as the war becomes increasingly unpopular. The reason you have all these leaks coming from the agency is that the normal channels (to vet info etc) were blocked and Congress didn’t have the cajones to stand up to the administration. The fault is with the admin for overstepping and the Congress for not doing its duty–the CIA is largely being made the scapegoat.

Don’t get me wrong, I like this guy a lot, a much better choice than a political lackey like Goss.

honora on May 22, 2006 at 11:43 AM

“YIKES!!!! So the Congress should not fulfill their obligation to oversee the agency???? The problem here is there hasn’t been enough oversight, and now the Congress is trying to cover its collective ass as the war becomes increasingly unpopular. The reason you have all these leaks coming from the agency is that the normal channels (to vet info etc) were blocked and Congress didn’t have the cajones to stand up to the administration. The fault is with the admin for overstepping and the Congress for not doing its duty–the CIA is largely being made the scapegoat.

Don’t get me wrong, I like this guy a lot, a much better choice than a political lackey like Goss.

honora on May 22, 2006 at 11:43 AM

honora,

You are mistaken. Channels between CIA and Congress casnnot be “blocked”. Congressmen get whatever they ask for. The CIA reports to the administration by law, and provides Congress with courtesy copies of everything the Congressmen ask to be kept aprised of. They saw EXACTLY the same briefs as the White House — when they evidenced a desire to see anything at all. Our bureaucracies are so focused on where their money comes from, they NEVER refuse to answer a Congressman’s question, no matter how stupid, political, or moronic it is.

You place an awful lot of your confidence in people who have never served a day in an intelligence billet in their lives. Only a couple of the Intelligence committee members have ever read any intelligence message or received any intelligence products and USED them BEFORE they were elected to Congress. And you want them to conduct “oversight of” (by which you actually mean you want them to give direction to) the CIA. That is a ludicrous position. That is a position which leads to politicization of the CIA, the very thing we want to avoid.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t expect to question and oversee the CIA. But their job is to make laws facilitating the use of the agency and protecting our civil rights while doing so. They are not legal scholars who can say what is legal and what isn’t. They are pogues, elected to Congress because they have a pretty face or deep pockets, not because they are rocket scientists (I should know because I am a rocket scientist — ballistic missile submarines experienced). They should not be directing CIA to stop doing this or start doing that.

On the other hand, professional spies who have over 20 yrs experience in each of their respective agencies and billets, and have extensive leadership experience in their profession should be the ones in charge of our classified programs and should be allowed to lead as necessary. There are so many layers of legal oversight inside the CIA/NSA/DoD that far surpasses anything Congress could exert on the CIA, that your faith is severely misplaced if you expect Congress to oversee and provide better legal advice to the CIA than the agency lawyers who are bureaucratically and meritoriously promoted to those oversight positions.

I have seen legal oversight from DoDs, NSAs and CIAs perspective. Their lawyers are so conservative in what they allow, their nicknames are Dr. NO. They never think anything is legal. So most things which could actually help us gather intelligence rarely get off the ground. When they do, you can be assured they are legal, fairly administered, and jealously guarded, by both Republican and Democratic administrations (and I served in a Democrat’s administration in supportive billets in DoD with DEA/FBI/CIA/IRS/Customs/USBP and NSA interactions)

I’ve seen what the processes look like to satisfy Congress. I also look at the specifics of who in Congress actually bothered to show up to be briefed on these programs as part of their “oversight”. If 3 or 4 of the chairmen is all that ever show up for these briefings, then Congress has abdicated their responsibilities. The very people complaining about these surveillance programs have been to one or two briefings in the last 4 yrs. That’s what you call “oversight”? The administration has blocked nothing. You have to show up to class if you want to learn anything!

It is also transparently obvious that Congressmen on the left and right have made selective leaks of classified intelligence information through their staffs, to the news, for political purposes. THIS IS WRONG. It is illegal. And it should not be tolerated in ANYONE who is supposed to “fulfill their obligation to oversee the agency”.

The great shame in this escapade is that a four star General, (who should be retiring happily in two years instead of being asked to rebuild the most important human intelligence network and organization in our country under extreme pressure from Dhimmicrats to lose any advantage we have in the war,) has to lecture Congressmen on their responsibilities to safeguard and protect classified information that is of immediate and highly sensitive importance to the lives and national security of over 270 million people. And they ought to know better than to play politics with my life, and yours.

Subsunk

Subsunk on May 22, 2006 at 3:17 PM

Subsunk: by oversight, I mean oversight. I understand your positions and don’t disagree except that there are checks and balances for a reason. And the CIA, as well as the military, is accountable to “people who have never served a day in an intelligence billet”, in other words, civilians, like it or not.

honora on May 22, 2006 at 3:44 PM

honora,

I submitted a response to this once, but it hasn’t shown up. Sorry. I will try again, even though I’ve lost my better train of thought.

I agree that we are accountable to civilians. However, you place greater faith in the abilities of Congressmen who have, in most cases, NEVER seen, used, written or evaluated an intelligence report, assessment, or evaluation before they were elected to Congress. And they have no clue about what intel should be used for, how to safeguard it, and how to make sure it will enhance our safety, and the safety of 1.4 million troops on active duty, and another 1 million in the Guard and Reserve until AFTER they are elected. They were elected because they have a pretty face or because they have deep pockets. They aren’t omnisicent and we shouldn’t expect them to be.

Believing that Congress has the power to direct the CIA on what to do means you don’t agree that the CIA belongs in the Executive branch of government — something which is against the Constitution. The CIA and NSA should advise Congress on what they are doing and how they are doing it only because it is Congress’ job to make sure the laws will allow them to gather intelligence on bad people (which, in my humble opinion, and that of the 9-11 commission should include someone?[FBI/CIA/DIA] gathering intelligence on people (any people, including US citizens) who do bad things).

You appear to believe that Congressmen, who may not be lawyers and may not know a significant amount about espionage and the laws surrounding it, should be the arbiters of what is legal and what isn’t under the already established espionage laws. That is wrong. The CIA has a bevy of lawyers specifically assigned to review programs and make sure they fall within the current laws of the US.

These lawyers, and the lawyers of the FBI/IRS/NSA/USBP/Customs/DEA and DoD are so conservative in what they allow that their nicknames are usually Dr. NO. They almost never let reasonable programs get off the ground because they are “afraid” they would be found to be illegal. They usually don’t go out of their way to find the legal safeguards to allow valuable programs to work unless their boss insists they find the appropriate legal framework to get valuable intelligence programs (like surveillance programs) off the ground. That inaction makes the country less safe rather than more safe.

There is a dichotomy to your position. On the one hand, you suggest Congress is a better overseer, even though they are only part time overseers, than the professionals whose job it is to actually know the law and enforce it. Then you suggest the Executive branch should do more to protect us, but suggest that anything Congress doesn’t like should be illegal, although no law may exist against it at the moment. The two positions seem mutually exclusive to me.

Finally, if Congress is supposed to be overseeing CIA and other intel programs, then how come so few members of the intel committees ever show up to the briefings? The logs are out now, and only the chairmen of these committees show true interest in finding out what the CIA/NSA is doing. If Congress is supposed to be so concerned about what the CIA/NSA is doing, then how come Nancy Pelosi has only shown up to be briefed twice? How come most Congressmen are on the logs only a few times, even when they are members of the committee? These folks aren’t taking their responsibilities seriously if they complain about the CIA/NSA keeping them in the dark and then don’t show up to be briefed on their programs.

Would you want your high school graduate performing foot surgery on you to fix your bone spurs? No. But do you want them to ask why your foot hurts and find out what you are doing about it and who you are going to see about it? Sure. That is the kind of oversight Congress should be exercising. What are we doing to find bad people who live inside and outside the US but who want to blow us up? Let the legality or illegality of a program be defined by a court. They are the legal scholars. Not the newspapers, not the Congress, and not you and me.

I place my trust in my government to protect both me and my civil rights. [Truthfully, you and I have little choice to do otherwise]. But I have a way to influence what becomes illegal and what stays legal. I write Congress, letters to the editor, or blog about it. I try to influence people to see the correctness of my position. If you don’t trust your government to protect you, then vote them out or move. Most folks in the country believe this government is there for them. It isn’t a monolithic entity concerned only with feeding off of the people to advance their own agenda (at least to most folks). Because it is made up of average every day people doing their best to make a difference for the people of this country. And that is as it should be.

Subsunk

Subsunk on May 23, 2006 at 9:13 AM