Monday, May 08, 2006

Gen. Michael Hayden named the new CIA Director

And, go figure, Dubya is getting criticism for his pick to replace Porter Goss. The story first

WaPo - In the televised appearance, Bush reeled off Hayden's lengthy resume -- head of the National Security Agency, commander of the old Air Intelligence Agency and most recently deputy to national intelligence director John D. Negroponte -- before pronouncing him "the right man" to lead the CIA as it confronts the war on terror.

Bush took no questions and did not address the specific concerns about the Hayden appointment, which include the military issue as well as Hayden's role as NSA chief in the controversial program of domestic surveillance revealed last year by the New York Times.

The first criticism of Hayden is because of the Terrorist Surveillance Program Hayden helped Bush conduct as head of the NSA. I don't even want to go over why the TSP (NOT domestic spying) is legal, again, so if you're still under the influence of the loony left on it's legality, go see my old post on why it is perfectly legal.

The second criticism seems just as silly. Some seem to think his status as an active duty Air Force is a conflict in that he's still directly supervised by Rumsfeld and the Pentagon. Some think the position ought to be held by a civilian. I say who really cares? To me, it appears the man has the credentials, and wasn't one of the results of the 9/11 Commission about the breakdown in communication of intelligence from the field and analysts to the people who make the decisions? Wasn't that why Homeland Security was created? Isn't that why we abolished the communication restrictions between the FBI and CIA? In order to make the sharing of information easier? So he'd have a close connection to the Pentagon, so what? He isn't under Rumsfeld's thumb. Rumsfeld isn't the puppet master looking to run the CIA too.

I think they're all looking at this from the glass half empty perspective. Maybe a relationship between the CIA and the Pentagon can be a good thing. Maybe get some quicker action on intel generated by the CIA...

UPDATE @ 4:09pm: Allahpundit over at Hot Air has an interesting political problem with Dubya's pick of Hayden as the head of the CIA.

if Hayden gets confirmed, military officers would be in charge of all three government intelligence agencies... I’m not arguing that Hayden wouldn’t do a good job, I’m arguing that it’s unwise to hand the Democrats easy talking points before an election about militarization and wiretapping. If Hayden really will clean the place up, as many people predict, then the bad press and election fallout might be a price worth paying.

It's an interesting complication... I don't think the wiretapping will be that big an issue, because, honestly, if the left tries to use that as a talking point, I think the public will hammer them for continuing to be soft on defense. Militarization on the other hand plays to the Democrats strengths: the lunatic fringe. I can see the hippies coming out of the woodwork saying stuff like "Bush has taken us from a democracy to a miltary dictatorship. Military officials are running more and more important DC posts. Our freedoms are being eroded." You can argue points on the legality of the wiretapping, but deranged moonbat speak is tougher to argue with in that there's zero logic to it, just the appearance of truth. What do you say to that other than, "That's hogwash. Now, please go take a shower; you smell"?

Sure I think we're splitting hairs with this, but it's an interesting twist in the story.