A new branch of the NSA Scandal - appointing Hayden as CIA Director
For that reason, Gen. Hayden's confirmation hearings would be certain to entail a (hopefully aggressive) examination as to his overseeing and defending the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program (Sen. Feingold is on the Intelligence Committee, which by itself guarantees at least some worthwhile and probing questions). As the Times put it this morning:
General Hayden, the principal deputy director of national intelligence, would also face serious questions about the controversy over the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program, which he oversaw and has vigorously defended.
Any event which forces further public discussion, debate and examination of the administration's lawbreaking is a good thing, in my view. Many administration supporters boastfully predicted that this scandal would be all wrapped up and easily tossed aside by now, and yet the opposite is clearly happening -- with the various judicial proceedings challenging the NSA program, Sen. Specter's ongoing investigation and promised new hearings, Sen. Feingold's still pending Censure Resolution, and increased media attention being paid to these lawbreaking issues. This scandal is far, far away from being resolved, and is still quietly though inexorably growing.
Having said that, it is highly illustrative of this administration's mindset that they believe that the best candidate to direct the CIA is the individual who oversaw and vigorously defended the administration's illegal eavesdropping on American citizens. Isn't he the last person who ought to be put in that position?