Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Your Daily Hayden Brief

Okay, so maybe I miscalculated about the interest on Bush's nomination of General Hayden as CIA chief. Seems the blogosphere is actually more interested in Richard Cohen's article this morning about Colbert, which the 'sphere has been in (an inexplicable) frenzy about. Would you people quit reading Richard Cohen? (Maybe I need to mention Colbert more to try to pump the links. Colbert Colbert Colbert. Colbert's a traitor. Colbert's a genius. There.) But Hayden is a huge story, and so I will forge on.

Dana Priest has a nice article in the Post discussing a part of the nomination I didn't follow--the replacement of the number 2 man at the CIA, Vice Adm. Albert Calland, with a former CIA official, Stephen Kappes, who left when Goss came in. The White House is selling this as a "see, there isn't too much Pentagon influence after all" remedy. Priest also discusses some more of that good ol' GOP corruption that seems everywhere--one of Goss's appointees, Dusty Foggo (not kidding), was shilling CIA contracts (more detail on that story here). Tell me you're shocked.

Other tidbits:
  • AmericaBlog reports that there's a law saying both 1 and 2 men at the CIA can't be active or retired military, which may explain the nomination of Kappes.
  • Apparently the Speaker isn't high on Hayden, either. "The CIA would give too much influence over the U.S. intelligence community to the Pentagon," says he, shockingly, echoing me.
  • Steve Soto, however, tells us it's just the opposite: this alternative theory holds the nomination is "a move by Negroponte to install a uniformed officer to fight off Rumsfeld and Cheney."
  • David Corn thinks Bush just wants a fight he thinks he can win.
  • For the seemier side to the story, the NY Daily News tells us more about the bribes, gambling, and hookers. (More evidence that Clinton was a piker.)
  • Josh pulls together a few threads in the Soto/Hastert dispute. His conclusion: Hastert's right.
  • Also: Digby's good, the Corner has but four references to Hayden, Muckraker with yet more on bribes, and finally, Mark Kleiman basically thinks Bush is a bonehead and the Hayden nomination is yet another gaffe (not altogether implausible).
Finally, since no Bush nominee is complete without requisite (and generally accurate) incompetence, an exchange between Hayden and a Knight-Ridder reporter (hat tip Crooks via Iggi):

Landay: "...the Fourth Amendment* of the United States Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to violate an American's right against unreasonable searches and seizures..."

Gen. Hayden: "No, actually - the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure."

Landay: "But the --"

Gen. Hayden: "That's what it says."

Landay: "The legal measure is probable cause, it says."

Gen. Hayden: "The Amendment says: unreasonable search and seizure."

Landay: "But does it not say 'probable cause'?"

Gen. Hayden [exasperated, scowling]: "No! The Amendment says unreasonable search and seizure."

*Actual text: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

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