Jack Rice - Blog

Jack Rice is a criminal defense trial lawyer who provides legal advice to those charged with crimes in Federal and Minnesota State courtrooms.


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Gen. Hayden As CIA Director?

As former head of the NSA and now number two man under Director of National Intelligence John Negropante, Hayden appears to be well qualified to take this role. However, there have been some, including senior Republican officials that are questioning this pick.

Associated Press Photo.
General Michael Hayden may be the next CIA Director. But is he the best choice?

Hayden was the architect of the domestic spying program and the use of warrantless wiretaps here in this country since 9/11. While there appears to be no justification in the 4th Amendment or in the FISA Courts, the President and Gen Hayden moved forward with this program arguing that it was for national security. No doubt, a Senate confirmation process will focus upon this issue.

Another issue is that Hayden is a General. Well, he isnt the first. However, is does make the point that now the NSA, DIA and CIA are all being run by military men. That, I admit, does give me some heartburn. My fear is that they will all look to the Pentagon. And the orginal purpose of the CIA was to be outside of the Pentagon.

Another more significant issue is competency. The biggest problem for the Agency is a lack of HUMINT, human intelligence and then proper analysis. Hayden's expertise in the past has been in technical intelligence, i.e. satellites. The Agency got into trouble with this same obsession in the 80's and 90's.

While this is sexy, it doesn't help with terrorism cases very well. We need more people on the ground in tents in Afghanistan and North Africa. Whether or not Hayden can do this remains to be seen. If he fails, we will not be any safer. In fact, we will be less safe.

Overall, my biggest concern is that this is just another flow chart change. We don't change anything. Rather, we just change the headings. That way, I guess we say we are doing something when we are doing nothing.

Only time will tell.