A General with Intelligence and Command Expertise to Head the CIA? Perish the Thought
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Just two days after Porter Goss quit his job as CIA director, politicians from both parties are already denigrating a man who has not yet even been officially nominated to replace him. And it's just not fair since most Americans know little about the illustrious career of Air Force General Michael Hayden.
All Americans hear are negative statements coming from a -- allow me to be brutally blunt -- bunch of bums in the House of Representatives and the Senate who haven't served anyone or anything save their own lust for political power.
One expects the knee-jerk liberals to attack General Hayden, especially since they claim they believe the National Security Agency terrorist surveillance program is illegal, though they've failed to clearly explain those illegalities. On the other hand, Hayden readily explained the NSA program's importance and adherence to the US Constitution.
During an interview last February with George Stephanopoulos, Hayden dismissed concerns that innocent Americans might be caught in the NSA's wiretapping net. "I can't get into operational details, but the way we do this is based on the people most knowledgeable of Al-Qaeda, its communications, its intentions, its tactics, techniques and procedures. And so we really don't have the time or the resources [or] the linguists, to linger, to go after things that aren't going to protect the homeland."
In other words, NSA couldn't care less about what Joe Putz is telling his wife on the telephone. Any person who believes the NSA really cares about their communications with others -- unless he or she is a terrorist or associate of terrorists -- is the displaying ignorance of intelligence gathering during a war, and needs to quell his or her delusions of grandeur. Again, I expect liberal Democrats to feed this tripe to the American people, but when Republicans do it, it becomes unseemly. For them to feed into the myth of a General Jack D. Ripper from the Kubrick movie "Dr. Strangelove" says more about them than it does about General Hayden.
It's disturbing to hear some Republicans complaining about the appointment of a military intelligence expert to head a Central Intelligence Agency that's more centralized than it is intelligent. While I do love it when politicians seem to care about the CIA and it's employees, I'm more in tune with those politicians who care about having an effective -- and accurate -- intelligence community striving to serve the American people not some sociopaths who manage to get themselves elected on the right or the left of the political spectrum.
But politicians will be politicians and, unfortunately, it is an election year that looks shaky for the GOP. So it's not surprising to hear Republicans sounding like Democrats and vice versa. For instance, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on Sunday actually praised Hayden and his accomplishments.
The appointment of General Hayden, the deputy to John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence, would expand military influence in America's intelligence community. And Republicans voiced concern about the Pentagon's growing control of US intelligence operations. General Hayden would be “the wrong person, at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Republican Peter Hoekstra, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said. What an intellectual giant! Did he come up with that quote all by himself?
Of the 182 print news stories that appeared on Sunday regarding the expected nomination of General Hayden as the director of the beleaguered CIA, the majority of them focused on the political battles likely to occur over his appointment. The news media, always quick to view events through the prism of liberal-left ideology, appeared more interested in printing the views of Hayden's opponents than in introducing to Americans a career military officer who's dedicated his life to serving his country. What happened? I thought they loved generals? Oh, they only love antiwar, anti-Bush generals who secure their pensions and perks before speaking out.
In fact, Rep. Hoekestra said it was a bad idea to have a military person heading a civilian intelligence agency. Sure, Congressman. Why hire someone with a vast knowledge of intelligence gathering and analysis? Why hire someone who's been trained to instinctively think in strategic terms? Why hire a guy who knows the difference between tactical intelligence and strategic intelligence? What the CIA needs is someone who will clean house and re-create an intelligence agency as opposed to a politically motivated think-tank. That man may turn out to be a no-nonsense military commander.
General Hayden started his career in 1969 after earning a bachelor's degree in history in and a master's degree in modern American history in 1969. He is a distinguished graduate He has served as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and as Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center. He has been assigned to senior staff positions at the Pentagon, Headquarters of the US European Command, National Security Council and the US Embassy in the People's Republic of Bulgaria.
The general has also served as Deputy Chief of Staff, United Nations Command and US Forces Korea, Yongsan Army Garrison, South Korea. Prior to his current assignment, General Hayden was Director, National Security Agency, and Chief, Central Security Service, Fort George G. Meade.
Besides his bachelor and masters degrees, he's a graduate of the War College and the Defense Intelligence School (postgraduate intelligence curriculum), Defense Intelligence Agency. His decorations and commendations are numerous. He's believed by many to be one of the brightest men in public service. He's spent decades studying the subject of intelligence, and he's spent decades applying those studies to real-world dangers and conflicts.
I expect he will get a cool reception during his confirmation hearings -- hearings in which we will have to endure the rantings of power hungry politicians who probably aren't fit to tie General Hayden's shoes. Yes, it's an unjust world in which we live when a real patriot is grilled by a panel consisting of some men and women whose only achievement is conning Americans into voting for them.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.