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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Hayden the Situation

“Last week Porter Goss, the highly partisan head of the CIA, stepped down suddenly…”

“Porter Goss, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, resigned abruptly on Friday after less than 18 months on the job over tensions with his boss, John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence.
President George W. Bush tapped Mr Goss, former chairman of the House intelligence committee, in 2004 to revamp the CIA after the spy agency had come under intense criticism for its role in the failure to prevent the September 11 attacks, and inaccurate intelligence about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
-Financial Times, May 6, 2006

“Just job tensions. Nothing to see here. Just a little shake-up to rejuvenate the White House. No scandal to see…”

“All the ingredients for a spy thriller involving prostitutes, poker, a congressman called Randy and parties at the legendary Watergate complex may lie behind the sudden resignation of Porter Goss as director of the CIA last Friday.
The saga has already been named ‘Hookergate’ and the CIA is buzzing with rumours that there is more to Goss’s departure than meets the eye.
The timing is certainly curious, coming hard on the heels of the CIA’s confirmation last week that Kyle ‘Dusty’ Foggo, the number three in the nation’s spy centre who was hand-picked by Goss, had attended poker games at the Watergate and Westin Grand hotels in Washington with Brent Wilkes, a defence contractor and close boyhood friend.
Wilkes is under investigation for allegedly providing Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham, a disgraced Republican congressman, with prostitutes, limousines and free hotel suites.
The net is also closing in on Foggo, who is being investigated by the FBI over the award to Wilkes of a $3m contract to supply bottled water and other goods to CIA operatives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although Foggo has admitted playing poker with Wilkes, he insists that no prostitutes were present.
A former senior CIA official said this weekend that he had been told by a trusted source inside the agency that Goss, 67, had attended one of the poker games. The CIA has denied it. ‘Goss has repeatedly denied being there, so if it were to come out that he was, he is finished,’ the former official said.”
-Sunday Times, UK, May 7, 2006

“Well, at least they didn’t say that he ‘wanted to spend more time with his family’. That cliché has been a bit overdone. In his place they are looking to put General Michael Hayden, making it the first time ever that the CIA would be run by the military. Checks and balances? We don’t need no stinking checks and balances….”

“The nomination of Gen. Michael V. Hayden to take over the CIA would trigger a fresh battle over the secret warrantless surveillance program he oversaw on behalf of President Bush, a debate that could help shape the contours of the fall midterm congressional elections, officials in both parties said yesterday.
Barring a change of heart, aides expect Bush to name Hayden tomorrow as his choice to succeed CIA director Porter J. Goss, who resigned under pressure Friday. Hayden, a former director of the National Security Agency and now deputy director of national intelligence, has become the most forceful defender of Bush's eavesdropping program since its disclosure in December.”
-Washington Post, May 7, 206

“I now give you some recycled bits about Gen. Michael ‘What Constitution?’ Hayden.”

“Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the former N.S.A. director who is now the second-ranking intelligence official in the country, was asked at a White House briefing this week whether there had been any ‘purely domestic’ intercepts under the program.
‘The authorization given to N.S.A. by the president requires that one end of these communications has to be outside the United States,’ General Hayden answered. ‘I can assure you, by the physics of the intercept, by how we actually conduct our activities, that one end of these communications are always outside the United States.’
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales also emphasized that the order only applied to international communications. ‘People are running around saying that the United States is somehow spying on American citizens calling their neighbors,’ he said. ‘Very, very important to understand that one party to the communication has to be outside the United States.’"
-New York Times, December 21, 2005

“Whew.. I know I’ll breathe easier knowing that, though the spying may have been on American citizens and done without a warrant, at least they had SOME standards. It sounds like Hayden is saying that it is impossible for the spying to be entirely within the U.S.”
-Skippy, December 27, 2005

“A surveillance program approved by President Bush to conduct eavesdropping without warrants has captured what are purely domestic communications in some cases, despite a requirement by the White House that one end of the intercepted conversations take place on foreign soil, officials say.
The officials say the National Security Agency's interception of a small number of communications between people within the United States was apparently accidental, and was caused by technical glitches at the National Security Agency in determining whether a communication was in fact ‘international.’"
-New York Times, December 21, 2005

“So he was wrong. At least the program is only used under extreme circumstances to stop terrorists. I mean, we have standards…”

“Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who led the National Security Agency when it began a program of warrantless wiretaps, vigorously defended the program today, but acknowledged that it depends on a lower standard of evidence than required by courts.
‘The trigger is quicker and a bit softer,’ said General Hayden, an Air Force officer who is now the principal deputy director of the new national intelligence agency.
The standard laid out by General Hayden - a ‘reasonable basis to believe’ - is lower than ‘probably cause,’ the standard used by the special court created by Congress to handle surveillance involving foreign intelligence.
Mr. Hayden said that warrantless searches were conducted when one of a ‘handful’ of senior officers at the security agency determined that there was a ‘reasonable belief’ that one party to a call between someone in America and someone overseas had a link to Al Qaeda.”
-New York Times, January 23, 2006

“You know, I’d feel a bit safer if the General realized that the standard for the special court (FISA) was ‘probable cause’ rather than ‘probably cause’ because then he might recall why the standard was set at ‘probable cause’. Here’s a hint: It has to do with one of those 200+ year old legal documents that we’re always going on about..”
-Skippy, January 24, 2006

“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.”
-United States Constitution, Fourth Amendment

“He has heard of the Constitution… He apparently just hasn’t read it yet.”

“QUESTION: Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder. I'd like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use --

GEN. HAYDEN: No, actually -- the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But the --
GEN. HAYDEN: That's what it says.
QUESTION: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.
GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But does it not say probable --
GEN. HAYDEN: No. The amendment says --
QUESTION: The court standard, the legal standard --
GEN. HAYDEN: -- unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: The legal standard is probable cause, General. You used the terms just a few minutes ago, ‘We reasonably believe.’ And a FISA court, my understanding is, would not give you a warrant if you went before them and say ‘we reasonably believe’; you have to go to the FISA court, or the attorney general has to go to the FISA court and say, ‘we have probable cause.’
And so what many people believe -- and I'd like you to respond to this -- is that what you've actually done is crafted a detour around the FISA court by creating a new standard of ‘reasonably believe’ in place of probable cause because the FISA court will not give you a warrant based on reasonable belief, you have to show probable cause. Could you respond to that, please?
GEN. HAYDEN: Sure. I didn't craft the authorization. I am responding to a lawful order. All right? The attorney general has averred to the lawfulness of the order.
Just to be very clear -- and believe me, if there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you've raised to me -- and I'm not a lawyer, and don't want to become one -- what you've raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is ‘reasonable.’ And we believe -- I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable.”
-Press Conference with General Michael Hayden, January 23, 2006

“So… A highly partisan military man with no respect for the Constitution is now set to take one of the most important intelligence jobs in the United States. Yep, sounds like what I’d expect out of Dubya.”


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4:02 AM  

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